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April 2013 Patient of the Month

The little indicators that something was wrong with Brooklynn started slowly. She wasn’t gaining weight. Spots appeared on her legs. Overnight, a freckle appeared on her face, though it was red in color, not brown. Then the spots on her legs got worse.

With growing concern, Brooklynn’s mom took her to the pediatrician. Tests revealed that Brooklynn’s hemoglobin was low and that she was anemic. Brooklynn was admitted to the local hospital, where tests soon revealed she suffered from leukemia, but it wasn’t clear what kind.

“I was so scared,” said Brooklynn’s mother. “Just the thought of knowing my child had leukemia, but not really knowing the details. There were a million thoughts going through my head.” She worried about her daughter’s future.

Brooklynn’s mother asked the doctor where they should go for treatment. “If it were my child,” the doctor said, “I’d go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Soon, Brooklynn and her mom were in an ambulance on their way to St. Jude, where doctors determined that Brooklynn suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Brooklynn started treatment on a two-and-a-half year chemotherapy protocol.

“St. Jude is a wonderful place,” said Brooklynn’s mom. “We love our doctor. He’s so warm and comforting. And Brooklynn loves the playrooms and her nurses.”

Brooklynn’s mother knew that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, but she was amazed to learn that extends beyond medical care.

“I had no idea they also provided meals, transportation and a place for us to stay,” she said. “It was icing on the cake to realize we didn’t need to worry about any of that.”

Brooklynn’s family is grateful for everything St. Jude has done for them. “There’s no place I’d rather be for Brooklynn’s treatment,” said her mom. “I’m very proud of her, how’s she handling everything.”

Even in the midst of treatment, Brooklynn is a fun-loving chatterbox who asks a million questions about everything under the sun. Brooklynn loves singing, dancing and painting. She’s responded well to treatment, and her cancer is in remission.

Join that mission by visiting StJude.org or following St. Jude on Facebook and Twitter.

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