Katie, Cancer Conqueror
Meet Katherine (Katie) Grace, a small but MIGHTY cancer conqueror! Katie is 10 years old and before her diagnosis, she was halfway through her 5th grade year at Hajek Elementary School. Just one week before she was diagnosed with leukemia, she participated in, and won, the school Spelling Bee.
She is a very bright girl who loves: Jesus, her family, her friends, her Cocker Spaniel, Dolly and doing all kinds of art projects. She is a big helper and is happiest when she is doing something, or making something, for others. She has the sweetest spirit and is incredibly brave. To know her is to love her!
Katie was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 26, 2015. This diagnoses came out of nowhere and shook our entire family. None of us were familiar with leukemia and what that would mean for Katie. Her initial treatment plan would include one month of chemo that would hopefully get her leukemia into remission and then another 2 1/2 years of treatment to totally cure her and ensure that the leukemia did not come back.
When Katie did not go into remission after the first month of treatment, her prognosis and treatment plan changed drastically. She was placed into the very high risk category and would need radiation, a more intensive high dose chemo and a bone marrow transplant. Our family was devastated. In order to ensure that she had the best possible chance for a cure, her leukemia had to be in remission before proceeding with the transplant. On March 6th, Katie began a second round of chemo that would hopefully get her leukemia into remission. On April 13th, we got the news that we had so desperately prayed for- Katie was in remission!! Also, there was a donor in the Bone Marrow registry that was a 100 percent match. We were feeling so incredibly hopeful and blessed. In the weeks that followed, Katie underwent many pre- transplant tests and procedures and on April 22- Earth Day- she received her bone marrow transplant. Today is April 30 and Katie is a week and a day post transplant and doing well. We just know that she will have a powerful testimony to share when she is recovered from this.
Katie was thrilled to learn that she was chosen to be the Honored Hero Run Featured Artist for 2015. Her dad and I think that her entry A Hero has a Heart shows just how big her heart is and we are so proud of our girl!
The children we meet who are fighting a battle with blood cancer are some of the most inspirational people we know. Thanks to the special group of kids that participate in the logo drawing contest, each year we have a new logo to represent our event. And every year that logo inspires people to get involved in Our Mission: To bring the community together in a collective effort to raise awareness of and funds for blood cancer research, while honoring those who have battled or are currently battling blood cancer.