Mia is an imaginative girl who loves storytelling and singing. After cancer struck, her parents were determined to stay positive—for Mia’s sake. They taped a sign on her hospital door that told visitors, “Smiles only beyond this point.”
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, her parents appreciated the strict infection control policies to protect their daughter as she underwent a bone marrow transplant for her acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Mia received radiation therapy in the week before her transplant, boosting her chance of survival. And at St. Jude, the family never received a bill.
“Before coming to St. Jude, we had talked about selling the house,” said Mia’s mother, Chaille. “Once we got to St. Jude, that worry was taken away.”
Mia made friends with the doctors and nurses at St. Jude, enlisting them to play with her. One day when a nurse attached her to an IV bag, Mia made up a story about it. The bag was the castle, and she was the princess.
Mia’s younger sister, then a toddler, became her bone marrow transplant donor.
“She’ll find out later she was a big part of saving her sister’s life,” said Chaille.
Mia’s story has a happy ending: This tough little girl is done with treatment and visits St. Jude for regular checkups.