Honored Kid

Ryleigh V.

Age 12
Ryleigh V. Kid Photo

Location

Abingdon, MD, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

August 2018

Status

In remission

Treated At

Johns Hopkins Children's Center

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My Story

Ryleigh’s StoryDIAGNOSIS: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – T - CellTREATED AT: Johns Hopkins Children’s CenterCURRENT STATUS: In RemissionAGE AT DIAGNOSIS: 8 When Ryleigh was 8 years old, we were at the beach at the end of July 2018. I am a nurse, as well as her mother, and I noticed that her appetite was slowing down, that she was bruising more easily, and just looking like it was hard to take a deep breath. The mom in me wanted to say that nothing was wrong, but the nurse in me was encouraged to call the pediatrician. At the appointment, they took bloodwork and a chest x-ray. That afternoon I received a call that would change our lives forever. Ryleigh and I were at Amazing Glaze and her dad was home sleeping after working the night shift. The pediatrician asked me if I was sitting down, and proceeded to tell me about the bloodwork and x-ray results. He said that we needed to go directly to Hopkins. I swooped her up and left immediately. I went home to wake up my husband and pack a bag. I knew we would be staying. I assured Ryleigh that she would be OK, and that the doctors were going to take care of her. We arrived at the Hopkins ED and started the work-up. Within an hour, we met with Dr. Rabik and Dr. Guest. As the afternoon turned into eventing and more tests were done, it was not long before we found out that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – T-Cell. August 7, 2018 will be a day we will always remember. Ryleigh is now 12 years old and a year post treatment, which had included intense chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, scans, and bone marrow aspiration. She is currently in remission. She rang the bell January 11, 2021. Ryleigh was the pediatric oncology poster child for Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Giant Food campaign. She has spoken at various events about childhood cancer and raising money for a cure. She is the keynote speaker at the Johns Hopkins Camp Sunrise Gala in September this year. She wants to help other kids in their fight for leukemia and raise awareness. Ryleigh enjoys cooking, snuggling with her “cat brother” Oliver, dancing on TIK TOK, shopping, make-up, playing basketball, and hanging out with her friends. Oliver is a 10-year-old Himalayan Persian cat and throughout her treatment she has worn and continues to wear a necklace from him so that he is always with her in the hospital and at the clinic. She rubs her blood tubes on the necklace before they are sent off to the lab. He stayed by her side the entire school year of 2019 for third grade while she had a home hospital teacher and 4th grade with the pandemic. They have a special bond! Ryleigh has a lot of friends in her school St. Margaret Middle in Bel Air, as well as family, friends and her cousins. Their support has amazing these past few years! Ryleigh’s favorites include going to the beach for weekend getaways, her I phone, cooking and baking for her family, shopping at ULTA, Squish mallow hunting, and Noah Beck. Her favorite color is yellow, and her favorite foods are sushi, Chipotle, charcuterie boards, Greek salad and chewy chips ahoy cookies but, nothing beats McDonald’s French fries and a fountain coke!!!Thank you for supporting me 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.

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