Honored Kid

Layla R.

Age 8
Layla R. Kid Photo


Canton, OH, US


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

April 2018


In remission

Treated At

Akron Children's Hospital

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My Story

At 4 years old, Layla was diagnosed with high-risk T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Prior to her diagnosis, she had begun to develop little red dots (petechia) on her neck, which we thought could have been caused by her seat-belt rubbing against her in the car. But after a few days they started to get darker and became more noticeable. We had her checked out at the doctor's office and the nurse thought that it was probably just a virus since she was also running a low fever and didn't have any other symptoms.

We began to get worried when her petechia wasn't improving over the next week and there was more starting to appear under her eyes so I scheduled her for an appointment to see her pediatrician. The day before that appointment she was playing at the park when out of nowhere she started crying and telling us that her legs hurt really bad. She couldn't even stand up.  She sat and rested for a while and about an hour later she was happy and running around again! Researching more online later that night and piecing everything together, we had a bad feeling that we were dealing with something much more serious than a common virus. The following day I took her to the doctor's office, and her pediatrician sent us to Akron Children's Hospital to get blood work done. That afternoon she was admitted and diagnosed with Leukemia. 

She had a very rough first few months of treatment. She was hospitalized twice with pancreatitis caused by one of her chemos, then she was re-admitted and ended up in the ICU with an infection that caused septic shock. She left the hospital after that visit in a wheelchair and needed several months of physical therapy to regain the ability to walk again.

To say that these kids are resilient is an understatement. They go through more medical procedures than most adults do in their entire lifetime. To see her world flipped upside down and go through everything that she did and still have a beautiful smile on her face is just amazing. The strength that these kids have is truly incredible.

Layla celebrated her end of treatment in August 2020. She is a happy 7 year old who loves to play with her twin sister and her brother and she loves to draw, read her books, and swim. She still has regular monthly check-ups and ongoing physical therapy to help with walking and strength building. We are very grateful for the many advancements in pediatric cancer research that have improved outcomes for T-Cell Leukemia patients over recent years, and we are incredibly thankful for St. Baldricks making this research possible. Please consider donating today to help other kids fighting cancer and to continue to advance research and develop new treatment options for all types of childhood cancer.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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