We met when I brought my daughter, Gabrielle, into the cafe to see her painting on the Studio Z art wall.
Here is a little about her: Around Thanksgiving, 2011, I started to notice a lot of different symptoms that didn’t resolv
e themselves. Things like lack of appetite, bruising on her legs, lethargy, paleness, etc. I got her checked out at her Pediatrician’s office and we ended up seeing a different doctor that day who diagnosed her with allergies without even checking her out or doing blood work. Not satisfied, I took her back that same week to see her doctor, and he promptly took blood and did a thorough evaluation of her. That was Friday, January 6, 2012 and we got a call from him the following morning telling us he didn’t like her labs and wanted us to get to Cook Children’s immediately- and to pack a bag.
Her official diagnosis came in the ER on the night of January 7, 2012. She has pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. (ALL). She is considered “high risk” and is treated on an intense protocol of chemotherapy. She was 4 1/2 years old when she was diagnosed and will be almost 7 when she is done with treatment. It is 2 1/2 years of many rounds of chemotherapy in all forms: intravenously (she has a mediport), oral, and in her spine. A big part of her treatment is spinal taps where they remove some spinal fluid and put in 3 types of medicine. She has already had 13 of them and has many more to go! She has an amazing prognosis…if you had to get leukemia, this is the type you would want to get!
Gabrielle is a sassy, independent, kind little girl who just wants to be “normal.” She has a teacher that comes to the house right now, but she can’t wait to go into her school. She started Kindergarten this year but has yet to show up in her class. She has been isolated most of the year since the drugs compromise her immune system and make her very susceptible to getting sick. She has spent 40 days in the hospital so far (including an ICU stint) and does most of her treatment through a Cook Children’s clinic in Grapevine. God has done miracles for her and through her! She will enter into the “Maintenance phase” of treatment at the end of the year/beginning of next and begin to get to do some normal things.
She never complains, is always smiling, and teaches everyone she comes in contact with the meaning of perseverance. Hope this helps and I have attached a pic of her from her visit to the cafe. I can walk there from where I work so I plan on visiting in the future!
Visit our facebook page to see more artwork by Cook Children’s patients.