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“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Kayleigh is my 9 year old daughter. She is a very special little girl who has touched many lives. When Kayleigh was just 3 years old she was diagnosed with stage IV high risk neuroblastoma. She went through several surgeries, 6 rounds of chemotherapy, 12 days of spot radiation to the original tumor site (left adrenal gland), a stem cell rescue (like a bone marrow transplant but with your own cells), and a study treatment which included accutane pills, ch14.18, and IL2 injections. Kayleigh never had any major long lasting set backs. She did get really sick from the ch14.18 causing her blood pressure to go into the teens. She ended up in the PICU but was only there for a couple days. Her nurses said they had never seen a child bounce back so fast after coming out of PICU. She was diagnosed is August of 2009, and by February of 2010 she was already declared NED. Today, Kayleigh is 5 years cancer free as well as 5 years out of treatment. She is officially a survivor and has been moved to the long term survivor clinic. During her battle with childhood cancer, her story reached thousands of people from all over the world. I can remember the volunteers bringing in stacks of cards every single day. She received cards from nearly all 50 states as well as several countries (Iran, Jordan, Scottland, England, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico, and several others). I still have the cards and the binder that holds them is almost too heavy to pick up. I want to nominate my daughter because she proved the statistics wrong. Her odds of survival were slim to none and to look at her today you would never know aside from a few things (scars, hearing aides, thin hair). She has the most upbeat personality and always has a smile on her face. She has been through so much and has never once let it get her down. She is a true fighter and she will always be my hero!” – Valerie H.


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