Students of the Year St. Louis
Paige Babbs | Paige Babbs's Campaign Team
I think it is important to talk about the physical changes a young person can go through when dealing with a disease such as leukemia.
When I was 16, I myself was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. My body has been through extreme physical pain and emotional/mental changes. You can see that throughout my journey I have had to face the horror of having a port inserted into my chest leaving a large scar right across my chest. I was nauseous for somewhere around 5 months straight, and there was even a point when I did not eat or drink anything for 3 weeks straight because I would get sick every time I ingested anything, including small things like lifesavers would cause me to throw up. When I first started treatment I was also on steroids that caused my legs to swell and practically double in size preventing me from walking. After my legs finally went down, they went the opposite direction and virtually had no muscle on them, also making me unable to walk. The nerve damage has affected my hands, feet and legs all the way up to my knees so bad I still have trouble simply standing for long periods of time, and cannot move my toes 100%. I now have EXTREME joint and muscle pain. I have had multiple lumbar punctures (using a needle in my spine to administer chemo) and so many chemo infusions that I’m not actually sure the exact amount of how many treatments I’ve had (if I had to guess I would say somewhere around 300?) including several 24 hour chemos, that caused mouth sores in my mouth to down my throat and also on my lips, where I was literally peeling the entire inside of my check off and had not to mention I still have more treatments to go. I was in the hospital just 2 days before Christmas, and the day after my 17th birthday. There were several other hospital stays besides that I just remember how horrible those two were. I lost my hair, lost my figure, my ability to walk and run, I even lost friends and a relationship throughout one of the hardest times of my life because it became too much for many to handle. Everyday I look back through what I have done and how much stronger I am mentally because of it, but I also know things will never be the same.
Kids who are going through the same things as me NEED your help to find a cure, I’m still fighting my battle today but unfortunately there are going to be many kids who will be diagnosed after me and i would want nothing more than a doctor to be able to sit the parents down and say “don’t worry, we have a cure”.
That is why this organization is so important to me, and I hope everyone who is willing to support my campaign feels the same way as I do 🙂
I am honored to participate as a team member for the 2019 Students of the Year program, a seven-week initiative in which select high school students from around the country participate in a fundraising competition to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am proud to support my candidate and am raising critical dollars in honor of a young patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from a blood cancer. Each dollar is a vote. The candidate team that raises the most money at the end of the seven weeks is named Student of the Year. Our mission is to not only raise the most money but also to bring attention to blood cancers like leukemia, which is the most common form of cancer in children and teens.
Since the early 1960s, five-year survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. And many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients but are helping patients with other cancers and serious diseases. In fact, drugs first approved for blood cancers are now approved to treat patients with stomach cancers, skin cancers, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
We really are changing the face of blood cancer!
All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. They'll not only support LLS-funded research but will help provide critical information and support for patients, and support advocacy for laws to ensure patients can access the care and treatments they need.
Please visit our website often and bring friends who would also like to donate!
On behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, thank you for your support!
For more information about LLS, please visit www.lls.org.