My name is Isabella Dean. I’m 8 years old, and I’m a cancer survivor.
When I was 21 months old, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. I was very sick and had to spend a lot of time in the hospital. I had to be on chemo for over two years. I had surgery to have a port placed and would get needles poked into my port in my chest to get my chemo. I lost all my hair and had to take a lot of medicine.
Fighting cancer was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but there were some things that made it a little easier. I got to meet a singing group called Pentatonix. They came to the hospital to sing to the kids that were there. I got to do really fun things with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation like Fashion Funds the Cure, The Steve Yerrid’s Kids Fishing Derby, and one year I even got an award called the Heart of a Champion Award. I felt so brave, and I got to have fun like a normal kid.
The best part was all the friends I made. They were fighting cancer just like me. We got to remind each other to be brave at the hospital and got to have fun with each other at special events. I would see some friends almost every day and we’re still friends today.
Thanks to the research that happened before I got sick and the doctors who helped me, I have been off chemo and in remission for almost 5 years, but some of my friends didn’t get a cure fast enough and are in heaven now. I miss my friends Nick, Melissa, and Morgan all the time. That’s why I’m excited to be an ambassador for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation now. I don’t want any kids to have to fight cancer anymore, and I don’t want to lose any more of my friends. I want to tell the whole world to help NPCF find a cure for all kid’s cancers!