Sarah is a strong, upbeat and bubbly 12-year-old who loves swimming, riding bicycles and playing with her sister and friends from school.
Sarah has been through a lot in her young life, having battled cancer five times. But she continues to face the world with a smile and show everyone around her the meaning of bravery.
Sarah’s journey began during Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 when she developed a fever. She was given antibiotics, but after a few days with no signs of improvement, her mom decided to take her to their local hospital for tests. Sarah had pneumonia, strep throat, sepsis, she was in respiratory distress and her blood counts were off.
She was immediately airlifted to hospital and two days later…received a cancer diagnosis. Her family was heartbroken...
Sarah had acute lymphoblastic leukemia and began a 2.5 year chemotherapy treatment protocol immediately. She completed this treatment in February 2015.
During a regular check-up eighteen months later, Sarah’s blood results showed her cancer had returned…
From July 2016 to April 2017 Sarah spent most of the time living in the hospital. During this time, she again had to endure rounds of chemotherapy and received a bone marrow transplant just two days before Christmas.
Following her transplant in December, Sarah was in isolation for 33 days.
Finally, she was discharged that spring and Sarah was able to ride her bike and swim again. She went to summer camp, played with her sister and returned to school in September.
But unfortunately, this was not the end of Sarah’s journey…
Sarah has had to fight leukemia multiple times over the following years and is currently fighting her fifth battle against leukemia.
Since she was still on treatment for graft vs. host disease from her stem cell transplant that she had in November 2019, there were few treatment options available to her. But Sarah's team from the hospital found a treatment that she could try, which consisted of 6 rounds of immunotherapy medication.
Each round is a 28-day infusion of the medication, which means Sarah is hooked up to a pump for 28 days. She must go to hospital every four days for a bag change, as each bag of the medication holds enough for four days. She carries her pump in a little bag.
Sarah just started the 6th and final round of this treatment on June 10th, 2021. She is currently counting down to her last day of treatment which will be on July 8th. On this day, she will be unhooked from her pump, have a lumbar puncture to receive chemotherapy, and she will have her bone marrow checked to see if she is in remission.
If all goes well, she will have an appointment made to have her central line removed. Sarah has had a central line since September 2019, so she is looking forward to no longer needing weekly dressing changes or having restrictions around swimming. One of her goals for this summer is to go swimming!
Sarah has also decided that she wants to re-learn how to ride her bike and has even decided to join her Dad and Sister in doing the Great Cycle Challenge as part of Team Sarah. So far, Sarah has raised over $1200 and is even writing her own updates on her Great Cycle Challenge page.
To her family and the GCC community, Sarah is a ‘Leukemia Warrior Princess’. Let’s stand with Sarah and ride with her this August!