Sierra is a very vibrant eleven year old. She is about to enter into 6th grade, and is the oldest of four kids. (Rianna 9, Corbitt 3, Lillian 10 months.) This is Sierra’s second time battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia T-Cell. She was three and a half the first time she was diagnosed. Sierra went through two and half years of chemotherapy and a week of cranial radiation. She had been in remission for roughly five and half years. (She was considered a survivor!)
April 3, 2017 started out as any other Monday. Sierra woke up, and got ready for school. She was complaining of some neck pain, but we didn’t think it was anything serious, and she went to school. When I picked her up that afternoon, I noticed a swollen area around her neckline. (Think: necklace area.) She didn’t have any pain or problems swallowing, and her annual blood work had just come back as negative for any cancer in February. I took her to urgent care anyway. The doctor working at the clinic basically sent us straight to the ER at UMC Banner. That’s when they did a sonogram of the swelling in her neck, and found a mass in her chest that was about the size of a fist. Blood work confirmed that her cancer had come back.
What happened next was a whirlwind of action and support. The care her doctor’s have shown, and the compassion they have, not only for her but for the whole family, has been extraordinary. Sierra was put on chemo right away, and had her port placed again. She cut her hair, and donated it to Wigs for Kids. She has shown so much resilience through all of this, it’s sometimes hard to believe she is only eleven years old. Sierra had a bone marrow transplant on July 14, 2017. Her donor was her nine year old sister, Rianna. She is a 10 out of 10 match! We are hopeful that this will help to close the chapter of Sierra’s life that includes cancer!