Skyler Smith
Leukemia
4 Years Old at Diagnosis


Skyler was a normal 4-year-old when she started experiencing leg pain. Skyler would complain of pain, but be back to playing a few minutes later, so her mom, Erin, didn't think anything of it. When the pain became more frequent, Erin took her to the doctor. Their doctor didn't find anything abnormal, but suggested that Skyler might have pulled a muscle and recommended that she take warm baths to relieve the pain.

A couple of days later, Skyler woke up in the middle of the night screaming in excruciating pain. Erin took Skyler back to the doctor who did basic blood work to rule out anything serious. They were told that Skyler's blood work looked abnormal and that they had to go to the INOVA Fairfax Hospital immediately. No one at the doctor's office would tell the family what was wrong, just that Skyler needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

When they arrived at the hospital, the staff was waiting to check them in. Skyler was given morphine and more tests were administered. After being at the hospital for 4 hours, they were introduced to the pediatric oncology team who informed them that Skyler had leukemia. Erin was floored, she never imaged that Skyler's leg pain would be cancer.

Skyler began treatment immediately, undergoing two years of chemotherapy. She had to miss the first seven months of school due to her compromised immune system. Skyler was nervous to start school because she was bald and didn't want anyone to make fun of her. But her classmates have embraced Skyler, and now she loves going to school. Erin has been amazed by the generosity and kindness that her school has shown them.

The end of treatment is in sight for Skyler. On January 2, 2014, Skyler will take her last dose of chemotherapy and the family is excited to embrace life after cancer.


 
 

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