Erin has always been a very active young lady. She is a competitive dancer and also plays soccer and basketball.
In early February 2013, Erin started to complain that she was feeling very tired all of the time. This wasn’t surprising given the amount of activities she was involved in, so we wrote it off to staying up too late and not getting enough sleep. Erin started developing intermittent fevers that would come one day and be gone the next.
In late February, while at a dance competition, Erin was looking especially worn out. We asked her if she wanted to go home and nap, and she told us she did. This was our first clue that something was not normal because usually we couldn’t make her leave a dance competition. She spent that Saturday in bed sleeping. The next day, she went back to the dance competition and danced in five numbers, receiving awards in most all of them.
The next Monday seemed normal, until the evening when Erin developed a fever again. By the next morning it was gone, but she still complained of being tired and not feeling well. We were becoming concerned so we made an appointment to see the pediatrician on Wednesday of that week.
The next day, a snow storm blew through and school was released early. We decided to take Erin to the walk-in clinic so that she wouldn’t have to miss any school on Wednesday. While at the clinic, they thought Erin might have mono, so they did a blood test. Or rather, they did two blood tests because they believed the first one was wrong because the results were so out of line. The second test confirmed the results of the first test and we were immediately referred to the Blank ER for possible anemia.
We weren’t sure what to expect. There was mention the blood results could point towards leukemia, but we were told patients with Erin’s blood levels are not normally playing basketball and dancing in competitions. Unfortunately, the results did come back and she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on Wednesday February 27.
After the initial shock of the diagnosis, Erin has handled everything very well. She asks lots of questions, and watches everything the doctors and nurses do to her. She is currently in remission and continuing through her treatments.
Erin is a fifth grader in Ankeny. She continues to be a very active fun-loving, sassy, young lady. She is still a competitive dancer at continues to play recreational soccer. Erin dreams of going to Paris, and hopes to be a fashion designer or dance teacher when she grows up.
Erin is truly an inspiration to everyone that meets her. It’s very rare you will see her without a smile. She is a strong girl, and a great role model for everyone young and old.