Honored Kid

Kelsi M.

Age 16
Kelsi M. Kid Photo

Location

Lake Mary, FL, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

January 2016

Status

In treatment

Treated At

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

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My Story

Kelsi was diagnosed on January 6, 2016 with very high risk Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), at the age of 13. This devastating diagnosis forced her, as well as the rest of us, to take on a new life overnight. It turned our lives, our world, upside down. The initial days we felt helpless, terrified and heartbroken. Despite the unimaginable, we pulled ourselves up, held our loved ones tight and faced this storm together. 


From January 6, 2016 to April 20, 2018, Kelsi endured 824 doses of chemo, 216 port accesses/injections, 262 hospital/care team visits, 24 lumbar punctures, 4 bone marrow biopsies, 20 blood product transfusions, 42 tests/scans, 32 days isolated/neutropenic, 43 days admitted to hospital, lost her hair 3 times, and has had 5 surgeries so far. 


Early on in treatment, Kelsi also developed a severe side effect, avascular necrosis (AVN), from chemotherapy treatment. AVN is a disease that results in bone death due to lack of blood flow to a particular area, typically joints of your long bones.  Both of Kelsi's hip joints and shoulder joints collapsed and she has evidence of the disease in her knees and lower back.  Shortly after turning 16, Kelsi had both hips replaced. She will need to have her shoulders and knees replaced at some point.  During the course of treatment she also developed cardiac, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and reproductive system diseases. 


Kelsi's determination, strength, indomitable will and resilience got her through every gut-wrenching day. She faced each new challenge with undeniable poise and admirable composure. We could not be more proud of her. We set up this fund to honor Kelsi and support her efforts to raise awareness and funds for more research to develop new chemotherapy drugs for children that not only save the lives of more children but do so without causing life-long, chronic, sometimes severe and life threatening conditions. 


Since her diagnosis, it has been Kelsi's desire to help others in similar situations.  She has always agreed to participate in any clinical research programs that she is eligible for, even if it required her to get extra pokes, scans or tests.  This experience also inspired her to change her career plans.  All throughout treatment and surgeries, she made school a priority and has maintained As.  She hopes one day to become a doctor or researcher in pediatric oncology. 


Thank you for supporting Kelsi and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure and long, healthy meaningful life. 

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

Who's Honoring Me

Help kids take childhood back from cancer — support lifesaving cancer research today.

Children who are fighting or have fought cancer inspire others to be part of the Foundation's mission — to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

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