When Stella was a little over two years old, she began acting more tired and irritable than usual and eventually stopped walking. Original x-ray scans showed nothing, and when she started walking again, her parents simply assumed it was a small accident that had healed itself. However, when she stopped walking again, they took her to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for bloodwork and MRI scans that still showed nothing specific. Stella and her family trudged through the holiday season worried about their little girl who still continued to have trouble walking. One final bone aspiration that January revealed the worst—Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Her family waited a few weeks to begin treatment so Stella could enjoy her brother’s birthday free from the sickness that chemotherapy can often bring.
Stella entered into a study that involved four rounds of intense chemo. Thankfully, she responded to the treatment well! Her family spent numerous days and nights in the hospital as Stella’s immune system was wiped out and could not fight infection. However, she fought through every side effect without complaints. Her family praises the fact that she only lost two pounds during her treatment and never lost the ability to eat or drink! Even hooked up to different machines and IVs, Stella loved to run around the hospital and always kept her spirit, her sparkle, and her light.
Stella’s parents praise the staff at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and are so thankful for how they worked tirelessly around the clock to make sure they were as comfortable as can be. Today, Stella is returning to normal and only has to visit the clinic once a month for checkups. What is she most excited about? That her hair is growing back and she can finally have Rapunzel hair. Her mother says, “Stella is truly amazing and continues to amaze me every day with her vigor and strength. She is the bravest soul I know.”