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Kennedi was found to suffer from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2010.
Kennedi’s parents knew there was something wrong with their precious little girl when she began to slow down in the summer of 2010. She started to run fevers frequently, experience night terrors and didn’t want to eat. At first, her doctor thought it could be mono. But when the tests came back negative, he dismissed it as a virus that just needed to run its course. But over the next few weeks, Kennedi was in and out of the doctor’s office. “I just knew something was wrong,” said Kennedi’s mom. “A mother’s intuition never lies.”
When Kennedi’s symptoms progressed, her mother took her back to the pediatrician. This time she was determined to leave with an answer. After several tests, Kennedi was urgently transported to a local children’s hospital. There, her family received shocking news. Doctors feared that Kennedi suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Kennedi was immediately referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
At St. Jude, Kennedi’s diagnosis was confirmed and doctors quickly placed her on an aggressive treatment plan that includes chemotherapy over two-and-a-half years. Within two weeks of beginning treatment, Kennedi’s cancer went into remission, where it remains today.
The doctors and nurses at St. Jude have offered Kennedi’s parents comfort in a time of turmoil. “St. Jude is not a normal hospital,” said Kennedi’s mother. “The doctors and nurses treat us like family.” Kennedi’s family had heard of the financial relief that St. Jude provided, but had no idea to what extent. “I knew the medical expenses would be covered, but I had no idea that meals and housing would be paid for too,” said Kennedi’s father.
Despite the sometimes rigorous treatment, Kennedi remains a precocious little girl. “Whenever she sees the St. Jude logo, she says ‘there’s my doctor,’” said her dad. “When we pull up to the gates, she’s happy to be there.” Kennedi’s favorite things at the hospital are her doctors and nurses. She loves Dora the Explorer® and her big brother Jordan.
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