Meet our young warriors

Meet Layla – Leukemia Warrior

Despite the challenges, Shapel (Layla's mom) says Layla "stays in good spirits and continues to be so brave and strong."

Shapel repeatedly took her four year old daughter, Layla, to the hospital after she experienced spiking fevers and the flu for many weeks. Each time, doctors said it was only a virus and sent them on their way. However, it was Layla‚Äôs teacher who expressed her concern to Shapel after Layla continuously complained of being tired and cold, as well as noticing red and purple spots covering her neck. She called Shapel who rushed her daughter back to their doctor and demanded more testing. Doctors discovered Layla’s liver and spleen were noticeably enlarged and after more blood work, this little girl was ultimately diagnosed with B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Layla was immediately admitted to the hospital where she endured a bone marrow biopsy, numerous spinal taps, blood and platelet transfusions. This was very hard on Layla, who continued experiencing chills and fevers – some as high as 104 degrees. Her throat also swelled from an allergic reaction to the transfusions.

Layla’s hospital was an hour and a half each way and the travel expenses added up. The hospital social worker recommended that Shapel reach out to the NCCS. The organization was able to help Shapel with mileage assistance and her NCCS case manager provided much-needed emotional support since Layla’s cancer diagnosis has been very hard on her family, particularly for her older sister. Despite the challenges, Shapel says Layla “stays in good spirits and continues to be so brave and strong.”