Leah is a beautiful little girl from Lexington, Kentucky. As the firstborn of 4 she’s not only a big sister to Amaris (6), Isaac (4) and Aaron (2) but also the apple of her Daddy’s eye and Mommy’s big helper. Leah loves animals from puppies to Derby horses and everything in between. Her favorite color is purple, her smile can lighten a dark heart and her laugh is infectious. Those that know her are inspired by her shy kindness, humility and gentle spirit.
Leah is also a very sick child.
In October of 2008 Leah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and underwent 2 ½ years of treatment at the University of Kentucky’s Pediatric Hematology-Oncology clinic. Through a long and hard journey treatment went well, Leah was declared to be in full remission and life, that most wonderful gift, was to go on as normal.
On July 8th 2011, most unexpectedly, the Nash family learned that the leukemia once gone… had relapsed in force. Leah’s burden was reborn and aggressive and immediate treatment has started.
Leah has now begun a treatment plan that is really her only option for long term survival / cure. The family has received second opinions from leading institutions ( St. Jude, Cincinnati Children's and Harvard's Medical Institution Dana Farber) and the suggestion for treatment has all been the same. Leah is facing a regiment of intense chemotherapy (with a goal of bringing her back into remission, ie, attempting to kill all known leukemia cells) and then setting her up for a stem cell transplant (bone marrow). Update: Leah completed the Chemo and Radiation regiment in early DEC 2011. All is set for Transplant.
Best case scenario, one of Leah’s siblings will be a match for marrow donation. Assuming that the
chemotherapy is effective and a marrow match is identified Leah will be moved to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for the transplant (8 – 10 week process). We’ll spare the details of the transplant but suffice to say it's the Nashes last option as parents and Leah's best option for recovery / cure. Update: What a blessing! Out of three siblings 2 were HLA identical matches. Leah's sister, Mae has been selected at the stem cell donor.
Leah has proven very strong in mind, body and soul. She is surrounded by a wonderful community of loving support empowering her treatment. The road is hard, the journey is long, but we will stand with Leah through this treatment process. Please stay connected here as Leah’s story unfolds.
Updates: Leah received her stem cell transplant on 12/6/2011.
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The Nash Family: