Leia is a 13 year old 7th grader who lives in Boise, Idaho. She lives with her mom, dad, 3 sisters (Lili, Lexi and Ivory), and 1 brother (Dominic). She loves playing volleyball and hanging out with her friends and EVERYTHING about Paris. On February 1, 2016 Leia might say that is a day that changed her “normal” life. She was experiencing severe chest pains during school and went home early to rest. The pains didn't subside so her family took her to the local Emergency Room. There they took x-rays, blood tests and CT scans. They didn’t get any definitive results until the following day. Maybe you could that is the day that changed Leia’s “normal” life. Leia was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. They found a huge tumor wrapped around her heart, lungs and trachea. The cancer is also in her lymph nodes, spine, arms, legs and hips. She started chemotherapy as soon as possible and according to Leia and it doesn't feel good “it makes me feel really sick and gives me headaches.” Since her diagnosis Leia has spent 12 nights in the hospital as a result of the side effects of the chemotherapy.
According to Leia
“Aside from all the pain, I think the hardest thing to go through is losing my hair. It was coming out so fast... it made me cry. Some days are harder than others, but I really just hate having cancer. I'm not allowed to go anywhere with crowds or where a lot of people frequent, because I could become very sick. I have to do homeschooling until I'm done with all the chemotherapy. I miss my friends... I miss going to school... I miss my hair... I miss being able to go shopping... I miss being normal. I'm not exactly sure how long I have to go through this, but I know I will fight this ugly cancer inside me until it's all gone! I want to say thank you to all the people that have given us their love, donations, prayers, support and kindness. I can't believe so many people post stuff about me on social media. It makes me feel better that so many people are behind me during this journey. The only thing I'm looking forward to is for this to be over. I'm small, but I am already stronger from this... and I will beat it.”