Myla’s Story – Dancing After Leukemia

Seven-year-old Myla has always been a kind-hearted, active kid. She enjoys being silly, care-free and playing with her friends. So when her mom, Katie, noticed lumps on her daughter’s neck at a birthday party, she rushed her to urgent care as soon as she could.  

Doctors ruled out strep throat and mono, and sent Myla home while they investigated further. Katie and Myla didn’t even make it home from the clinic before they received a call from their nurse saying Myla needed to go to the hospital immediately.

Myla in the midst of leukemia treatment

Myla spent over five hours in the emergency room before being admitted. The very next morning, just before her 6th birthday, Myla was diagnosed with standard risk, pre B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Three weeks into treatment, Myla began losing movement in her hands and even having trouble breathing. She was admitted three times in a 12-day span due to complications with fevers and severe neuropathy. After several tests, the doctors confirmed that Myla had Charcot Marie Tooth, a neurological disease that should not “activate” until much later in life, but chemo sometimes unmasks these kinds of underlying issues.  

Myla’s two-week intense rehab process was anything but easy. At the beginning of rehab, Katie noticed that Myla’s arm was severely irritated and that begun the three-month process of discovering what Myla was allergic to. She was life flighted after showing signs of seizures and it was revealed that the cause was her spinal tap.

Myla is currently in the maintenance portion of treatment and is excited to go back to in-person school soon! Last school year, Myla had an in-home teacher aide to assist her with her online learning as well as an in-home PT, OT, speech and tutor. Myla also enjoys dance.

“Myla’s ballet recital was cancelled due to COVID in May 2020,” Katie said. “So, we dressed her up the day of her would-be recital and she danced away in the yard.” 

Through it all, Myla has always found a way to make those around her smile with her infectious laugh. Myla enjoys watching Ryan’s World on YouTube and is a big fan of unicorns, minions and mermaids. In her free time, she loves making art projects, enjoys listening to music, and has dance parties with her little brother often.   

“Myla has always kept a positive spirit, a smile on her face, making everyone laugh, has powered through every test, poke prod and everything in-between,” Katie said. “She has worked very hard in all of her therapies and is making great strides in her mobility. She has been so incredibly positive, upbeat and a shining light after all she has been through and simply amazes me with her resilience.” 

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