I think that we could safely say that cancer has touched all of our lives in some way or another. For some, it was a very direct and personal thing and for others, it may have been a relative that they watched deal with the disease. Although those can be very difficult situations, it is even more difficult when a child has cancer. When four little girls had to go through the disease, they formed a friendship that helped to keep both them and their families going while they battled cancer. Now they are reuniting to celebrate being cancer-free.
It happened at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida where McKinley, Chloe, Ava, and Lauren were patients. It doesn’t matter how old we are, it is difficult to go through cancer treatments but these girls were dealing with it when they were only three and four years old. They had a desire to form friendships, especially with girls who were going through the same thing so they found each other. Lauren’s mom, Shawna Glynn said it all began when the girls noticed they didn’t have hair, which was a side effect of the cancer treatment.
“She’s 3 years old and doesn’t have any hair, but all of her friends in the hospital look the same way so, it kind of gave her some normalcy,” Glynn said.
The girls then learned that they had something else in common, they had blood that was sick. Three of the four girls were dealing with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Chloe had a rare form of lung cancer.
The girls became friends and helped each other, but they also helped the families as well.
“It was just always a breath of fresh air to see a familiar face and to know that she wasn’t alone in this,” said Karen Moore, McKinley’s mom. “Just having other moms to relate to has been phenomenal. Just to have other people going through it at the same time as us.”
Each of the girls has since recovered, with Lauren being the last to enter remission.
“We’re done,” Glynn said. “She just rang the bell to signify that she has completed her treatment… She’s going into kindergarten on Monday. They have just come so far, all of them.”
To celebrate the end of those treatments, the four girls reunited at John Hopkins for a photoshoot. Everybody involved, including nurses and family members thought that it was a moving moment.
“They were all on active treatment the first time we did this,” said Ava’s mom, Alyssa Luciano. “It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come from being bald little babies.”
The girls were spinning around in their gold tutus and vibrant and healthy. They now had hair again and are ready to move on with their childhood.
The girls are all now between the ages of four and five. They are ready to get started with school without being burdened by the illness.
Only one in 330 children receive a diagnosis of cancer between the ages of 1 and 19. These girls lived through something both frightening and difficult but their friendship helped them to get through it successfully.
Source: Spotlight Stories