Four years after their cancer treatment, four kids, wearing shirts that say “Never EVER Give Up” get together for their annual reunion and to support the friend who went into a relapse.
Four kids, Chloe, Lauren, McKinley and Ava, who are currently of ages between 5 and 6, had a good time earlier this month when they met to play, and laugh together at the. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida. It was in this same hospital that the four little girls met back in 2016. While these girls were patients in the hospital, they took a momentary picture together as a group in tutus, and this over time has become a yearly tradition for them.
Today, three of the girls, Chloe, Ava, and McKinley are in remission and doing very well, while the last of them, Lauren had a relapse of her Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. This year, the four little friends were together in Lauren’s hospital room where she is receiving treatment for her returned cancer.
The girls donned matching outfits made by Ava’s mum. White Tees that has “Never EVER Give Up” written on them in glittering letters. The words were originally the girl’s mantra. Lauren’s mother, Shawna Glynn said she heard the girls using the mantra last year, around the time when they discovered that Lauren had relapsed. The four mothers agreed that the message on the Tees was a perfect fit for the situation as the girls, ever since forming the friendship, had never given up on each other.
Lauren’s mother also said that the reunion of the girls for the year has been a very good and important one which got her child happy and excited because she was happy to see and be in the midst of her friends.
The search for a cure
Lauren, a very smart and strong little girl, aged 6 was diagnosed with one of the most common types of childhood cancer known as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia or ALL for short. This Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is the same type of cancer that was diagnosed for two other little kids, Ava and McKinley. The Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia affects the patient’s blood and bone marrow, and it is more common among kids of ages between 2 and 4. The symptoms that might be associated with. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia includes bone and joint pain, unexplained incessant weight loss, as well as general body weakness. The cancer is curable. The most common treatment employed for treating this Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is chemotherapy, however, this treatment when administered records a 15% to 20% reoccurrence in kids that undergo the process.
Lauren was one of the kids that got a return of the Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia type of cancer. After the return of cancer, Lauren had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in combination with more chemotherapy. Lauren also got a type of Immunotherapy treatment, and her family are hoping this will help with Lauren’s cancer. For the immunotherapy treatment, doctors usually take T-cells (a type of white blood cell) from the patient’s blood and alter the cells in a lab. The cells are altered in ways that will enable them to become more efficient at finding and destroying cancer cells within the blood. These altered and enhanced T-cells are then restored to the patient’s blood where they can now come in contact with and destroy the cancer cells in the blood.
According to the doctors, Lauren has been feeling really well since she got the immunotherapy treatment. However, with her treatments now complete, Lauren will have to keep up with regular follow-up care and check-up at the ALL children’s outpatient clinic.
Lauren’s mother said that she hopes that after everything the little girl has gone through in the past 3 and ½ years, the CAR T treatment will cure Lauren of her Cancer.
The Power of Friendship
Last year when the four kids Ava, Chloe, McKinley and Lauren were in remission, they wore clothes that said “survivor”.
Two years ago, they were all wearing gold tutus and shirts that carried “Brave”, “Strong”, “Warrior” and “Fearless”, all depicting their fight with cancer for their dear lives.
In 2016, after their chemotherapy treatment to combat cancer, the girls wore shirts that proclaimed “Straight Outta Chemo”
The relationship formed by these girls and their parents alike has proved highly invaluable. The parents met at the hospital floor and quickly formed a bond. They talked with parents of other kids, supported each other, shared stories, treatments, issues, and ideas.
According to the mothers and medical practitioners, having a support group has proven over time to be a much easier way to take on otherwise hard issues. This is because when you discover that you are not all alone in the world, you have renewed strength to take on whatever the adversary might be. And as we know, Two or more good heads are better than one, always!