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Yamila has been fighting cancer ever since she was 3 years old. At first, it seemed as though she might have tropical dengue fever, but after several tests, Yamila was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She underwent treatment at a local hospital in Puerto Rico, but the cancer, unfortunately, came back.
This time, her doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant and referred Yamila’s family to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude invents more clinical trials than any other children’s hospital, which is why the world looks to St. Jude for new and better ways to treat childhood cancer. At St. Jude, Yamila underwent a bone marrow transplant, with her brother serving as her donor.
In addition to providing cutting-edge medicine free of charge, St. Jude works hard to create a healing environment that allows kids to be kids. Although Yamila had never left her home island before coming to St. Jude, she felt very comfortable at the hospital.
“My daughter began riding her bike shortly after leaving the transplant unit,” marvels her mom. “The physical therapist would come to teach her some exercises, and all she would think about was her bike.”
Yamila even took English as a Second Language lessons at the fully-accredited St. Jude school, bringing along her favorite toy dog named Lucy.
Yamila’s family never received a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Yamila has returned to her home in Puerto Rico. She comes back to St. Jude regularly for checkups. Yamila loves to play guitar, make arts and crafts and cook.
“St. Jude is a hospital where miracles happen,” says Yamila’s mother. “Here, children are happy while they’re getting treatment.”
Help give hope to kids like Yamila who are fighting life-threatening illnesses. Become a Partner In Hope monthly donor today.