Educating, swabbing, and running to end blood cancer!

Emmalee Fitzgerald

 

 

 

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Emmalee was born with spina bifida. She wears afo braces and uses forearm crutches to help her walk. In November 2010 she was complaining of leg pain. After I took her braces off, I noticed her left leg was swollen about 2 inches bigger than the other leg. I took her to Arkansas Children’s Hospital ER. They examined her and did a x-ray. It wasn’t broken so they sent us home. In January 2011, the same thing started happening every other week. Then it became more frequent. I picked her up early from school several times and took her to the Dr for pain and swelling. We also made a few more ER trips. February 15th 2011, Emmalee was in so much pain that she couldn’t even walk. Her Dr ordered some blood work. When he got the results back he said that it showed an extremely high number for the inflammation. He sent us to the ER. They ended up admitting us for 5 days. They ran several tests and couldn’t find a diagnosis. They sent us home with a follow up appointment with a rheumatoid Dr. After being home a few weeks, Emmalee’s condition got worse. She would scream in pain when I would try to get her dressed. Both legs ended up swollen and she was running a low grade fever. We ended going back to the ER on March 15th 2011. They admitted her again for testing. They took x – rays and seen that both of her legs were now fractured. They did several tests and kept ruling things out. They had talked to the oncologist but her blood cells looked normal. After ruling several things out, they decided to do a bone marrow aspirate. On March 22nd, 2011 the oncologist told us that Emmalee did have leukemia. The next day they told us it was acute lymphocytic leukemia. They put her port in that day and she received her first chemo treatment. We ended up being in the hospital for 23 days before we finally got to go home. After the 1st month they rechecked her bone marrow and it still had leukemia. So her Dr decided to do a more aggressive treatment plan. She also ended up having to get radiation of her spine and brain because she wasn’t able to get the spinal tap chemo due to her spina bifida. She had a more aggressive treatment for 9 months. We spent a lot of time in the hospital. Not only for chemo treatments but she also got sick a lot. In January 2012 Emmalee went in to the maintenance stage of her treatment. She got chemo every 4 weeks in the clinic and took chemo pills daily. On September 27, 2013 Emmalee took her last chemo pill. On October 4th, 2013 her bone marrow aspirate showed that she’s still in remission! She still goes once a month to clinic to get her labs checked. Our lives are finally getting back to “normal” – Jennifer Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

 

284307_2295512747315_6510187_n 223946_2293998349456_4246672_n 271181_2243221920077_4983238_n 270288_2245053405863_1855185_n 273014_2245058845999_4987945_o 283558_2247612109829_6363115_nEmmalee was born with spina bifida. She wears afo braces and uses forearm crutches to help her walk. In November 2010 she was complaining of leg pain. After I took her braces off, I noticed her left leg was swollen about 2 inches bigger than the other leg. I took her to Arkansas Children’s Hospital ER. They examined her and did a x-ray. It wasn’t broken so they sent us home. In January 2011, the same thing started happening every other week. Then it became more frequent. I picked her up early from school several times and took her to the Dr for pain and swelling. We also made a few more ER trips. February 15th 2011, Emmalee was in so much pain that she couldn’t even walk. Her Dr ordered some blood work. When he got the results back he said that it showed an extremely high number for the inflammation. He sent us to the ER. They ended up admitting us for 5 days. They ran several tests and couldn’t find a diagnosis. They sent us home with a follow up appointment with a rheumatoid Dr. After being home a few weeks, Emmalee’s condition got worse. She would scream in pain when I would try to get her dressed. Both legs ended up swollen and she was running a low grade fever. We ended going back to the ER on March 15th 2011. They admitted her again for testing. They took x – rays and seen that both of her legs were now fractured. They did several tests and kept ruling things out. They had talked to the oncologist but her blood cells looked normal. After ruling several things out, they decided to do a bone marrow aspirate. On March 22nd, 2011 the oncologist told us that Emmalee did have leukemia. The next day they told us it was acute lymphocytic leukemia. They put her port in that day and she received her first chemo treatment. We ended up being in the hospital for 23 days before we finally got to go home. After the 1st month they rechecked her bone marrow and it still had leukemia. So her Dr decided to do a more aggressive treatment plan. She also ended up having to get radiation of her spine and brain because she wasn’t able to get the spinal tap chemo due to her spina bifida. She had a more aggressive treatment for 9 months. We spent a lot of time in the hospital. Not only for chemo treatments but she also got sick a lot. In January 2012 Emmalee went in to the maintenance stage of her treatment. She got chemo every 4 weeks in the clinic and took chemo pills daily. On September 27, 2013 Emmalee took her last chemo pill. On October 4th, 2013 her bone marrow aspirate showed that she’s still in remission! She still goes once a month to clinic to get her labs checked. Our lives are finally getting back to “normal”