Meet Haley Elena Dean, she graced this world on 29 December 2011. She has always been a little different as she decided that she needed to interrupt her big sister’s birthday with her grand entrance. 12 days after turning 3, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. She was transferred from our local hospital to Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. We spent 21 days’ inpatient to begin treatment and get her counts high enough for us to be able to go home. She has undergone several rounds of chemo, spinal taps and takes oral chemo nightly at home. Our trips to Saint Louis are only monthly now rather than the previous weekly visits we were making.
Haley is a character that is for sure. She is so full of life and you would honestly not even know that she was sick. She loves her sisters very much and is very caring when it comes to them. Everyone who meets her adores her bubbly personality. She enjoys riding her bike and scooter and playing basketball with her Dad and sisters. Haley also completed a 5K in remembrance of fallen Soldiers. She loves to sing and dance. She is currently attending Maranatha Baptist Academy for pre-school. Haley loves all things Disney Princess’. If she had to pick just one as her favorite she would pick Ariel.
As Haley’s parents, we feel like this journey has been eye opening, we were both active duty military at the time she was diagnosed and our children spent 90% of their time under the care of their aunt. When Haley got sick, it made us realize how fortunate we are to even be parents. Haley getting sick was a blessing in disguise, you can say, we would never want someone’s child to get sick but the strength she has to get some of these treatments lifts us up.