Mayela recently returned from “the best trip” of her life in the Dominican Republic, where she created lasting memories with her mom and dad before she started another school year.
“I’m happy,” said Mayela, 11, who is in sixth grade. “I have great parents who support me in all I do, and physically, I am doing really well.”
In 2018, Mayela was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. In AML, white blood cells, produced in bone marrow, are abnormal and do not become healthy cells. These abnormal cells crowd out the normal ones so that the patient’s body has a harder time fighting off infection.
Doctors in Puerto Rico referred Mayela to St. Jude where she underwent a bone marrow transplant in August 2018, with her dad serving as her donor. Her parents are thankful for the treatment and care she received.
“I was full of joy and emotion, and grateful for St. Jude,” Angel said about being his daughter’s donor.
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Mayela finished treatment and now visits St. Jude regularly for checkups. Meanwhile, at home, she keeps busy improving her swimming and her aim in air gun shooting, a sport she recently picked up.
Mayela has also become a small business owner. She makes colorful bracelets with hearts, faces and other shapes, and creates her own soaps with a variety of scents like lavender, oatmeal and honey.
“Everything that Mayela does reminds us how blessed we are,” her mother, Karen, said.
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