Katie was a beautiful, happy, healthy, feisty 10 year old with silky long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, a warm smile, her Dad's dimples and a great sense of humor. On Memorial Day weekend of 2007, our nightmare began. Katie felt fine, but her voice sounded a bit husky.
Seemingly overnight one tonsil grew to the size of a golf ball. On her 11th birthday, she was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer. By the time it was found the cancer had already spread throughout her body. She was admitted to Schneider Children's Hospital and over the next 4 months she endured surgeries, chemo, endless tests and medications which caused a host of side effects. Her body was so swollen and riddled with puncture wounds from lumbar tests and central lines. Katie bravely endured this ordeal and was discharged September 20th.
On October 15th she returned to Schneider's to learn she had relapsed after just 3 weeks. The cancer had spread and was now in her bone marrow escalating her diagnosis to leukemia. The only treatment option left was a bone marrow transplant. Her brother Michael was a match and proud to help his sister. Now, in so much pain, our little girl who loved to sing and dance, couldn't walk, barely talked and slept most of the day. Again she faced chemo and, from Christmas Eve to January 2nd, full body radiation and bone marrow transplant.
But even that didn't stop this poison from taking over. Again, astounding her doctors and horrifying her family, she relapsed. The disease ravaged her beautiful young body and she lost her battle. She passed into the hands of God on March 1st, 2008.