Light up for Leah Legacy
Leah Ann Williams, fondly referred to as Princess Leah by family and friends, was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis in June of 2000.
Although we knew something just wasn’t right, we couldn’t get an answer. She had a rash on her bottom that was continuously dismissed by the pediatrician as yeast and “Cradle cap” that was also overlooked for months despite my insistence that it wasn’t just Cradle cap. Then she began having bloody stools around 8 mo.of age – her labs weren’t abnormal, but they weren’t exactly normal either. After the third pediatrician visit in one week we were admitted to ‘get answers.” Sadly they didn’t come quickly. We saw all sorts of specialists that couldn’t give us definitive answers. Finally, an Infectious Disease doctor ordered a chest x-ray for no good reason, but we are glad he did. It showed a rib lesion that would go on to be biopsied and give us our diagnosis.
Insert pediatric oncology…. the specialists you don’t want to have called in to see your baby. But what a blessing they were.
Absolute angels on earth.
Leah would go on to have a port placed in her tiny 9-month-old chest to receive chemotherapy. Her disease is one that would wax and wane. We would be doing great and -Boom!- a new hip lesion…then more rib lesions…and ultimately a skull that was described to us as “Swiss cheese” by one of our oncologists. What a horrid thought for our baby girl.
After a year of MANY port accesses, IV chemos, hospital stays, steroids, and fighting her very best, Leah’s little body couldn’t take any more, and she ran ahead to meet Jesus. Now we anxiously await the day that we are reunited. And until then we will advocate and share.
We will forever support CAMP KEMO Programs, as it allows children fighting the biggest fights to just be kids. Although Leah was too young to participate, she was lovingly named mascot for CAMP KEMO by then-program director, JeannieSchmidt. Please join us in memory of Leah and all the warriors who have died way too soon.
Leah Ann Williams, daughter of Gene and Michelle Williams
9/17/99 – 7/20/01