Our normally energetic, joyful, and interested-in- everything 3 year old, Summer Grace, was unusually lethargic on Thanksgiving. Within a week, a cough developed. A doctor's visit resulted in a diagnosis of bronchitis, but after taking medication, there was no improvement. Over the next couple of weeks, Summer grew pale, lost her appetite, and became extremely irritable and lethargic. At the next appointment, the doctor's diagnosis was pneumonia. I strongly felt that she didn't have pneumonia, but instead, something far worse. I requested bloodwork to prove it. I had a fear of what it might be, but I didn't think it could possibly be true, until I got the phone call, shortly after the pediatrician received the results of the blood test. The pediatrician said, "Summer's blood counts are extremely low. Get her to Inova Fairfax Hospital ER, NOW!"
Later that evening, Summer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia type B. It's a very aggressive cancer, and within hours, she had a mediport implanted in her tiny chest, a bone marrow test, a spinal tap, and she began chemotherapy. We spent the next 10 days in the hospital with Summer, while our 5 month old was with his grandparents. This is how Summer spent Christmas. Summer will need additional treatments for at least 2 1/2 years. We remain eternally hopeful. The love, prayers, and support from friends and our community lift our hearts. The medical bills, obviously, are staggering, yet we'd be grateful to live in debt forever to have Summer well, cured, and carrying on her happy life with her baby brother and the future that awaits her.
If you feel moved to support, no donation is too little. If you'd like to do something else, donate blood in honor of Summer. After all, blood transfusions saved her life.
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- Debbie Lewis
- Kenneth Smith
- Elizabeth Newbern
- Birthday Triplets
- Jenny Housley
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