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Meet Maelin-Kate

Maelin-Kate was diagnosed with a rare blood disease at age 5, but her mom says, "Every day, she finds a reason why it's the best day ever."

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St. Jude patient Maelin Kate

When Maelin-Kate’s parents, Paul and Megan, brought her home from China after adopting her in 2017, they knew she had medical needs. One leg was shorter than the other — hip dysplasia, it turned out.

Maelin-Kate was scheduled for orthopedic surgery within weeks of her adoption. That’s how her Fanconi anemia came to light.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate

At first, though, it was something of a mystery. Her labs were clearly abnormal, but not indicative of a specific disease; there was no knowable family history to comb through.

But, one of Maelin-Kate’s doctors at a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital affiliate clinic just happened to have worked at an institution specializing in Fanconi anemia. She recognized the very rare blood disease right away.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate with Dr. Pui

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate with Ching-Hon Pui, MD

People with Fanconi anemia do not produce healthy bone marrow – so they don’t produce healthy blood. Untreated, this genetic disease can cause leukemia. Maelin-Kate’s was caught early.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate

St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.


Megan describes the St. Jude care team who saw them through treatment as being like friends and family.

“Maelin-Kate knew her doctors and nurses loved her. She knew that they wanted the best for her,” Megan said.

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate

St. Jude patient Maelin-Kate with her mom, Megan

Maelin-Kate now visits St. Jude for regular checkups. She’s the youngest of five children and the only girl.

“She has glitter in her veins,” Megan laughed. “She's just super joyful. Every day, she finds a reason why it's the best day ever. She'll say, ‘I see a butterfly – it's the best day ever.' Or, ‘We ate spaghetti for dinner – it's the best day ever.’”

She makes everybody smile every day because she loves everything about life.

Maelin-Kate's mom, Megan


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