While on vacation in July of 2018, nine-year-old Macie could no longer tolerate the back pain she was experiencing since their arrival in Florida. Concerned, her mom, Misty, took her to the local emergency room where they were told that Macie had aplastic anemia—a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells—caused by her seizure medication. Macie was then transferred to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for additional tests.
The next morning, a hematologist delivered the devastating news: Macie had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The next step was to get Macie home for further testing and treatment. The family flew home that night and Macie was admitted to the
University of Virginia Hospital, where the pathology was confirmed and she underwent a bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture. Macie received her first dose of intrathecal chemo (injections in her spine) and a lumbar puncture. She began aggressive chemotherapy and is currently in the delayed intensification phase. Macie will continue chemo treatment for an additional three years after entering the maintenance phase.
Macie is also dealing with febrile neutropenia, a common complication for patients undergoing cancer treatment. This means that Macie’s white blood cell counts are very low, increasing her risk for infections. Additionally, Macie has anemia, or low red blood cell counts, and therefore continues to receive blood and platelet transfusions for both conditions.
According to Misty, Macie tires easily now and is ready to be back to her pre-cancer self. Macie loves school, crafts, games, and playing with her friends, but the cancer has limited those activities because of her decreased energy and compromised immune system. Despite these challenges, Misty says they are hanging in there and staying strong for Macie. “We know God is with us and we’re confident Macie will ring that cancer-free bell at the end of this!” exclaimed Misty. “She has had an incredibly positive attitude throughout everything and has amazed and inspired those around her.”
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.