On December 23, 2014, our 11-year-old daughter Anna was admitted into Randall Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon with cold and flu-like symptoms. She was quickly evaluated and was diagnosed with pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She had her first surgery on Christmas Eve morning and her first intravenous chemotherapy treatment at 10 PM on Christmas Eve night. What followed was a nearly five-month hospital stay that was full of infections, including a 7-day stay in the pediatric ICU with sepsis and acute respiratory failure.
On May 21, 2015, she finished treatment, and left the hospital for good! Today, she is finishing up her senior year in high school. She is Senior Class Vice President, a competitive dancer, and a budding philanthropist, having ran for LLS Student of the Year, and receiving the Mission Award. Currently, she is deciding on her college of choice, and has been accepted to several prestigious nursing programs, where she hopes to receive her BSN, and achieve her dream of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse.
Our family is very fortunate that Anna had an excellent outcome. We know that's not always the case with pediatric AML, and that is why our family is behind the LLS Children's Initiative. This amazing project features the first world-wide children's blood cancer trial (PedAL), with the goal of increasing survivorship and long-term toxic effects. It also provides support for both patients and their family members as well as patient advocacy, ensuring that any roadblocks are removed for pediatric patients seeking treatment. The Children's Initiative is a game-changer for complex blood cancers, and the Seely Family will continue to support this incredible cause, as we truly believe that beating cancer is in our blood!