Meet Raegan – Leukemia Warrior
“With a new house, we had bills we didn't know how to pay with one income. The National Children's Cancer Society has provided us with funds to help alleviate the financial stress we have." - Raegan's mom
When Raegan stopped walking at 18 months of age, her parents were referred to an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed her with an inflamed hip. When bruises began appearing on her body unexpectedly, she was diagnosed with anemia.
But a week later, when she still wouldn’t walk, bruises continued to form, and she didn’t want to eat… her parents took her to the emergency room. The doctor at the ER ran labs and noted that Raegan’s hemoglobin and platelets were low. She was transported to the nearest children’s hospital an hour away – and just six hours later received a new and devastating diagnosis: acute myeloid leukemia.
“Our world as we knew it ended,” said Raegan’s mom Macey. “We had just purchased our first house. I immediately knew I had to go on unpaid leave. We didn’t know how long we would be on leave.”
Macey stays with Raegan during her in-patient visits while Raegan’s dad, Ted, makes trips back and forth. The family has a son who was 3 ½ years old when his sister was diagnosed. The entire family – grandparents, aunts, uncles – banded together to care for their older toddler while Raegan was in treatment.
With the logistics worked out, the family could focus on Raegan’s well-being. But they soon learned that cancer is unpredictable. Macey said, “We received the news that Raegan is high-risk and will need a bone marrow transplant. We are outside of (the hospital’s) 100-mile radius and will have to find lodging in the area for 100 days post-op.”
For now, Raegan is enduring her chemotherapy well, which is helping the family breathe a little easier. Her first weeks of treatment have allowed her to look and feel much better. They will wait until after her third round of chemotherapy finishes before making solid plans for the bone marrow transplant.
Macey is grateful for the support she has received from the NCCS along their journey. “With a new house, we had bills we didn’t know how to pay with one income. The National Children’s Cancer Society has provided us with funds to help alleviate the financial stress we have. I am still on unpaid leave, and Raegan still has at least four months of treatment.”
The family has received financial assistance through the NCCS’s Transportation Assistance Fund and the Emergency Assistance Fund. The NCCS will continue to support Raegan and her family as they continue toward recovery. Because no family should go through childhood cancer alone.™