With beautiful, thick, naturally curly hair down to her waist, my daughter Adina cut 10 inches off in the spring of 2006 to donate to Locks of Love. Little did she know, just a few short months later, on July 19th, she would be diagnosed with Leukemia and would face losing her own locks. My gorgeous, healthy, intelligent 13 year old daughter was blindsided with a ruthless disease that would take so much from her but not her spirit.
After graduating 8th grade, her hopes of a great summer of being a camper in day camp and beginning high school turned into a nightmare that had her in the hospital for 3-weeks, relying on almost 100% oxygen with tubes draining fluid from her heart sac and lung. As a mother, it was a numbing, unnatural experience.
Adina embarked on a rigorous 2-year protocol, with the dream of going back to her normal teenage life and joining her classmates at school instead of being home tutored as her motivation. And then on April 29, 2008, just when she had almost completed her protocol, we found out that Adina relapsed and needed a stem cell transplant in order to survive.
With about 3 months left to the school year and not being able to complete yet another year of high school, Adina managed to finish up the year with home tutoring and take 3/4 regents exams in the hospital while receiving chemo. After spending our summer being isolated in a hospital room for 25 days, Adina received her transplant and is now following the rest of the steps to her cure.
As a mom now beginning another year of being inpatient/outpatient with my daughter, I've become used to seeing children of all ages valiantly battling cancer. It has made me realize how great it is to be a helping hand and support programs like Cookies for Kids Cancer to help find cures for our children.
Thank you for your support.
Paula (Adina's mother)