On February 18th, eat a scoop or two of ice cream for breakfast to celebrate with Kaitlyn, because kids get cancer too.
Kaitlyn is extremely caring and giving and comes from a family of 6, with 3 older sisters. She goes camping as often as she can and has a big heart that loves to give to others. Her family is so proud of how she handled her cancer. She was always found a way to find the bright side. Upon admission to the hospital with a weak immune system, she would say “oh well at least I can play in the playroom”.
She is currently working on her silver award for girl scouts and has made her project about raising money for the pediatric cancer clinic playroom.
Kaitlyn was diagnosed with ALL (Acute lymphocytic leukemia) in April 2013 when she 8 years old. She completed treatment in September 2015. She has been cancer free and healthy since.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia occurs when a bone marrow cell develops changes (mutations) in its genetic material or DNA. A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. Normally, the DNA tells the cell to grow at a set rate and to die at a set time. In acute lymphocytic leukemia, the mutations tell the bone marrow cell to continue growing and dividing.
When this happens, blood cell production becomes out of control. The bone marrow produces immature cells that develop into leukemic white blood cells called lymphoblasts. These abnormal cells are unable to function properly, and they can build up and crowd out healthy cells.
It’s not clear what causes the DNA mutations that can lead to acute lymphocytic leukemia.