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At one month old, in the summer of 2011, Janiyah was diagnosed with Hemoglobin C disease, a form of chronic anemia. This diagnosis brought her to doctor's appointments every month to make sure that she was receiving enough iron and handling her disease well. When she was 14 months old, Janiyah's hematologist noticed that her complete blood count (CBC) wasn't normal and that her white blood cells were abnormally high. As a precaution, Janiyah was sent to an outside lab to have more tests performed. On August 2, 2012 Janiyah and her family received news that they never expected, Janiyah had Pre-B acute lymphocytic leukemia.
The diagnosis came out of nowhere for the family. Janiyah didn't have any symptoms other than a mild cold. It was Janiyah's doctor's precautions that gave Janiyah a fighting chance. Her mother, Nikole, often reflects on how lucky they were that she has Hemoglobin C disease, because if she didn't, they wouldn't have caught her leukemia so early.
After her diagnosis, Janiyah and her family were sent to the hospital to begin treatment. Janiyah experienced many side effects from treatment, some of which forced her to be admitted to the hospital. Nikole jokes that “Janiyah has an uncanny ability to require hospitalization only on major holidays. During her first year of treatment we spent every single holiday in the hospital.” Despite this, Janiyah’s spirits remained high. Whenever she was in the hospital she would sing along to Yo Gaba Gaba, play with her baby dolls, and entertain the hospital staff.
Janiyah is in the last year of her treatment protocol and her family is enjoying watching her get stronger and grow into an active 2-year-old.