When Angelica first began to experience persistent fevers, soreness and weight loss, doctors couldn’t pinpoint why. A series of tests uncovered the cause, and her family was devastated. Angelica had acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.
My world crashed to a halt.
“My world crashed to a halt,” said her mother, Jaryssel.
Angelica was referred to St. Jude for treatment, where “we were finally able to breathe easier,” said Jaryssel. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago.
At St. Jude, Angelica underwent intensive chemotherapy and then, two days after Christmas 2013, she received the bone marrow transplant that saved her life.
Angelica is now finished with treatment and comes to St. Jude regularly for checkups. This spunky girl has loads of personality. She loves playing dress-up and pretending she’s a movie star.
“Everything about Angelica is special,” her mom said. “Her smile, her playfulness, her whole life. Because she’s happy, I’m happy.”