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age 7, blood cancer


The Friday before her birthday, Paislee’s school called and asked her mom to pick her up. Something was wrong; she was falling asleep in her chair. Paislee’s pediatrician couldn’t see her until the first of the week, so that Monday, Paislee’s mom dragged her daughter out of bed, still exhausted after 16 hours of sleep, to a checkup that would change their lives.

Paislee’s spleen, the doctor said, was the size of a tissue box. And same-day bloodwork performed at the local hospital showed why: Paislee had acute lymphoblastic leukemia — blood cancer. Paislee’s family learned this on the day of her 6th birthday. While the grown-ups worried about next steps, Paislee’s mind was on another matter: her birthday party, already scheduled for the local indoor trampoline park later that week.


When the day of the party came, instead of jumping with her friends, Paislee was receiving chemotherapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude has achieved the highest survival rate for leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, and is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Now, Paislee has been receiving chemotherapy for more than a year. “Some days are a lot better than others,” said Paislee’s mom. “She still receives weekly chemotherapy in clinic and nightly chemotherapy at home."

Paislee at Kindergarten graduation

Paislee receives her diploma at St. Jude Kindergarten graduation.

Missing her 6th birthday party was a blow Paislee had not forgotten. Every few weeks, she would ask her mom if she’d have to spend her 7th birthday in the hospital, too. But her care team carefully scheduled her appointments to make sure that wouldn’t happen. For her 7th birthday, Paislee had a swimming party at a pool back home. 

Paislee at the pool

Paislee swimming at her 7th birthday party. 


She is in remission, but studies show that continuing chemotherapy for a full two-and-a-half years will hopefully keep the cancer from relapsing. So we push on! She’s a pretty resilient girl.
Paislee's mom


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