In late October an Arkansas family realized their dream of having a baby girl when they finalized two-year-old Hayden’s adoption.
But less than 36 hours after the adoption was complete, the Meythaler’s dream took a crushing blow.
Hayden fell ill and was taken to hospital by her concerned new mom on Oct. 28.
“They ran some blood work and that evening, we were on a helicopter flight to [the] children’s hospital,” said Ann Meythaler, Hayden’s adoptive mother.
Patriots QB Tom Brady invites 8-year-old girl with leukemia to visit
Utah police officer was paying off cancer bills when he was killed
Moncton teen thanks donors after blood transfusions helped her conquer cancer
That same night, the young girl, who had just received the gift of a new life with a new family, was diagnosed with leukemia.
“Those are scary words,” said Meythaler. “And you don’t at that point know what that looks like, what that looks like for your life, and for her life.”
It has been a challenging couple of months for Hayden and her family, who have had to make several trips back to hospital by air ambulance.
“Just in and out of the hospital,” is how Meythaler described her first month with her new child.
“I think about 15 days of that first 30,” were spent by her daughter’s side, while they met with doctors.
Hayden has been fighting, and in the last few weeks has showed signs of improvement.
Meythaler and Hayden now make visits to hospital on a weekly basis.
“Her blood work looks great. She’s responded very well to treatments and so everything looks very favorable for her,” Meythaler said.
Leukemia in Canada
Leukemia is a bone cancer that begins in a person’s bone marrow.
Leukemia cells grow, and in some cases survive better than the human body’s normal cells.
“Over time, the leukemia cells crowd out or suppress the development of normal cells,” according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
An estimated 5,900 Canadians were diagnosed with the disease in 2014.
The majority of Canadians diagnosed with leukemia are over the age of 60.
In Canada, blood cancers are the fourth most diagnosed cancer, with colorectal, lung, men’s prostate, and women’s breast cancers being more prevalent.