Boy & Girl of the Year
Boy of the Year
Evan first broke out into a strange rash, developed high fevers and would experience periods of pain and immobility around 10 months of age. Over the next year, his health continued to decline as he went from doctor to doctor and from one hospital to another in an effort to try to figure out what was making him sick. In 2008, Evan was finally diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML).
The only known cure for JMML is a bone marrow transplant, which Evan underwent in March of 2008 at Nationwide Children?s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He had many transplant complications including Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) but was thankfully able to go home in May of 2008 and was well enough to be released into the long-term program at Children?s in March of 2011. Evan has been taken off of all of his medications, except one (for a long time, he was taking 12 doses of various medications daily) and only needs to return to the hospital once a year for preventative and follow-up tests.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helped provide funds for his family that helped them pay for his many medications. Even though Evan is an old soul from all that he has been through, he has continued to thrive, grow and enjoy life.
Evan enjoys watching SpongeBob, listening to rock and roll and going to PE class. When he grows up, he wants to be a cancer doctor. Evan wants kids to always remember to never give up because they can get through it and have a happy ending just like him!
Girl of the Year
Lina started her journey at the age of three when she began to have trouble walking and experienced pain in her legs. She was first put into a cast for several weeks as doctors believed that she had a fracture that was undetectable by X-Rays. Once Lina faced a bout of both fevers and chills, she was sent to Nationwide Children?s Hospital where she underwent testing for several days. On December 11, 2012, Lina was diagnosed with Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
After her diagnosis, Lina immediately began chemotherapy treatment. Her treatment plan includes 18 months of intense intravenous chemotherapy (which she will complete in May!) and then an additional 18 months of outpatient treatment. Lina will complete treatment in September of 2015.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helped provide funds for her family that helped assist them pay for travel costs as well as food costs while Lina was in the hospital. Her cancer diagnosis changed her life forever, but she knows that Jesus is a healer and she will be healed!
Lina enjoys watching Paw Patrol, listening to dance and gospel music and eating pepperoni pizza with banana peppers.