Hailey Lloyd

Hailey is a sweet and bright 9 year old little girl. She has 3 siblings and loves them with all her heart and soul. She was born on Valentine’s Day so we affectionately call her our little love bug, she has a huge heart and is always willing to help others when needed. She is artistic and loves music and playing games. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. We know she will do great things in the world because of this passion for learning and for teaching others. Hailey’s journey began a few short months ago, although some days it feels like a lifetime ago. It was nearing the end of summer, she was doing all the fun things kids do in the long summer days, riding bikes and swimming and playing outside. She has been a competitive gymnast for 5 years so Hailey is used to bumps, bruises, sprains, and minor injuries over the years. She came to me on a Monday night and said her left foot looked swollen but it didn’t hurt. I looked at it and agreed it was swollen but she wasn’t limping or in any pain so we just decided to watch it for a few days. We did what we normally do….. we elevated, we iced, we wrapped it up and 3 days later it looked the same. By Thursday, she said it was hurting more and we were concerned she had broken a bone in the top of her foot or possibly a toe, so we decided to bring her into CHOA urgent care that afternoon for an X-Ray. The X-Ray results came back and the doctor pulled me into a separate room to tell me nothing was broken but the X-Ray was “abnormal” and I needed to get additional testing done. What I didn’t realize is when they said additional testing they meant right then and now…they told me to immediately take her to the ER at Scottish Rite that they would be waiting for us to arrive. My heart was racing and I was shaking, I barely remember the drive to the hospital but do remember telling myself over and over…. do not let Hailey see the fear in your eyes…..do not cry….do not panic. The ER doctor did some blood work and reassured me that it was likely just a bone infection from a prior injury that didn’t heal properly, which made total sense given her background as a gymnast. Unfortunately, the blood work results didn’t support his theory and they needed an MRI so he recommended we get admitted so we could have the MRI the next day instead of waiting to do it outpatient which could be 7-10 days. That night an orthopedic surgeon came to our room and recommended that we add a biopsy in addition to the MRI, my heart sank. He sounded just as reassuring as the ER doctor that this was strictly a precaution and I was convinced this was the case. By Friday afternoon, only a short 24 hours after our trip to urgent care, the doctor told us that it was what we feared most, they confirmed she has cancer. They told us it is Ewing Sarcoma but would need additional pathology reports and scans to confirm. In the following 2 weeks, we would come to learn that it was in fact Ewing Sarcoma, a very rare type of childhood bone cancer. Bone cancer only makes up 5% of overall pediatric cancers and Ewing’s is only 1% of the bone cancers. I will never forget having to tell my baby girl that she has cancer, I will never forget her crying “no, mommy, no” and the look in her eyes. Her entire world changed in that short 24 hour time period, she went from being at school having lunch with her friends to laying in a hospital bed scared beyond words. We started treatment September 19th, she goes for impatient chemotherapy every other Thursday for 3-5 days depending on the cycle. We hope to have surgery scheduled after the first of the year followed by 3 more months of chemotherapy. . By the grace of God, we have received nothing but good news since her diagnosis, the cancer did not spread from her foot, it is not in her bone marrow, her counts recover after every treatment so that we do not get delayed and can stay on track. Hailey is so strong and brave, she is pushing through this horrible disease with grace. She has set up an art studio in her room for painting and started piano lessons. She is looking forward to next summer to do all the fun things she was doing before this nightmare began and being able to return to school next Fall for 5th Grade.

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