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30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2022


September 1st


Paola was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of five on September 21, 2020. That day, our lives changed forever. She has never lost her smile, her energy and happiness although, sometimes, it is too much for her. She lives with me and her little brother who, at that time, was only 3 months old. Paola has been waiting to ring that bell at clinic and has an entire plan on how to celebrate her victory against cancer.

She was so close to the finish line, but seven months before she was supposed to ring that bell and celebrate, she relapsed on May 12, 2022. This time was harder on her and on me. We were almost done, and now it is two more years of nightmares. Paola now gets stronger treatment, and we live more at the hospital than home. But she keeps being that same little girl she was before her diagnosis. She shares her story with other kids that ask her why she doesn’t have hair. And when she does, she does it with so much pride and her head held higher than ever before! I lost all of my jobs because I am the only one my daughter has, and I have to take care of her and her brother. We go through so much, and PCFLV has been such a blessing to us. When I worry that we will go to bed without food, they provide us with not just food but also with gas to get her to her appointments and emergencies…and so much more! I would have been lost if it weren’t for them. This journey is hard for everyone, but for a single mother, it is a battle. But we are not alone! We have warriors fighting alongside us, like the people of PCFLV. I am so grateful for them. There are no words to express how much I appreciate them for all they do for us.

Written by Paola’s mom, Irelys

Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center:

If you would like to donate in Paola's honor

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