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Reese became very sick in February of 2015. She was unable to stand or walk for almost 2 months, and her immune system was virtually nonexistent.
After rushing from general practitioner to urgent care to pediatrician to specialists trying to find answers, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. She began physical therapy, received joint injections, and started a protocol that included Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug often used to fight auto-immune disorders.
Reese began walking and trotting again, but she never fully responded to the treatment. She was still stiff, anemic, and out of sorts. She refused to go on rides at the park because it hurt her legs. She was unable to walk for days after using a bounce castle at a friend's birthday party. She didn't want to dance with her daddy at the school Father/Daughter dance.
By January of 2016, Reese's parents were adamant that something still was not right and they needed a different approach. Her doctor agreed to change her treatment, taking her off of the Methotrexate chemotherapy she'd been on, and switching her to a non-chemo drug.
Within 45 days of switching treatment, the Leukemia began spilling out of her bone marrow.
Her blood was over 90% leukemia cells - essentially pure cancer running through her veins. Reese and her family were rushed to UVA, where multiple blood transfusions were ready and waiting for her arrival. She was taken into surgery a few hours later.
On November 1, 2018, Reese relapsed after a few months off treatment.
She will now receive CAR-T treatment at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC. Reese and her family continue to be surrounded by a team of supportive medical professionals that they trust and who are walking alongside them on the road to a cure.