Rally Kid Katie’s parents had just about given up hope on having a second child when they found out that they were pregnant with her. During the pregnancy, doctors told them that Katie would likely have Down syndrome, yet when she was born, she appeared to be perfectly healthy. Two weeks later, they received some devastating news: Katie had congenital heart defects and was showing signs of early heart failure.
Katie was placed on medications to help her heart get stronger for potential heart surgery, and the following years involved many tests and visits to the doctor. Nonetheless, Katie continued to fight and was eventually weaned off of all heart medications at age three.
Just one month after her cardiologists determined that Katie wouldn’t need heart surgery, the family received another blow. In June of 2016, she began having high fevers and was sent straight to the children’s hospital. There, Katie and her family found out that she had an enlarged spleen and a hemoglobin of 5.2. She spent the next nine days in the hospital, had a port placed, a bone marrow biopsy and was ultimately diagnosed with pre-B ALL, a type of leukemia (blood cancer).
Katie received blood, platelets, and chemo over the following two years. She had multiple hospital admissions, 18 lumbar punctures, and two more related surgeries. Katie completed treatment in August of 2018. She has overcome so much in her young life, and she continues to be monitored by both her oncologist and her cardiologist. Despite some long-term side effects, Katie is now a healthy seven-year-old.
“Katie is the happiest, sweetest kid you will ever meet,” her family shared. “She has never met a stranger. She makes friends wherever she goes. She was an ambassador for our children’s hospital and helped raise money for them—she loves helping other sick kids.”
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.