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Gold Ribbon Hero Zayla M

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Zayla was diagnosed in 2005, at the age of 3, with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The “good cancer”. Four months before she was to complete treatment she was found to relapse in her CNS. After four months of more intense chemotherapy, we learned that her leukemia was spreading. In July 2007, at six years old, Zayla would have a bone marrow transplant. Her older sister Shelby was her donor. She had to have cranial radiation and Total body irradiation to rid her body of all cancer and accept her sisters new stem cells. Zayla had mild graft vs. host disease, but we were able to control it with medication. Zayla went six years with very little Heath concerns. She made the 5 year mark that most cancer families are excited to reach…..with no evidence of disease. In July 2013, Zayla had what appeared to be a stroke. After several tests and a brain biopsy it was found that Zayla had anaplastic astrocytoma cancerous brain tumor. Zayla’s brain tumor was inoperable. She would undergo 63 rounds of cranial radiation along with chemotherapy treatment five days every month. In the fall of 2014 it was found that treatment was not working. We would do another 12 days of radiation and start a new chemotherapy regimen. In February of 2015 we decided to stop the new chemotherapy because Zayla’s body was not able to handle it. Her recovery was extremely slow and her blood counts were dangerously low. Due to Zayla’s previous bone marrow transplant and leukemia treatment, all clinical trials were excluded. The treatment for her leukemia years ago, gave her terminal brain cancer and the treatment for leukemia excluded her from newer treatment clinical trials. Where is the fairness in that?!?!?!? From February 2015 until July 2015, we decided to try different holistic treatments along with Avastin infusions, which we were hoping would prevent the spreading of disease. In January 2016, Zayla’s MRI showed gliomatosis cerebri, or spiderweb like spreading of her Glioma throughout her brain. We attempted to get into different clinical trials with no success. In February 2016, Zayla was showing numerous signs of disease advancing and was placed on hospice. Today, Zayla is at the end of her cancer journey. The forever cure that we all wanted is going to be in a different form. We pray for peace and healing for our sweet 14 year old daughter.” – Chris M.

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