Meet the 2019 Girl & Boy of the Year
Meet the 2019 Girl & Boy of the Year
Man & Woman of the Year candidates raise money each year in honor of the Boy & Girl of the Year. They are patient heroes chosen for their inspiring stories and winning attitudes. Each becomes a spokesperson for the thousands of patients who have benefited from LLS resources. The families have pledged to help the candidates and campaign in a variety of ways, most importantly, speaking at and attending events and motivating the candidates. Here's a little more information about our 2019 Girl and Boy of the Year.
Diagnosis: B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Age: 4 years old
Story: May 23, 2017 will forever be a day Grant's family will never forget. After a series of strange signs and symptoms which included excessive bruising, the refusal to walk, explaining that his “body hurt”, and small red dots (petechia) all over his body, Grant was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He started treatment the next day at Children’s National Hospital and has received excellent care ever since. His family spent 25 nights in the hospital while Grant received his first round of intense treatment. On June 27, 2017 they got the incredible news that Grant was officially in remission! Since then, he’s completed 5 rounds of treatment over an 18-month period which has included bone marrow biopsies, regular spinal taps, daily oral chemotherapy, and chemotherapy injections into his spine and port. Grant is currently in the Long-Term Maintenance phase of treatment which will last until August 1, 2020. Grant, lovingly referred to as “Grant the Champ”, has endured so much in the last year and a half, but his strong character has not waivered one bit. They are incredibly grateful for the person he is and can see how his unique design prepared him for such a hard and, at times, scary battle. Grant is precocious, highly social, unflappable, funny, happy, active, and talkative. He loves racing, turning anything into a competition, spending time with his family, attending preschool, and building tall towers. His ability to joyfully endure hard things is a daily inspiration to his daddy and mommy and they are grateful he gets to be a big brother in February 2019. We know Grant the Champ will be the best champion for his little sister!
Diagnosis: Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia
Age: 5 years old
Story: Lucia was diagnosed on the very 1st day of the year, January 1, 2018, with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (High-Risk). It was right after Christmas, when her family started noticing unusual bruises on her legs and she had a fever that wouldn’t go away, so they took her to the Emergency Room on New Year’s Eve. This type of Leukemia, also known as APL/APML, is a subtype of AML and makes up only about 1% of childhood leukemias. Chemo treatment started the following day after a port was placed on her chest. Chemo infusion was daily for 45 days straight until she reached remission to move on to the 2nd phase of treatment. Lucia was in patient for almost a month and she also had to learn to swallow big pills (oral chemo), take steroids and endure bone marrow biopsy procedures. She had to go through all of this after just turning 4 years old last November. It was an intense 9-month treatment protocol, and Lucia was in the hospital/clinic for month stretches, almost on a daily basis receiving her chemotherapy. Each time she went for chemo, she treated it as an opportunity to play with nurses and doctors, to participate in art therapy and make new friends. Her infectious smile and fun spirit have been an inspiration to everyone that she has gotten the chance to interact with. And by the end of September she completed her treatment for APL and was confirmed to be in complete remission. Lucia is also known as Princess #LuciaBrave. She is fun loving, kind, super friendly and loves Hugs. She just turned 5 years old on November 8th. She is looking forward to attending preschool in the Spring and Kindergarten in August. She has a very loving, 3 year old sister, Danielle, who adores her. They love playing with their baby dolls and Barbie dolls, dressing up as their favorite Disney Princesses, traveling to different places and staying at hotels. They also love the beach and Disneyworld.