When five-year-old Sasha had her birthday in June, there was more to celebrate this year — she had just gotten her port removed and was officially done with blood cancer treatment.
Sasha was just 2 years old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October 2017. She began intense treatment right away, which continued until right before her fifth birthday. Sasha spent countless days at the hospital fighting for her life and enduring the brutal side effects that came with treatment, but she never lost her charming personality and bright smile.
Today, Sasha continues to go to the hospital for monthly blood count checks, which has become even more challenging during the pandemic as she is immunocompromised. “It has been quite a different experience, but Sasha still tells jokes to the hospital staff who laugh through their masks,” says her mom, Randi.
Together, the family volunteers with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Most recently, Sasha was an Honored Hero for their local Light The Night walk. “LLS has provided our family with community support and we were able to connect with other survivors and caregivers by sharing our story,” says Randi. “I’m forever grateful for the support we’ve received and for LLS who is at the forefront of fighting blood cancer, so one day, no other child has to go through this.”
Through The LLS Children’s Initiative, LLS is committed to helping children like Sasha not only survive their cancer but thrive in their lives after treatment. The LLS Children’s Initiative is setting out to change the course of treatment and care for children with blood cancers, accelerating access to more curative, less harmful therapies through:
- New research grants to advance new treatments and the first global precision medicine clinical trial for pediatric acute leukemia called LLS PedAL
- Enhanced free education and support to help children and their families when it’s needed most
- Renewed policy and advocacy efforts
“LLS has helped us feel less alone in the battle to beat blood cancer,” says Randi.