Adelaide could not return to school for her freshman year. We spent the next 37 days in the hospital.
On March 5, 2021, Adelaide had an appointment at the DMV to sit for the test for her learner’s permit. Rather than taking the next step in her independence, we found ourselves getting labs drawn at her doctor’s office and being told we need to go to Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital now. That evening, it was confirmed that Adelaide has leukemia. After the initial shock set in, Adelaide pulled out her Chromebook and finished a Social Studies assignment because it was a group project and she did not want to let her group down.
Over the next several days, we learned the type of Leukemia Adelaide has and what the next 2.5 years would look like. We learned that she could not return to school to finish her Freshman year or return to her swim team until she was in the maintenance phase, approximately 9 months away. That first month, she had multiple procedures and remained inpatient for 37 days. Just before discharge, her appendix ruptured, and she had to have an appendectomy.
The most difficult part was the separation of our family. Adelaide is the most amazing big sister to Eva, and they adore each other. Eva is 10 and set the stage in giving our family the ability to handle hard situations. On October 7, 2019 Eva was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She handles her life challenges with maturity and resiliency that most adults do not possess. My husband and I often sit in awe of our girls. They both have received life-changing diagnoses and they never feel sorry for themselves. They laugh all the time, worry about each other more than themselves and never complain. Watching them is like taking a master class in resilience.
Adelaide is near the end of the 4th phase of treatment, she has one more phase before Maintenance. She has received more blood and platelet transfusions than I can count, has had 3 fever admissions, 1 anaphylactic reaction to a chemo and experienced stroke like symptoms from another. Yet, she smiles through it all and makes her nurses and doctors laugh. We are grateful for the team at Shawn Jenkins who have become our family. We are grateful for all our friends and family who take care of us and do things for us when we don’t even know what we need.
Sean, Missy, Adelaide and Eva Nelson