Meet Landon!

It is always emotional and hard to introduce these brave Cancer Cuties. This month is especially difficult for us. This handsome strong boy Landon is the son of our dear friend Chaney.  He was diagnosed with Leukemia Last month. We are all still in shock that cancer has affected another child so close to us. Landon you are so strong and brave. You show this cancer who is BOSS! 
We will continue to bring awareness and support for all these families. Please donate to Landon and show his family lots of love. 
Packer family, we love you with all our Hearts! 
You can donate to Landon at

Here is Landon's story written by his Parents: Michael and Chaney

In the late fall of 2014 Landon was playing in a Tennis tournament in Salt Lake City.   During the match we noticed that he was having a hard time running.  After the match we asked him what was wrong and he said that his wrists and knees hurt.   We didn’t think much of it and figured it was because he was playing a lot of tennis.  Over the next few weeks however his pain worsened.  He would wake up at night with severe pain in his wrists.  It was so bad that he would come into our room in tears.  He was always so tired.  This is when we decided to take him to the doctor.

His pediatrician recommended that Landon give a blood sample to see if that would answer some questions.  His labs showed all his counts to be normal.  The only abnormality was the inflammation in his blood was high.  He told us Landon most likely had Arthritis and we were told to take him to Primary Children’s to see the Rheumatologists.  They confirmed the diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in November 2014.  He received injections in his wrists to help with the inflammation.  Shortly after his knee started hurting again.  They put him on steroids to help with the pain and inflammation.  Over the weeks as we lowered the dose of steroids his pain returned.  Except it was much worse. 

After taking him to the doctor off and on for 3 months, his rheumatologist knew something was wrong.  His pain was not acting like arthritis anymore.  Landon started having other symptoms.  His eye was swollen, he couldn’t lift his arm, he could barely walk on his right knee.  This was concerning to the doctors, so they ordered an MRI in February.

 He was diagnosed with A vascular Necroses or AVN.  This explained the pain but the doctors were confused at why he had it.  They didn’t feel that he had been on steroids long enough to cause AVN.  His blood counts continued to test normal so we knew it couldn’t be cancer.  As a precaution they admitted him to Primary Children’s to do a PET scan and a bone marrow biopsy where they confirmed that he has Pre-B-ALL (Leukemia).  We were all devastated.  Landon thought he would only have to stay in the hospital for 2 days for tests but they moved him to the cancer floor where we stayed for 10 more days.

Being a 9-year-old boy he was very aware of what was going on and we have realized just how smart he is and picked up on everything that the doctors said.  He is having such a hard time not going to school or playing tennis.  Now that he is home he is in better spirits and the chemo treatments are already helping the pain to go away.  He loves being home with his 6-year-old brother and twin 3 year old sisters.  He is the best, most loving big brother ever!  This is so new to us.  We are scared at what we face over the next 3 or 4 years.  We love this little boy.  As scary as this is, we are grateful to finally know what was causing him so much pain these past months.   

Meet Mariah!

We would like to introduce to you our March Cancer Cutie Mariah. This strong lady is a inspiration to all of us. That smile lights up the room and melted our hearts. Mariah you have a army behind you. Continue to be brave and show'm who's boss~! We love and adore you! Stay Strong and fight fight FIGHT!  Here is her story below. You can donate to Mariah at

Mariah is our beloved child from God and is 10 years old! One year ago, in 2013, she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called an Ependymoma. She immediately went into surgery to remove the golf ball sized tumor from the center of her brain. Her surgeon was amazing and, through God's work, he removed the entire tumor. Alex and Jennifer, Mariah's parents, spent the next two weeks in the hospital at her bedside while each day she became stronger. Eventually, she was back to our normal, healthy Mariah!  She entered the 4th grade and spent the year without any complications or mishaps! 

       Mariah's six-month MRI scan showed up with a bright spot which the doctors perceived to be scar tissue. So we all waited three months for her next scheduled MRI only to receive the news that Mariah's tumor had in fact returned aggressively to the same size it was the first time. Immediate surgery for a resection is scheduled for Thursday, May 15th. We will all be at the Children's Hospital of Atlanta praying over the surgeons' hands that he may be able to remove this tumor the best that he can. This, however, is the beginning of a long process of healing for Mariah. A resectioning of the skull and brain brings the scary possibility of new challenges aside from the surgery.  Secondly, this time around will be followed by six weeks of powerful radiation which will be administered in another state in which could be Florida, Texas, or Tennessee. We will keep everyone updated each step of the way as it all unfolds. We do not understand the reason behind this awful illness, but we are proclaiming Gods healing over our baby Mariah and that HIS will to be done. 

She is the toughest little lady and will fight. Jennifer and Alex and Gaby, Mariah's older sister, will need an army of friendships and love and prayers to get them through this time. As you can imagine, this process is going to bring many challenges including exhorbitant medical bills and expenses. Jennifer will be out of work for an extended period of time without pay while Alex will be working intermittently. We love you all and thank you for any support you can give. May God's blessings be upon you every day.
All our Love…..

Meet Bella!

We would like to introduce Bella to you. Our February Cancer Cutie. Her smile can light up any room. We are amazed at her strength and courage. Keep fighting beautiful! You got this! We love you. You can donate to Bella at 
Read her story here.


On August 12, seven year old Bella Meyer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) type B. Since her diagnosis Bella has undergone multiple blood and platelet transfusions, bone marrow biopsies, many surgical procedures and countless rounds of chemotherapy at UW American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, WI. As part of the "highest risk" class leukemia patients, she is just beginning her fight. In December the wonderful team of doctors gave Bella and the family the best news. She is in remission! Unfortunately this does not lighten the load any for Bella as far as treatment goes. Because of her "high risk" status she will continue to undergo all procedures and chemotherapy as previously planned out for the next 2 1/2 years.  Bella and the family will continue to endure weekly trips from Rockford, IL to Madison, WI. 

Bella is a fun loving second grader who is wise beyond her years. Her amazing strength and brave spirit keeps her mom, dad and brother Braxton moving forward every day. Bella is a true girly girl. She loves to sing, dance, swim, and play with her American Girl dolls. Bella enjoys doing puzzles, arts and crafts and making bracelets. She has recently started a little business of making and selling these bracelets in order to save up for more AG stuff. Bella cares so much for others and has made many friends going through similar experiences at UW Children's hospital. She is an inspiration to her family and all who know her!

Meet Miles

This handsome little fighter is Miles our January Cancer Cutie. Here is his story below. Please be send all your love and prayers to this brave little boy. He was diagnosed October of 2014. You can donate to Miles on

Miles you are strong and you will kick cancer to the curb! Keep fighting bud!

Our sweet baby Miles came to the pediatric emergency room after a week of fever and tummy pain. After an ultrasound found a large tumor near his kidney, we were admitted to the Pediatric Dept. at Banner Thunderbird Hospital. Through the week of tests we’ve discovered the cancer to be Neuroblastoma with a main tumor larger than a softball grown next the his adrenal gland. The tumor was too large, well supplied by blood vessels and entangled around his aorta to remove during his biopsy surgery. Further tests show his bone marrow and skull to be infected as well. Miles’ cancer is the most aggressive type with a current survival rate of 40-60%. Our Pediatric Oncologist is Dr. Graham.  He started chemo today and will have marrow transplants, radiation and other therapies once the tumor has decreased to a manageable size.
Miles is the toughest little boy, he’s so sweet, happy and active and previously so healthy. We know we have a huge battle but we will fight it. We are going to beat this and get our baby back to the little boy we all know and love. Our faith is not shaken, we know he is a child of God.

Miss Kylie the Fighting Firecracker

This little doll stole our hearts when we read her story.  She is a fighter and has all our love and support! Stay strong Kylie! We love you!

Kylie is a beautiful and rambunctious 4 year old who was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in July of this year. She is the daughter of Heidi and Daniel. She is also the youngest of 3 kids; Isa (10) and Carson (8). All three kids are homeschooled by their mom, Heidi. 

Kylie is not my daughter, but she is like one of my own. My daughter, Finley, and Kylie have been friends since they were born. They are only about 6 weeks apart and act like sisters.
This is Kylie story…

In September 2012, Heidi and Daniel approached our family with an opportunity. They were moving to Chattanooga, TN. to start a church and wanted us to join them. Our initial reaction was thanks but no thanks. But within a few days we knew God was calling us to go with them. In January 2013, our families moved together and in September we had our first weekly service, with Daniel being the lead pastor.

Shortly after the move, Heidi and Daniel shared with us that they were starting the foreign adoption process. They were quickly matched with a 5 year old boy in Uganda. Over the next year they did all of their paperwork and finally in March they received their court date. Heidi and Daniel quickly packed and jumped on a plane to Uganda to get their son. Daniel was gone the first 2 weeks, but then needed to return to the states. Not expecting the process to take so long, Heidi stayed back in Uganda with their son. Over the course of 8 weeks, they went to court hearings and doctor’s appointments. Things were going well, and they were in the last stage of receiving his visa. Through some investigations, things began to quickly come undone. Heidi had to make the hard decision to come back home while they waited for the visa. She arrived home the Saturday before Mother’s day.

While she was gone, Kylie began to not act like herself. She is normally a very high spirited and independent child. She began to cry for her mommy, which was understandable since her mommy had been gone for so many weeks. Then at the end of April, she spent the night at our home for my daughter’s birthday. That night she came down with a virus and began throwing up. We kept her with us through the night just thinking it would pass. The next morning she continued to get sick and didn’t seem to be getting better. We all just thought it was a virus and would pass in a day or so. A few days later, Heidi returned home. Once Heidi was home, Kylie became very attached to her. She hated to leave her side, which is to be expected after her mom had been gone for 8 weeks but was unlike Kylie! Any time Heidi would leave her side she would get very upset. Initially everyone dismissed the behavior as missing her mommy. Over the next 2 months, Kylie continued not to act like herself. It was starting to get past the point of just missing mommy and getting readjusted. And Heidi began to worry that something else was going on.

In mid June, Heidi and Daniel received word that they would no longer be able to adopt their son. At the same time, Kylie began to run a fever; she was bruising easily, and was always tired. Heidi initially thought she might just be anemic and had a virus. We were approaching the 4th of July and they would be going out of town on a family vacation. During a play date Heidi was telling me about how Kylie was acting and showing me the bruises. I suggested she take her to the doctor, just to make sure. The blood work would take some time and should be back by the time they got home for vacation. Heidi said to me, she thought it might be something more serious then anemia. Due to the holiday and schedules, she was not able to get Kylie into the doctor and had planned to take her once they got home. They left for the beach that Sunday.

On Monday night I called Heidi to ask her a question, and she told me how tired and lethargic Kylie was. She normally loves the beach, and all she wanted to do was sleep. She also had little red dots all over her skin, like she had been poked with a needle. Heidi called her dad, who is a doctor, and he told her to take Kylie in the ER first thing in the morning. 

They next day I woke up to several text messages from Heidi. The first came in late Monday night saying they would be taking Kylie to the ER. The next came early that morning that they were on their way. Within an hour of getting to the ER, the doctor was preparing them for a leukemia diagnosis. Her initial blood work came back negative, but all her symptoms pointed to leukemia. They transferred Kylie by ambulance the Children’s Hospital in Orlando. They stabilized her and gave her several blood transfusions over the next few days, and then next day a bone marrow biopsy was done. This would tell them immediately is she had leukemia or an auto-immune disorder. The biopsy confirmed it was leukemia. The next day they found out what kind, ALL.

Kylie was then transferred back to the Children’s Hospital here in Chattanooga, where she spent the next 3 weeks. She had more blood transfusions, almost every other day. They did another bone marrow biopsy to determine how much leukemia was in her body and they put in her chemo port. The biopsy came back with 85% leukemia blast cell in her bone marrow. The doctor’s immediately started her on chemo and would do a spinal tap chemo every week during her first round of treatment.
At the end of her first 5 week treatment, they did another bone marrow biopsy. We were all praying for a low blast cell count. The test results came back with less then 5% blast cells just after her first round!! God is so good! Just after her first round of chemo her bone marrow was no longer producing the leukemia blast cells! The chemo was working!! At the end of July, Kylie was allowed to go home. She spent 26 days in the hospital. 

Kylie still has a long way to go in her treatments. She has 6 rounds of chemo total. She is responding wonderfully to the treatment. Her parents are planning a head shaving party, and Kylie keeps asking when she can do it. This girl isn’t afraid of anything, and she is already showing her cancer who is boss. 

Kylie’s FB page:

Miss Faye.

Meet Miss Faye, the sweetest most beautiful little girl! She is such a fighter and stole our hearts with her beautiful smile. Please read her story below and donate to her amazing family at

Three and a half years ago we were expecting our third baby and Faye, then three, often complained of leg pain.  Doctors chalked it up to growing pains, but Faye’s pain increased, she often had fevers, and eventually she didn't want to leave bed. The only comfort she could find is if we were rubbing her knees 24/7.  Several days after her brother Nixon was born, we took Faye back to the doctor where they did x-rays and blood tests.  Hours later we were in an ambulance heading to Texas Children’s Hospital where Faye would stay for the next five months to receive chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare type of leukemia that is difficult to treat.  The doctors told us a bone marrow transplant was an option, but Faye responded so well to chemo that we (doctors included) thought it would be best to proceed without a transplant, despite her little brother Nixon being a match.

Faye spent the next three years in remission and enjoyed all the things normal little girls enjoy--going to school, playing softball, and spending time with her brothers.  She has taken the name “Mini Mommy” upon herself.  She is incredibly helpful with another new, now one year old little brother.  When she began complaining of leg pain again we were scared to death, but her blood work looked great and we told ourselves her prior chemo could have long range effects on her body.  As the leg pain continued though, we wanted definite answers and asked for an MRI, which showed abnormalities in her bone marrow.  After a bone marrow biopsy, our worst fears were confirmed.  Faye’s cancer is back and this time a bone marrow transplant is the only option.

Faye spent the month of September in the oncology ward of Texas Children’s Hospital receiving chemotherapy to bring a second remission, which has been achieved.  Currently Faye is on the bone marrow floor where she received additional chemo to kill her bone marrow. She has received her transplant using Nixon as a sibling match. Now it is a waiting game to see if her body accepts the cells from Nixon.  

Faye is as brave as a little girl can be as she goes through what no little girl should have to and has always prayed for her brother Nixon that "he will be OK when they do the 'bow and arrow'” (Faye’s way of saying bone marrow).  We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father and for the heavenly and earthly angels who are helping Faye and our family through this fight.

Miss Milly

We are honored to be featuring little miss Milly! She stole our hearts instantly and we know she will yours too! Please take a minute and read her story, written by her mom Jen. We love you Milly!

My name is Jen McLennan (aka “Daisy” to Milly). I am on active duty orders for The National Guard. My Husband Mitch works at Hill Air Force Base as an Aircraft Electrician/Mechanic. In addition to Amillya (aka Milly Bug) we have a little boy Jasper (aka “Mac” or “Bubba” to Milly) who was born 1 May 2013. I love my little family more than anything in the world and would not change a thing. 

The story to get Milly’s diagnosis is not your typical one. Normally, Leukemia is diagnosed relatively quickly. A simple blood test is generally all it takes to point the doctors in the right direction. Milly’s diagnosis journey was not that simple.

Prior to the start of Milly’s symptoms she was a rambunctious, happy, healthy, smart, independent 2 year old. For me, watching my children grow and progress by learning to sit, crawl, walk, and talk is my greatest joy. Try to imagine watching your child suddenly begin to regress. Our Bug stopped walking, crawling, and communicating. 

This is our story.
Milly’s symptoms started in the end of October 2013. She had not wanted to put any weight on her left leg and a weird bump had shown up on her left cheek below her ear. We took her to the ER to be evaluated for leg pain and what doctors suspected to be an overactive lymph node. Milly was prescribed an antibiotic for her lymph node and we were instructed to follow up with our pediatrician. When we followed up with her pediatrician, he began to connect the dots. This would be the first time we were told that she might have cancer. The doctor ordered blood tests, x-rays of her legs, and chest, and measured the swollen lymph node. He called us an hour later informed us that she did not have cancer. We were told “everything is normal”, and “there is nothing to worry about.” We were relieved, but frustrated because her symptoms continued.

Two days later the lymph node on her left cheek had grown to about three times in size and was very red and warm to the touch. Milly developed a red rash all over her core and she was still limping. Back to her pediatrician we went. The doctor diagnosed her with an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and prescribed a different one. He attributed her limping to growing pains. Mitch is very tall and had growing pains in his legs growing up. Milly is very tall for her age, so we accepted that diagnosis.

A week later Bug spiked her first fever. She was still limping and her lymph node was still swollen. We took her to the ER at Primary Children’s Hospital. The doctor requested blood tests…again. We are told that her symptoms were not a result of cancer. The ER doctor referred Milly to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist) to have the lymph node examined. Her appointment was a week later.
November came and along with it Thanksgiving, our Anniversary, and Milly’s 3rd Birthday. We tried to keep things as normal as possible for Milly and Jasper (who was now 7 mos. old). Meanwhile we continue to watch our Angel deteriorate and we are constantly assured by the nurses and doctors that Milly is fine and that there was nothing to worry about. Despite our many efforts to get answers, there were none.

It’s now December.

The ENT examined Milly. He ordered blood tests and preformed an ultrasound on the lymph node. After receiving the results his recommendation was to surgically remove the swollen lymph node. Surgery was scheduled for the end of December. By this time Milly was regularly spiking fevers as high as 104.0. She hasn’t been walking or crawling for about a week. Waking up in pain multiple times a night has become the norm. When she did sleep, she was so fretful, constantly rolling and moving trying to get comfortable that she’s hardly getting rest at all. Milly is completely dependent on us for everything, and is finding it difficult to communicate what she is feeling. The doctors advised us to alternate Tylenol and Advil to manage her pain; however the medication did nothing to ease her discomfort. The doctors attributed all of her symptoms to the mass on her face and hoped that once it was removed she would get better.

December is a time for decorating, Christmas shopping, parties, and that all important visit and picture with Santa. Milly’s surgery has been rescheduled for the 19th of December. Milly has not walked for two weeks by this time. After the visit with Santa, we were taking our little family home, when we hit a bump and the pain hit Milly so bad that she was inconsolable. We had no choice but to take her to the ER at Primary Children’s Hospital and refuse to leave until we got answers. We asked the doctors to run whatever tests were necessary regardless of cost. The medical staff ran blood tests and took X-rays of her left leg. The blood tests returned normal, however the X-ray revealed a black spot just below her knee. The result of the X-ray was what prompted the doctors to admit our baby bug into the hospital. 

Over the next two days we repeated Milly’s history over and over to nurses, residents, fellows, and attending doctors. We were assured that Milly’s blood tests were normal and cancer was not a consideration. Eventually, her team ordered an MRI. Milly was administered anesthesia for this. When the results returned our main doctor took us aside and told us that her left leg had a fracture just below her knee and they were going to give her stronger medication to control her pain. She also told us that there are three possibilities to explain Milly’s symptoms. The team wouldn’t know for sure until they could get her into surgery. There were three possible diagnoses under consideration, bone infection, Leukemia or Lymphoma. We had to wait 24 hours before Milly could put her under anesthesia again. This surgery and tests that would hopefully provide a diagnosis.
On December 17th 2013 Milly went into surgery and we waited for the answers we had been searching and fighting for since October. Before Milly was back to her room her doctor led us into another room and introduced us to an Oncologist. He informed us what no parent wants to hear. Milly, our beautiful, happy, independent three year old has been diagnosed with Leukemia. I can’t describe how I felt in that moment. I was relieved to have an answer for what was afflicting our daughter. At least we had a direction to head in. However, hearing that your child has cancer is an experience no parent should have to face. It is difficult but it is something we will face head on every day.

At this point we were transferred to the cancer ward of Primary Children’s Hospital and Milly started treatment immediately. A device called a port was inserted in her chest above her heart, where she will have chemotherapy pumped directly into her system. The port is also where her labs will be drawn from. An Echocardiogram was administered to get a baseline reading of her heart. The medications that we are required to give her will cause heart damage. She got the first of many Lumbar Punctures and they put chemo directly into her spinal fluid. We met with her main Oncologist, and he explained Millys “roadmap” for the first phase of treatment. Over the next few days we met with a Physical Therapist to evaluate Milly so we could start the long road to get her walking again. We met with a dietitian to discuss her diet, and a pharmacist to learn her prescriptions. In addition we were assigned a social worker to help ease the transition into this new phase. We met with nurses who trained us how to care for Milly. Instructions on all of the activities we could and could not do with her. There is a list of signs to watch for, when to call the doctor, and when to go straight into the ER. Mitch and I felt like brand new parents, like we had to relearn how to care for our own daughter. It was difficult and exhausting.

On December 23rd 2013, and a week and a half after Milly was admitted; we received a discharge and were sent home armed with a binder full of information and instructions. Also included is a bag full of medications and more medical supplies than we have ever had in our home. We were so grateful to be able to be home as a family for Mitch’s 28th Birthday and Christmas. It was amazing and utterly terrifying to be home and responsible for all of her medication and care. 
Jasper was such blessing through all of this; he was carted from one Grandmas house to another. Was such a trooper about switching exclusively to formula (I had to stop breastfeeding). His schedule was all over the place so we could focus all of our attention on Milly. 

Today, Milly is in the delayed intensification phase of treatment. She is adjusting to her new routine as we go to the hospital for chemo. She has to undergo anesthesia for lumbar punctures at least once a month. Milly receives anywhere from 5 to 10 medications a day and she lost her beautiful curly blond hair. On January 23rd Milly took her first step with the assistance of a physical therapist. It was a day of celebration! Most days she is that rambunctious, happy, healthy, smart, independent (now) 3 year old that we once knew. The pure joy that Milly has in her heart is inspiring. She amazes us more and more every day and we are so grateful for every moment we are blessed have with her. She is our little superhero.