Eight-year-old Keeley is a lover of arts and crafts, dolls and on a normal year, she would be spending her spring and summer months on the soccer field. Unfortunately that is not her current reality. Earlier this year, she was diagnosed with a form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a cancer that has targeted her lymph nodes and lungs.
“Now that she has a routine down, she’s rolling with it,” says her mom, Laura. “She is just amazingly strong.”
From losing parts of her hair and having to shave her head, to having to have a mediport inserted to receive chemotherapy, Keeley has kept that strong spirit, making comments like, “This is cool…I am bald!” Her mom says that she has encouraged not just her as a mother, but also the many people they have met in this cancer journey.
After her fifth round of chemo, Laura says that Keeley should be done with treatment, as there are no signs of cancer cells detected. Through it all, she says community kindness has kept them all going as a family.
"It all started in early January when we discovered that something was wrong and fast forward to now, we are doing remarkably okay and people, like the doctors and childlife specialists at Roswell and Del from 26 Shirts, have helped us more than they realize.”
Laura says that she has always followed the stories of those who benefit from the 26 Shirt campaigns, and now that her daughter is one, she is extremely thankful for the outpouring of compassion.
“Everything is still surreal. We feel grateful for the position that we are in that we have good health insurance, but it doesn’t cover gas, parking, extras – everything really adds up. We are so grateful that there are so many people who are willing to help.”
So, what is next for Keeley? She turns nine in a few weeks and at the same time, she should be able to ring the victory bell, signifying no more cancer! She also looks forward to lacing up her cleats and getting back on the soccer field very soon.
Keeley’s 26 Shirt campaign launched 6/14 and runs through 6/27. This story provided in partnership with Kate Glaser of Hope Rises. Learn more at www.hoperisesnews.com