Sarah’s response to her oncologist when she was told that her cancer was back: “You mean I’m going to be a three-time cancer survivor?”
Sarah’s journey began during Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 when she developed a fever. She was diagnosed with strep throat at a walk-in clinic and given antibiotics.
After a few days with no signs of improvement, her mom, Gillian, took 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 The Hospital for Sick Children and received a cancer diagnosis two days later.
Sarah had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and began a 2.5 year chemotherapy treatment protocol immediately. She completed her 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 endured rounds of chemotherapy again and received a bone marrow transplant just two days before Christmas.
Following her transplant in December, Sarah was in isolation for 33 days.
When she was discharged that spring, Sarah was finally able to ride her bike and swim again. She went to summer camp, played with her sister, Kiarra, and returned to school in September.
In February 2018, Sarah became sick and her team at Sick Kids decided to do a bone marrow biopsy. Sarah’s bone marrow biopsy again tested positive for leukemia cells. Her medical team decided that the best option for her is to try an immunotherapy approach, meaning using her own body’s boosted immune system to fight the cancerous cells.
On February 7, Sarah had her cells removed in order for them to be sent to the laboratory. It takes two months for her cells to be returned to the hospital.
While Sarah waits for her immunotherapy in April, she is undergoing weekly chemotherapy to maintain treatment.