September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 1, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Avery Schroeder. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time. Donate to Avery’s Fund.
Avery Schroeder’s Story:
I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia on April 8, 2005, I was 11. My symptoms were back and leg aches. They started in January 2005. It was not daily that my back and legs hurt, it was every now and then. In March 2005, at the spring parent-teacher conference my teacher Mrs. Brown advised my mom to have full blood work on me, because my coloring wasn’t always right. My mom thought I was just being 11.
On April 7, 2005 I went to the pediatrician for blood work, when I got there the doctor also thought I was just being 11. So they just did a finger prick. A normal hemoglobin count is between 12-14, mine was an 8. They decided to do full blood work. The next day the pediatrician called and said that my blood had “coagulated” and they needed another sample, but this time at Scottish Rite. My mom and I remained unphased. We went to the hospital and got the blood drawn, my mom asked how long it would be before we knew the results, the Dr. said within the hour, there was a runner in the room. We went home and my mom started cooking dinner (fish and broccoli because she thought I had an iron deficiency) there were 9 minutes left on the timer, and the phone rang it was the Pediatrician, she said, “pack Avery a bag and bring her to the ER”. We both were still clueless. As soon as we arrived, they rushed us into a room and began preparing my hands for an IV. The nurse, who was doing this, told me that I either had Anemia, Leukemia, or some other disease with a very long name. I asked what leukemia was, because I didn’t know. She told me it was a blood cancer. After they left I asked my mom if she thought I had cancer, and she said, “Not in my wildest dreams!” Just after that, Dr. Allen Anderson came in and asked my mom to step out of the room, I told him, “No you tell me right here.” So he came over to me, knelt by my bed and told me that I had Pre B Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. I was in total shock, I don’t even know what my initial reaction was, but my first question to him was, “Am I going to die, when?” He told me not to worry, and that I had a very good chance of surviving.
My treatment lasted 27 months. I spent 48 nights in the hospital, 25 spinal taps, 8 blood transfusions, 3 platelet transfusions, 5 different types of chemo, and 75 + clinic visits. On August 1, 2007 I finished treatment and I am now an official cancer survivor.
My story might sound challenging and hard to endure but I survived. In the past 4 years I have lost 11 friends to cancer and have countless friends battling this terrible disease. What is surprising is that not one of my chemos was made specifically for children, most chemos are designed for adults and pediatric oncologists hope they will have the similar effects on children. So here we are children most of whom are under the age of 16, who have barely had time to live life, let alone be kids. For someone who has battled childhood cancer and who has lost many friends to this horrendous disease, this is hard to understand. We need to make a change and start saving all of the fighters!
In her own words: Avery Schroeder
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Avery’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.