Hi! My name is Campbell Brandt. I am 9 years old and a student at Spring Run Elementary School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. I love to dance, play softball, ride my scooter, sing karaoke, listen to music and watch the Disney channel. I like to dance and sing to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. I am a pretty typical 9-year-old girl, except that I have fought cancer.
On August 12, 2012 I was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL Ph+). I have always been a very healthy kid, so this diagnosis came as a BIG shock to me. Throughout the summer, I had not been feeling like myself. One morning at swim team practice I fainted. Shortly after that, I started to get a lot of fevers. I went to the pediatrician a lot that summer. The night before my family vacation to Walt Disney World I got another fever. The pediatrician thought I had a virus. I went on vacation, but did not feel the best that whole week. When we returned my parents took me back to the doctor, and they decided to look at my blood. The next morning they called with the results, I had leukemia and needed to go immediately to the VCU Medical Center. That same day I had surgery to have a PICC line put in and a spinal tap to start chemo treatments. It was a really scary day. I stayed in the hospital for nine nights after I was diagnosed.
I reached remission in early October 2012. Treatment for childhood leukemia goes on long after that milestone. My treatment protocol lasted almost three years. I was not able to go to school at all during the second grade. Instead, school came to me at home or in the hospital. I spent one week a month in the hospital for over a year after I was diagnosed. In the third grade, I went to school for two weeks at a time, then went in the hospital for a week, and then recovered for a week. I was so happy to be back in school, even if it was a weird schedule. I just finished the fourth grade and I am proud to say last year I was back in school full time. I missed a couple days a month for chemo, a breathing treatment, and to get blood work checked. Throughout my cancer journey I have received a lot of chemo, blood transfusions, brain radiation and other treatments. I am very thankful that these treatments exist. I am also thankful for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and everything they do. Research funded by LLS developed Gleevec, a drug I take daily.
A lot of what you hear about cancer is bad. And it is a very scary disease. But I hope that I can show other kids going through cancer that you can still live life and have fun!