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Aubrey – 10 years old

July 15, 2010

Diagnosis:

Aubrey was found to suffer from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in early 2009.

Aubrey’s Story:

During a family outing to a restaurant in January 2009, Aubrey’s step-grandfather mentioned that Aubrey looked pale. It being winter, her mom, Amy, thought that was normal for the season. But when Aubrey’s grandmother remarked on her pallor the next day, Amy decided to take her to the pediatrician to check for anemia. Five hours after that visit, Aubrey’s doctor pulled into the driveway of the family home. The doctor wanted to be there in person to deliver the frightening news. “I’m so sorry,” the pediatrician told Amy, “but Aubrey has leukemia.”

“I felt numb,” said Amy. “I know I must have been in shock because I was shaking.”

Amy’s friend—a nurse—was there that night, and she urged the family to take Aubrey to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Amy obtained the referral, loaded her children into the car, and drove through the night. They drove through an ice storm and arrived in Memphis at 4 a.m. Her husband, who had been away on a trip, met them at the hospital.

At St. Jude:

Aubrey was placed on an intense chemotherapy protocol to rid her body of the cancer. Though she has suffered some side effects from the treatment that she must receive to win her battle, her St. Jude medical team has been very responsive in monitoring her very closely and tailoring the treatment to her unique needs.

“The medical team at St. Jude makes the best decisions for her,” said Amy. “I feel comfortable and confident that Aubrey is getting the best care. No matter what happens, they know what to do.”

Aubrey is an energetic kid who loves to play, draw and sing at the top of her lungs. She loves her doctor and nurses and says she wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

“We had such a normal life before,” said Amy. “Good friends, good grades, safe community. We were blessed. And this may sound strange, but I still think we’re blessed. This situation woke us up to realities that many families face. I see people differently now. I have more compassion, and Aubrey does too.”

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