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Amelia, aka Milli, was diagnosed with Pre-B-Cell, Ph + Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on March 29, 2019, at the age of seven. Her first year of treatment was long and hard, with multiple hospital stays for intense chemotherapy. The closest pediatric oncology unit is two hours from her home, so Milli’s family has to uproot their life every time she requires inpatient treatment. Referencing this hardship, Milli’s mother, Rachael, says “You never know how strong you are until you have no other choice but to be strong.”

Milli looks up to her older sister, Raegan, and they used to attend the same elementary school together. Milli is now being homeschooled while she is in treatment. She just wants to be “normal” and have things go back to the way they were before her diagnosis. She wants to continue dreaming of a future career as a veterinarian or karate instructor. Most of all, she misses being around other kids.

Despite the sacrifices she is forced to make, Milli just takes things day by day and maintains an incredibly positive attitude. She keeps a daily journal and logs her mood daily. Her mother was surprised to see that, over the first 350 days, Milli only recorded five “sad faces”. The experience has been very emotional and stressful for Milli’s family, but her strength and optimism provide them hope for a future beyond cancer. Until then, Milli is quick to remind her family that “bald is beautiful!”

Rachael says the hardest part of the whole experience is not being able to “kiss it and make it better” for Milli. She has a message for all of the other childhood cancer parents out there:

Treasure your kids and hold them so close to your heart because you never know when things can go south or when tough times and bumps in the road could occur —like we’re going through now.

Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.

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