"A Hero Has a Heart" is the theme of the 2015 Honored Hero Run to benefit the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The girl behind the theme, 10-year-old Katie Grace, knows firsthand that it takes heart to beat a blood cancer diagnosis. She was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) while she was in fifth grade.
After diagnosis Katie's doctors laid out a plan that involved a month of chemotherapy with the goal of getting her into remission after 30 days, to be followed by 2.5 years of maintenance treatments. When she failed to respond as doctors had anticipated, she was placed in the "very high risk" category. This classification meant higher doses of chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. Katie's family was devastated.
One month later the news improved. After more than a month on this physically and emotionally trying treatment plan, doctors declared Katie was in remission and she could move forward with a bone marrow transplant. Luckily for her, a donor already on the bone marrow registry was a 100% match and she was able to have her transplant with no delay. Katie's family is thankful for her health as she continues to grow stronger every day and her body continues to respond favorably to the bone marrow transplant.
When the Honored Hero Run Board of Directors saw her entry for the 2015 t-shirt competition, they knew they had found their winner. Her creation (shown at the bottom of this post) will be featured on all of the participant and volunteer race shirts as well as on the official Honored Hero Run website.
The Honored Hero Run is only eight days away but there is still time to register. The money raised from this race will be used to help improve the quality of treatment that young patients, like Katie, receive after a blood cancer diagnosis.