acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
Hello, my name is Jaziel, and I am a three-time leukemia survivor. My story began in 2008 when I was initially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). I was treated for a few years and became cancer-free (remission) in 2011. During my first battle with cancer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) helped me and my family immensely by assisting us with rent, gas, and sometimes simply sharing the stories of other survivors, encouraging me to keep fighting.
During my journey with cancer, what kept me going or my mantra was a saying my father used to tell me every day “un dia a la vez” which translates to “one day at a time.” Hearing him say those words to me would remind me that I still had power over my body. Whenever I had a treatment or invasive procedure, I would whisper that saying to myself, and immediately after, I knew everything was going to be okay.
Shortly after becoming cancer-free, I relapsed, and my only treatment choice was multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, my siblings were a match for me. I had my first bone marrow transplant in 2012, successful for eight months before I relapsed. At this point, I was 13 and knew what was happening with my body and what cancer meant. I was exhausted and had no will to keep fighting. However, one of my nurses shared with me that in the past she was also a pediatric oncology patient and survived cancer just as I was going to. Her story, plus the support of my family, encouraged me to fight this battle once again. This time, another sibling of mine was my bone marrow donor.
During my last fight, I vowed to myself that I would become a nurse to become a beacon of hope for children battling cancer. As of June 2023, I am officially 10 years cancer-free and a registered nurse, hoping to pay it forward and provide the same comfort and care, my medical team, gave me during the most challenging times in my life. Thank you.