Avalynn was a normal 2-year-old girl who loved playing, unicorns and SpongeBob. But in December 2018, her family noticed she wasn’t quite herself.
Avalynn complained that her head and body hurt, and she had frequent fevers and body aches. In April 2019, after months of visits to doctors, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“I couldn’t help but cry and feel devastated, heartbroken, scared and lost,” said Amanda, Avalynn’s mother.
Now, Avalynn’s life includes doctor’s visits and chemotherapy, which is given through a port she nicknamed “SpongeBob.”
Avalynn, who turns 3 in June, cannot play outside with her older brother and sister or attend daycare during treatment.
Patients like Avalynn need blood and platelet transfusions to help with chemotherapy.
“I don’t think it dawned on us how pale she was,” Amanda said. “You could see the difference in her once she received the blood transfusion.”
Patients with aggressive blood cancers like Avalynn’s may also need a marrow or stem cell transplant, their best hope for a cure. Hispanic patients have a 46% chance of finding a matching donor on the Be the Match Registry®, the national marrow donor registry.