Bailey is one of our Hero’s. Bailey is a trooper, she spent all day out at the Lemonade Stand Event and if not for her we probably would have not done so well. Us adults tuckered out about 2pm, but Bailey kept us going till almost 5pm. She is an awesome young lady and is a Hero who has survived cancer and will help others beat cancer.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Bailey’s mom, Brandy and she shared Bailey’s story with us and we want to share it with you.
The day was March 7th, 2003, Bailey was three years old, little did we know that our lives were about to change that day, the day that Bailey sprained her ankle. After receiving x-rays and care, we left the pediatrician’s office, but only to return three days later. See, Bailey’s ankle didn’t heal, and it was getting worse. She had resorted to crawling it hurt her that bad. Her constant crying was a sure sign that she was not faking the pain. So that’s when we went to the ER.
After we had arrived at the ER, the doctors checked her over and noticed she had a temperature. Fearing that an infection had set it, the doctors ran some blood tests on her. The blood work came back, and it indicated that Bailey was extremely anemic and needed a transfusion right away. So we were sent to Children’s Hospital where there was a slew of medical personnel awaiting our arrival.
Upon arrival, Bailey was taken to her room and administered Tylenol with codeine, morphine, and Ativan, which helped manage the pain and allowed some comfort to the ankle. Not long after arriving, our ER doctor arrived with the news that we never imagined we would hear. As tears rolled down his face, he said that Bailey had A.L.L, a form of Leukemia. I was in shock and disbelief and demanded a re-test. But the doctor said they ran multiple tests, and they all came back the same. The only other way to verify was to wait until Monday and do a spinal tap. It was Friday evening.
That following Monday after receiving a spinal tap, the diagnosis confirmed she had A.L.L. They began treatment immediately. She had a port placed, to take in meds. Every other week she had to have a spinal tap done. We did, at home chemo for seven days every month, and we spent two to three days every third week in the hospital for IV chemo. Then, on April 8th, 2003, Bailey went into remission, the treatment was successful. We finished out her treatment plan and celebrated her last chemo with all of the friends and family we had made at the hospital.
After nearly three years of being in remission, we received a call from her oncologist. She had relapsed. It was horrible to hear those words again. To know my baby had to go through this again, I wished I could take her place so she would not have to suffer anymore. The doctors told us that they would try chemo for a month, to see how she would respond. Depending on the reaction to the chemo, they would then make a decision on how to proceed. On February 14th, 2006, I received another phone call. She was not responding to the chemo, and we needed to start planning for a bone marrow transplant. In May of 2006 we left for San Antonio, where they had found not one, but two matches for a bone marrow transplant. So after intense chemo and radiation she was ready to get her transplant. On June 6th, the transplant had been deemed a success, and we were able to leave the hospital soon after that on her birthday August 26th.
Today Bailey is 15. She loves school, has too many friends to keep up with, and has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve meet. She loves music, art, scary movies, and singing. She loves annoying her brothers and adores her baby sister.
Bailey developed cataracts from prolonged steroid use while she was receiving treatment, and they have gotten progressively worse. This year, on March 4th, we were finally able to schedule the surgery to have them removed. She was almost blind in her left eye. Her first surgery went better than we could have hoped. Just watching how amazed she was that she could see brought us all to tears. Her second surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday, March 31st. She’s excited about this one!! She was so scared before she had her first one; now she can’t wait to see with both eyes! And just in time to help on Saturday with the lemonade stand.
Through all of this with my daughter Bailey, my family and I have learned that people are genuinely caring people. There would have been no way we would have been able to afford the treatment that Bailey received throughout the whole process. Donations came in from everywhere. Bailey’s school selling popsicles, to employees at my job at St. Vincent’s giving up paid time off so that I could be by my daughters side. Children’s Hospital took care of everything from filing her Medicaid, to answering questions about any and everything. Make A Wish, and Dream Riders sent us to Disney World. I also worked at Olive Garden and their employee needs based program, Darden Dimes, provided some relief as well. San Antonio’s Methodist Children’s Hospital paid for our stay when we were there.
What you guys are doing makes a difference, and she is proof. Because of people like you, our daughter is still here today. There isn’t enough thanks in this world to express the gratitude we have for people like you.
The proud parent of a Survivor
This story is the exact reason why I am riding. It is so awesome to see those that have been able to overcome such adversity and fight and claw and come out a survivor. Unfortunately not everybody is as fortunate as Bailey. That is why we have to get involved and do whatever we can to help win the battle against childhood cancer. So, I invite any and everybody out to our Lemonade Stand for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to have a cup of lemonade and talk with myself and Bailey. If I remember correctly Bailey plans on being there between the hours of 10-1. We look forward to officially meeting Bailey and her parents and of course all of you.
Remember if you don’t want to donate to my event for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, then find a charity that you like and donate there. Whether it be time, money, or whatever. All that matters is that we all do our part and help these kids. The kids are our future and we must provide for them. Thank you and god speed.
**If you would like to help Ken reach his donation goal of $10,000, you can donate at: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1121793. This is a link to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation where Ken’s event is hosted. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt non-profit.