During a routine blood work check, Heather and Ronald, Arya’s parents, were alerted that her iron levels were very low. The technicians suggested Arya be looked at by a doctor, so Heather took her to the ER at Dekalb Regional Medical Center. After more in depth blood work, the results showed it could be Leukemia, but they were transferred to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for more tests. The tests at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger produced the same results and Arya was moved to the Oncology department.
Over the next two days, Arya was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 19 months. She began chemotherapy, but it took its toll on her. The chemotherapy caused nerve pain in her legs making it hard for her to walk, as well as tummy aches. The only comfort she felt through the first few weeks was in the arms of her mom and dad, and the movie “Frozen”. .
As she began to progress through phases of treatment, she experienced one setback from a medication called methotrexate. While on high dose methotrexate, Arya developed horrible mouth sores. She spent much of her time back in the hospital, receiving her nutrition through an IV because she was unable to eat. .
Eventually, Arya proved that at only 19 months old she was a fighter. Her body started to heal and she started walking again. She discovered the joy of running around the hallways of the hospital and made friends with doctors, nurses, other pediatric cancer patients, and pretty much anyone that would say hello to her. .
Arya has been able to avoid hospital stays, only going to her weekly clinic visits. Ronald says, “Arya has been doing better with each passing day, showing everyone that she is this amazing, beautiful, brave, and strong young girl”.