Imagine 2 sisters as close as close can be. Best friends who do everything together. Between us we have 5 children. We share everything, even having 2 of the 5 children diagnosed with 2 different forms of cancer only months apart from each other. This is our story:
In 2012, Angelas daughter, Alyssa, AKA Funky Monkey, was diagnosed with melanoma. We all watched as she was fighting for her life. Alyssa endured multiple surgeries to remove the cancer from her body. We soon discovered that her cancer was melanoma Stage 3A. Her Dr, Dr. Pappo, worked tirelessly to get Alyssa to NED (no evidence of disease). She is now a sophomore in High School and is thriving!
Being a native to Memphis, we grew up listening to stories of St. Jude from my grandmother & 2 aunts who were the First Ladies of St. Jude with Danny Thomas.We knew it was a great place, but had no idea we would need them to help us save our children. We walked into the doors of St. Jude with fear but also HOPE. We knew people came from all over the world to be treated at St. Jude.
We had no idea that our family would hear the words, "your child has cancer" on the morning of February 4, 2013...again.... It is a sentence no parent ever wants to hear and is makes your heat stop & that's the day time stopped for us. The words cause fear, anxiety, stress, & heartache. This time it was Michelles son, Tyler. Ty, who was only 6 at the time.
Ty began treatment the same day of his official diagnosis of ALL or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. A 2-1/2 to 3 year treatment plan. He has endured chemo, blood, platelets, bone marrow, OT, PT, TONS of medications, rounds of testing, broken bones, school at St. Jude, the list goes on. St. Jude, Dr. Pui, A clinic staff, med room staff, chaplains, ALSAC, surgery room, recovery room, etc helped us walk this journey for 2 years and 7 months. We celebrated the end of treatment with a room full of friends and a NO MO CHEMO party. It was amazing. Even now, we go to St. Jude and are still seen for any side effect or worry we may have.
Because of St. Jude, we have our children. Our family stays complete. But, the fight is not over. We must fight until no child looses the battle. So every family that walks in the doors and hears the words "your child has cancer" has a fighting chance. St. Jude has never asked us for one thing over what our insurance didn't pay. They also made sure we had our focus on our child and not how we would pay our medical bills.
Over the past 7 years our team has grown and we have raised over $350,000 for the place that gave us something that you can NEVER put a price tag on, our children. Each year we have more Heroes join our team with the same mission in mind-To put an end to childhood cancer.
This year we will race again and raise money. Ty & Alyssa completed their second 10K last year for the place that saved their life. They say they did it for the kids who couldn't race and our 2 angels in heaven, Gage & Arianna. We will walk, crawl, run, skip, or hop side by side with St. Jude and ALSAC until no child dies in the dawn of life. We want to help complete the mission of Danny Thomas. Thank you for your love & support of St. Jude, ESP our TY & ALYSSA!