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Inspirational Stories


acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Hi my name is Jessica and I am 21 years old. Two weeks before my 12th birthday I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) which would completely alter the entire of my life moving forward. Due to the complexity and aggressiveness of my treatment, I was always receiving my treatment inpatient. My chemo regimen caused me to become severely tired and weak each round taking weeks for me to bounce back for the next round. After my family was approached many times throughout my care about there being times my team did not believe I would make it through the next couple of days, my doctors knew that we needed to explore other options. I was told that a bone marrow transplant was going to be the only treatment option that would successfully put me in remission and save my life. The process began by testing my family for matches and during my time in the ICU suffering from organ failure we found out that 2 out of 3 of my brothers were perfect matches. The journey to my transplant date was long and uncertain, but I made it and on October 14th, 2014 I received my brother's bone marrow cells. I now am 9 years cancer-free finishing my last year in Nursing School in hopes of becoming an oncology nurse just like the nurses at Lurie’s were for me during my battle.

I became involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by one of my past nurses who was on my case during treatment. She wound up suggesting my name as a candidate to be the LLS Honored Hero of 2024 during her time as a Visionary Candidate herself. I am now here to be an advocate for not only leukemia and lymphoma but for childhood cancer all around. I have made it my mission to try the best I can to empower people with my story and bring awareness to any opportunity given.

acute myeloid leukemia (AML)