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Inspirational Stories


Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)

On April 23, 2020, at the age of 15, my whole world changed. I got the call that I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) while getting ready for a birthday party. Throughout quarantine, I had to undergo four cycles of chemotherapy and 14 days of radiation consisting of countless days in and out of the hospital. I had allergic reactions to a few of my chemotherapies which caused me to stop breathing, and they happened at least once every cycle which was scary. My hair eventually started falling out in clumps, and the day I had to cut it off was probably when I cried the most. At the age of 15, having to look in the mirror and see a reflection that was completely unrecognizable was something I really struggled with.

Going through treatment through quarantine was a big struggle for me. Being in high school, I missed out on a lot of things. And due to me being immunocompromised and it being the pandemic, I could never see my friends. Not only did I struggle physically through treatment, but this had a huge impact on my mental health. I struggled with body dysmorphia, anxiety, and depression.

Finishing treatment was difficult, having to get used to my new normal. The scars don’t go away, and your life doesn’t just pick up right where you left it. Being able to help out with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and knowing I was making a difference for other patients like me really impacted my mindset and mood.

I finished treatment and was announced in remission on September 10, 2020. I was honored to be the Honored Hero of Central Florida in 2021 and 2022, to share my stories at Light The Night (LTN) 2020-2022, and to be a part of Student Visionaries of the Year 2021. Being able to help out with LLS has helped me make a difference for other patients through and after treatment. They have given me unbelievable opportunities and so much support through these last four years, and I am forever thankful for them.

I must live with a lifetime of scans due to the treatment options that helped save my life. I struggle with “scanxiety” for yearly checkups and PTSD that follows treatment. LLS has given me so much support, opportunities, and ways to share my story. It’s given me a place to fundraise for new and safer treatment options. I am forever indebted to LLS and all they have done for me.

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