When Hadley started getting sick more frequently, her parents chalked it up to having recently started daycare.
Her doctor did some bloodwork, and within fifteen minutes they had a referral and would be going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hadley had acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
"As a 2-year-old, your child should have problems that you can still fix," said Hadley's mother, Brittany. "You should be putting Band-Aids on scraped knees and kissing boo-boos and wiping tears over silly things, not cancer."
Although it was terrifying, St. Jude was a nearly immediate comfort to the family.
You’d think it would be a bunch of sad people and just a terrible place to be, but that’s not what it’s like here.
St. Jude has helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% when we opened to 80% today. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Hadley was placed on chemotherapy, and turned 3 years old during treatment. But despite this difficult undertaking, Hadley’s maintained a brave outlook.
I can't tell you how many times she's caught me crying and told me, ‘Mom, don't worry, it's going to be okay.’
Hadley is a chatty tot and “a little firecracker,” according to her dad.
She loves music, animals, colors, and singing and dancing. She also loves the beach.
She recently “graduated preschool” and picked up a new hobby: dirt bikes.
“My heart stops when she rides it, but she does love it!” says her mom. “I mean, YOLO, right?”
As of June 2020, Hadley has been in remission for two years.
When they look back on this difficult time, Hadley’s parents will remember St. Jude as a special place.
These halls are filled with more hope than I could ever describe.
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