Treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) usually lasts more than two years, which can seem like forever to a child. But 10-year-old Kayla stayed positive and upbeat, even during the hardest times.
Back in the fall of 2012, Kayla started to complain of stomach aches and headaches. When the pain became unbearable, Kayla’s mom, Myestia, took her to the doctor, where tests revealed Kayla’s spleen and liver were enlarged. Soon, Kayla was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where the source of Kayla’s pain was found to be ALL, a type of blood cancer and the most common form of childhood cancer.
Two-and-a-half years ago we were told that the day would come, and when it did, we were flooded with all sorts of emotions — feelings of excitement, euphoria and utter amazement filled our hearts and minds.
“We’re so thankful for St. Jude,” said Kayla’s mom. “The doctors and nurses are so caring. I can focus on Kayla and getting her well.” St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent within the next decade. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Kayla’s treatment at St. Jude included two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, and she endured it with grace and style. Kayla’s smiling face became well-known to both staff and patients at the hospital.
As treatment finally drew to a close this April, Kayla celebrated her last dose of chemotherapy with a St. Jude tradition — her very own "No More Chemo" party. And Kayla’s family and treatment team could not have been happier to celebrate with her.
“Kayla's "No More Chemo" party was truly a dream come true!” exclaimed Myestia. “Two-and-a-half years ago we were told that the day would come, and when it did, we were flooded with all sorts of emotions — feelings of excitement, euphoria and utter amazement filled our hearts and minds.”
Kayla has remained an outgoing girl with a joy for life. She likes to sing and do arts and crafts. “Kayla has embraced life after St. Jude full throttle,” Myestia said. “She’s excited about going back to school with her friends.” When Kayla grows up, she wants to host her own television show.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Donate a "No More Chemo" party to help a St. Jude patient celebrate a special milestone.
See other ways to support during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.