Todo por Ile - Leukemia Treatment

Our 14 years old girl Ileana was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), our lives have changed forever.  She is the second of three children among the ages of 15 and 11 years.   We couldn't believe the news and the situation affected our ability and desire to look into the future.  As a family we are staying strong and ready to fight but first we recognized that we need help.  

Here is a piece of information as to what we are expecting for our beloved child: 

According to St. Jude Childrens Hospital (2018), in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), white blood cells, produced in bone marrow, are abnormal and do not become healthy cells. These abnormal cells crowd out the normal ones, so the patient’s body has a harder time fighting off infection.

How common is acute myeloid leukemia?

Only about 500 children are found to have AML in the U.S. each year. (It is much more common in adults.) However, it is the most common second cancer among children treated for other cancers.

The number of children with AML is about equal between boys and girls and between whites and African-Americans.

What are the symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia?



Easy bruising and bleeding

Frequent nosebleeds

Bleeding that is hard to stop, even from a small cut

Pain in bones or joints

Swollen glands

Poor appetite

How is acute myeloid leukemia treated?

Chemotherapy (“chemo”) is the primary AML treatment:

Chemotherapy (“chemo”) - uses powerful medicines to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing (dividing) and making more cancer cells.

Chemo may be injected into the bloodstream, so that it can travel throughout the body.

Some chemo may be given by mouth.

Combination therapy uses more than one type of chemo at a time.

Doctors look at several factors to decide which medications to use and how aggressive treatment should be. Some of these factors include the child’s age and the child’s white blood cell count before treatment.

We expect the treatment the AML treatment to include two phases:

Induction - to kill the leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow and put the disease into remission (a return to normal blood cell counts)

Central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy (also called CNS prophylaxis) - may also be given during this time to kill leukemia cells that remain in the brain and spinal cord after standard chemo. With this treatment, chemo medications are injected into the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Consolidation/intensification/post-induction - to rid the body of any remaining cells that could begin to grow and cause the leukemia to return (relapse). This begins after remission has been confirmed and may continue for two or three more years.   Stem cell transplant - may be used for a child who is at high risk of relapse or who has AML that is resistant to other treatments. A stem cell transplant includes replacing blood-forming cells in the bone marrow that have been killed by chemo and/or radiation therapy.

A stem cell transplant gives the patient new blood cells from a donor’s blood or bone marrow. These cells grow into healthy blood cells to replace the ones the child lost.

Some types of stem cell transplants may be called “bone marrow transplants” because the cells come from the donor’s bone marrow.

Immunotherapy - uses specific types of cells called natural killer (NK) cells. These cells are obtained from parents and are given to patients with the goal of eliminating leukemia cells.

NK cells are harvested from the blood of one of the parents. The cells are then infused into the child’s blood.

The NK cells circulate in the child’s body and recognize and attach to the leukemia cell wall.

NK cells damage the cell walls of the AML cells, leading to their destruction.

Radiation therapy - uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. This is rarely used in AML treatment.

For all these potential stages, Ileana needs your help, although she started fighting bravely with this disease. 

We know that this would be a long journey and that we will not be alone.    We will keep you updated about her progress and look forward for your help as little as it could be. 


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Mercado Alberto Jose 
Montverde, FL
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