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Emma M.

Diagnosis: Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Age: 5

On November 4, 2009 we took Emma to the doctor because we thought she had thrush, a common infection for babies to get. Our pediatrician was concerned about some different things during his examination on Emma. First her liver and spleen were enlarged, but he said that he recently had another baby who had the same thing and it turned out to be an infection. Then he noticed that she was pale, she had bruises on her legs, and he was also concerned that she hadn't gained any weight in two months. Emma had been to the doctor's several times because she had an ear infection that she couldn't get rid of and we were concerned because she didn't eat, and her soft spot had been raised a few weeks prior. The next day he sent us for some blood work, a belly sonogram, and a chest x-ray. On our way home from all of the different tests, we got a phone call that would change our lives. Our pediatrician told us that Emma had Leukemia. We don't really remember much on that day. The grief that our family felt from this news was overwhelming. That very same day Emma began her intense Chemotherapy. We learned that she had infant ALL (Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) and her Leukemia is genetically abnormal meaning that it is more resistant to Chemo. Because Emma was under a year when she was diagnosed, her treatment would be more intense. Emma was in the hospital for five weeks straight in the beginning with intense chemo, and Emma was not allowed to leave her room. Emma received her Chemotherapy inpatient and outpatient for two years. Emma was truly a fighter during her treatments and hospital stays and she always managed to have a smile on her face. Emma is currently 5 years old and remains in remission. She is getting ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. She loves to play soccer, t-ball, dance, and go swimming. She enjoys playing outside with her friends and loves anytime that she gets to spend with her family.