Honored Kid

Kate Foster

Age 25
Kate Foster Kid Photo


Rockford, IL, US


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Date of Diagnosis

May 2011


In remission

Treated At

American Family Children's Hospital

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My Story

May 2013 Update: Kate relapsed in October 2012 after enjoying 11 months of "normal" - school, friends, gymnastics with a prosthetic leg. She underwent a heavy-duty round of chemo to get her back into remission at UW-Madison Children's Hospital and then traveled to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis for a second, non-related bone marrow transplant, using trial drugs designed to get every single damn cancer cell out of her bone marrow. Fast forward 150 days: we're back home, she feels awesome, waiting for those t-cells to kick in so she can return to school, her 8th grade dance and graduation. Original story: Our 12-year-old daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on May 20, 2011 with a difficult AML sub-type that would require a bone marrow transplant. Ten days into her induction chemo, Kate, a level 5 competitive gymnast, nearly lost her life to a necrotizing fasciitis (gangrene) bacteria that cost her two of her four quadricep muscles. After her second round of chemo and an aspergillus fungal infection in the leg wound that required weekly cadaver skin graft changes in the operating room, the doctors at University of Wisconsin Madison Children’s Hospital decided to skip the third round of chemo and we went right into transplant in October. Luckily, her 7-year old sister was Kate’s perfect match. On the same day as her BMT, a brewing infection in the knee joint forced us to proceed with an above-knee amputation on her leg in order to guarantee the best possible chance of the BMT being successful. We are celebrating her +150 day today – 150 days since the bone marrow transplant. We are home and her numbers remain in the “normal” range with just a few minor complications and we hope this transplant is the answer to our prayers. Through all of this, Kate has been incredible. She never feels sorry for herself. Her doctors and nurses were always amazed by her positive attitude and upbeat personality. She works hard at her physical therapy in anticipation for a prosthetic that will put her back onto the gymnastics floor again. This journey has opened our eyes in so many ways – to the whole cancer world, to the whole amputee world, to the generosity of not only our friends and family but also complete strangers, and to the power of prayer.

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