Honored Kid

Caroline D.

Caroline D. Kid Photo


Durham, NC, US



Date of Diagnosis

December 2007


Passed away

Treated At

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

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My Story

Caroline was diagnosed with a rare form of Lymphoma,CD4/CD56 in late April 2008. This diagnoses resulted from a bruise on her right lower calf that appeared in Feb which never went away. A dermatologist biopsied this area to discover the diagnoses. After being diagnosed, Caroline had been on a roller coaster ride of tests, more biopsies, and second opinions. In January 2010, the lymphoma returned. Caroline continued under care in the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Duke University Medical Center for treatment of a very aggressive malignancy called hematodermic lymphoma. She underwent an unrelated donor umbilical cord blood transplant on 8/10/2010 to treat her disease. This type of transplant is highly aggressive and requires pretreatment with very high doses of chemotherapy and total body and brain irradiation. These treatments cause serious and life-threatening side effects and damage many tissues and organs including, but not limited to, muscles, bones, the lungs, the heart and the kidneys. Caroline was initially hospitalized for 6 weeks and then had to return to the hospital shortly after discharge for another 2 months for treatment of a condition called Graft Versus Host Disease. In addition, Caroline required treatment with steroids which caused severe muscle weakness and atrophy. Throughout this life-threatening illness and debilitating treatment, Caroline has had amazing physical and emotional courage and resilience. She continued her schoolwork through home bound instruction and kept up with her class. She also performed extensive physical rehabilitation both in the hospital and at home with daily stretching and endurance exercises to help her muscles recover from the damage caused by steroids and chemotherapy. She was also taking private dancing lessons weekly and received physical therapy. Caroline was a smart, beautiful, responsible, spirit filled, fun, thoughtful, and loving young lady. She loved to dance, be creative with art, shop, and be with her friends!

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