Friday, April 25, 2014

Meet Team Lainey

Team Lainey is a powerhouse group for the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Lainey' family and friends have raised more than $10,000 for last year's Light The Night Walk, nearly $27,000 for Team In Training and more than $500 for the Big D Climb.  Their motivation - little Lainey, who is now in remission from leukemia.

This weekend Lainey's mom, Kelly, and a group of friends are running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC with Team In Training to continue their dedicated efforts to raise funds for and awareness of blood cancers and LLS.

Kelly talks about her family's personal connection and what keeps her motivated to stay involved with LLS:

"On August 28. , 2013, two weeks before her 2"d birthday, our sweet Lainey was diagnosed with
acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. We really had no distinct 'warning signs" that I've heard other mothers talk about. The only "sign" we had was that for about two months, during most of July and August, Lainey just kept getting sick. Fevers and viruses that we would take her to the doctor for, there would be an explanation, cold, strep, Fifth's disease, but as a mother, I just
kept feeling like something wasn't right. In the weeks prior to her diagnosis, I mentioned to my
husband that I felt Lainey's coloring was changing, she seemed to look more pale to me, almost a little yellowish.

When she was running yet another fever, I called the pediatrician and told them I wanted every test we could run on her. Strep and flu were negative so they ran her blood.  We were sent home to await the results from the blood work and in less than two hours, we got the call that would change our lives. Our pediatrician explained that Lainey's blood work had come back and her levels were low, "alarmingly" low and she suspected leukemia. She told us we needed to drive straight to the ER at Children's Medical Center in
downtown Dallas. When we arrived at the ER, we were rushed into a room right away, her fever had spiked during the car ride to 106 degrees.

Lainey was admitted to ICU and started the first of four blood transfusions she would receive in the eight days we were at Children's. The Oncologist there confirmed our pediatrician's suspicions of leukemia and she said based on preliminary labs and examination, she believed Lainey had ALL, which was confirmed three days later on Monday after her bone marrow biopsy.

Those first several days in the hospital were quite honestly a nightmare, just focusing on getting through hour by hour and waiting to find out the name of the monster we would begin fighting that was trying to take our daughter from us. We also have a 4 year old daughter Avery, and it was a delicate balance of how to explain all of this to her and why her sister was sick. The Child Life Specialists at Children's were amazing at
helping us communicate what was happening to Avery and have continued to be a wonderful
resource for us through our weekly clinic visits to get treatments with Lainey.

The first 30 days of treatment with Lainey were difficult, the daily steroids really took a toll on
her small body, causing her to gain 8 lbs in 3 weeks due to increased appetite and came with it
lots of temporary personality changes and of course the chemo caused her hair to start falling out.
Certainly a lot for anyone to endure, let alone a two year old that you couldn't explain anything
to. But all of this was done with the goal of getting Lainey to be in remission by her Day 29
biopsy. Lainey's critical biopsy results came on my 39ft birthday, September 30,2013. Lainey
was in remission! Praise God! In a short 6 weeks we've learned lots of new medical terms, met
lots of new friends and have had an amazing out pouring of support from friends, family and our

local community. We know God has a plan for Lainey and for us and sharing our story is part of it."

If you would like to make a donation to Kelly's Team In Training fundraising efforts in honor of Lainey, visit her personal fundraising page.

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