Yamila appears in a St. Jude commercial, with her and her family talking about her St. Jude journey.
Yamila wants to study art, preferably in the continental United States, hundreds of miles from Puerto Rico, where she lives with her family. She has started to research schools and hopes to start within the next year. Meanwhile, she has been taking a few college courses near her home.
Her parents say, when the day comes for her to leave, they will miss her but don’t plan to stop her. After all, while Yamila was being treated for leukemia, her treatment prevented her from doing many things.
Yamila was 3 years old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Yamila began treatment in Puerto Rico, but when the cancer returned at age 6, she was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
At St. Jude, Yamila underwent a bone marrow transplant, with her brother serving as her donor. When Yamila relapsed a second time, her continuing treatment at St. Jude included chemotherapy and a second bone marrow transplant.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.
Today, Yamila is thriving. She finished high school through a homeschool program. She volunteers for local groups that help cancer patients and domestic violence victims.
Collection of self-portraits drawn by Yamila that document the journey of her cancer treatment.
In between visits to St. Jude for regular check-ups, she enjoys drawing, painting and making crafts. She is an avid lover of animals and enjoys creating Tik Tok videos with her best friend.
After receiving treatment at St. Jude to cure her acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Yamila prepares for her next adventure: college life far from her home in Puerto Rico.