Boy & Girl of the Year
Delaware's Boy & Girl of the Year
The Boy & Girl of the Year are local blood cancer survivors who motivate and inspire the Man & Woman of the Year candidates throughout the competition. The Man of the Year candidates run on behalf of the Girl of the Year, and the Woman of the Year candidates run on behalf of the Boy of the Year. These young heroes are being treated at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, and they look forward to sharing their personal stories this season!
Boy of the Year
André was diagnosed with Stage 3A Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NLPHL) just a few days after his 15th birthday. The diagnosis came as a complete surprise. André was brought to the AI Dupont ER with complaints of a sharp pain on his lower right side and with a temperature of 102. Initially appendicitis was suspected. After a CT scan and Chest X ray, André was diagnosed with pneumonia and enlarged lymph nodes in his pelvis. He was admitted that evening for further follow up. After a battery of blood tests, CT and PET scans, biopsy and bone marrow tests. The diagnosis of Hodgkin?s disease was confirmed.
André began his chemotherapy 5 weeks after he first went to the ER. He experienced the expected setbacks of neutropenia, temperature spikes, anaphylaxis, hair loss and some extended stays in the hospital. Throughout the entire time, André maintained a positive attitude and included humor whenever possible!
After his chemotherapy treatment, the follow up CT and PET scan showed one area that looked suspicious. Another biopsy was ordered. Our prayers had been answered!! The biopsy was negative. André was able to successfully complete his entire chemotherapy treatment in 5 months with no recommendation for radiation treatment!! We had much to be thankful for.
Currently André is being followed up with 6 month CT scans and quarterly blood work. We are thankful for how it worked out for André and pray that others will have the same experience. Of course it would be better if there were no cancer, but until that time, research and treatment are all what we have.
Today, André is a junior at Salesianum and is learning how to drive and preparing to take the SAT in the spring. For the past 2 years, he has become involved the Cure Search walk, and has enlisted support from his school. André enjoys helping others and nothing gives him greater joy than to help out someone who is in need of support.
Girl of the Year
Aimee Lynne Hurlock is a caring and compassionate girl, who loves to cook and bake with her mother. Aimee enjoys spending time with her family. She likes hanging out with her friends. Aimee also loves taking dance class; including ballet, jazz, and hip hop. She enjoys listening to music; some of her favorite singers include Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, and Hunter Hayes. She also likes watching TV, especially her two favorite shows, Full House and Boy Meets World.
In August 2012, Aimee was not feeling well. At first, it was thought to have been a relapse of her Crohn?s Disease. After calling her Pediatric Gastroenterologist, who suggested she go to the lab, Aimee had some blood tests done. The next day, the doctor?s office called with the results of the blood tests; they were very concerned with the abnormalities that the tests had shown. Aimee was then instructed to be taken to Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children immediately. When she and her family arrived in the emergency room, the medical team began a series of additional tests. Aimee was admitted into the Blood, Bone Marrow, and Transplant Unit. After a meeting with the oncologist, it was learned that Aimee would need to undergo a bone marrow biopsy in order to diagnose what the doctors believed was Leukemia. The days of waiting for a diagnosis after the biopsy were very stressful. The fear of the unknown was agonizing. The doctors and nurses were amazing and helped to educate Aimee?s parents about leukemia and how it is treated.
On August 14, 2012, the family was given Aimee?s official diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. They were relieved to hear that AML was ?curable.? They, with the help of Aimee?s doctors, then focused on a plan for Aimee?s treatment and recovery. Over the next few months, Aimee received two rounds of chemotherapy and required a bone marrow transplant to prevent any relapse. Those months were extremely hard on Aimee, but she showed remarkable courage and resolve to get better and beat cancer. She received many toys, books, and games during her stay in the hospital, and she and her family were very grateful for all the generosity as they helped keep her in good spirits.
During her stay, Aimee met with the music therapist often. Aimee told her that Taylor Swift was her favorite singer, and how she would love to meet her someday. She told her about her first Taylor Swift concert, which was in Philadelphia. During one of the songs, Taylor came down the aisle where Aimee was sitting, hugging her fans as she went. Aimee was scared because the crowd was pushing and shoving to get to Taylor. So Aimee missed an opportunity to hug her idol. After hearing this story, the music therapist and Aimee came up with the idea to create a music video to one of Taylor?s songs telling her story of her missed hug. They created a video where Aimee sang lyrics that she and the music therapist wrote, to Taylor?s song ?Love Story?. The video was featured on the A.I. DuPont Hospital Facebook page in hopes that it would get to Taylor. In July 2013, Aimee got her hug from Taylor Swift when she was given the opportunity to meet her back stage before her concert.
Today, Aimee is fully recovered and back in school full time. She is back to doing all the things she loves and just being a normal girl.