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Inspirational Stories

Shelley

ALL Survivor

Adel, IA

Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). My husband, Remi and I were married and just moved to Virginia, where Remi was stationed in the Navy. In the short six weeks we lived there, I never felt 100% and I was at the doctor four times in six weeks. At my last appointment, I requested that they draw my blood. They told me I had mono, my counts were so low, they took me by ambulance to the nearest hospital.

Finally, the doctor came in to see us. I will never forget his word, “If you have mono, it’s the rarest case of mono I’ve ever seen. You probably have lymphoma or leukemia and you’ll have a biopsy in the morning”. I felt like I was punched in the gut. We waited a day for the results to come back and during that time my parents made arrangements to fly out to VA. Results read I had ALL. It was time to fly us back home, so I was close to my family & friends, my support team.

A little bit later, my phenomenal oncologist, Dr. Alexander came into my room. She had a plan and protocol to put me in remission. It felt like a long road, but after three weeks of treatments and lots of prayers, I was in remission.

I went in for routine blood work for many years and I am still CANCER FREE! I have been in remission for 20 years and I've been blessed with four children over the last 14 years. Every five years I like to celebrate by joining The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, during Light the Night. It’s their annual fundraiser to help find a cure and it gives families support as well. They gave me financial support while I was going through my treatments. 

Shelley