…101 Days Until Race Day
This beautiful little lady is Elise.
I met Elise through my friend, Jeromy Adams and his wife, Lesley Nicole Brown Adams, who lived in the same neighborhood as Elise. Actually, it was Jeromy who introduced me to Texas Children’s Cancer Center back in 2005.
Here is Elise’s story, told by her mother, Bethany.
“Elise was diagnosed with strep throat and was not getting better after 2 days on antibiotics. I knew something was very wrong when she told me that she didn’t want to take a nap because she didn’t know if she would ever wake up.
I rushed her to the ER near our home and then we were transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital. Our cancer journey started the very next day.
The initial diagnosis was very hard on her. She had just turned 3 years old 9 days ago and she was very confused along with feeling awful. She got very sick and needed extra hospital stays outside of her days of chemotherapy.
She relapsed in her spinal fluid 17 months after her initial start of chemotherapy. That relapse led us to our first bone marrow transplant for her.
Her brother was able to be her bone marrow donor.
The radiation was very hard on her little body. She became very weak and relied on many people to help her through her days.
When we were able to come home we still had to isolate Elise from the world. She started to get better and we thought we were in the clear.
Then she relapsed a second time a year after her first bone marrow transplant. This time the cancer had attacked her lung.
Our only choice for her was a second bone marrow transplant, but we had to use an unrelated donor. This transplant was much different than the first one. We stayed in the hospital for 45 days and nearly lost her when her liver started to give out. She overcame the liver issue and we made it home.
Elise was not eating like she should, so we had to give her IV food at home. Elise never fully got better from the second bone marrow transplant and we found out her cancer had come back in November of 2008.
We knew that she could not undergo anymore chemotherapy or another bone marrow transplant, so we decided to have quality time until we didn’t have any more time with her.
We visited the hospital 4 times a week for blood transfusions and medications to keep her comfortable.
With the help of amazing people we were able to make a trip to Disney in December of 2008. Elise had a good time even though she did not feel well.
I drove her to the ER on January 11th, knowing I would never get to drive her home. It was the hardest day of my life besides the day I lost her.
The whole drive she kept saying she was sorry. I still have no idea why she would be sorry except that maybe she was sorry she couldn’t stay.
She got her last blood transfusion on January 13th and after 4 years and 5 months of constantly fighting cancer, Elise passed away in her sleep at 1:42am on January 17th, 2009.” – Elise’s mom, Bethany
Today is Elise’s 8th Angelversary and today’s run was for her.
No phone, no music, no food, no water. Just alone time with an angel to honor her fight and bravery.
Elise, we ran free today.
Who will you meet tomorrow?