Mother shares story of daughter’s battle with Leukemia during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - At just 19 months old, Katlyn Claywell’s daughter Kamryn was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July of 2019.

“I just saw little purple and red dots all over her body, and after doing some research on the rash, and some other symptoms that she was having, everything pointed to leukemia,” Claywell said. She immediately sought medical attention and doctors soon confirmed Kamryn was suffering from the condition.

Kamryn was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital where she was given life-saving blood and platelet transfusions. The next day after her diagnosis, she began the process of treatment, which will soon be over this November.

“So we’re really looking forward to that,” Claywell stated. “October the fifth will be her last lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspirate, and then November the second will be her last IV chemo, we’ll be ringing the bell that day, it’s the end of treatment.”

After being by her daughter’s side through the diagnosis and treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Claywell hopes more people will recognize the impact cancer has on children. “It is so important for parents, especially, to advocate for our children. If we don’t, you know, then nobody will,” she said.

Claywell wishes there was more interest in childhood cancer research. According to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, only four percent of government funding for cancer research goes to study childhood cancer.

“Our kiddos deserve more than that. So, that is why it’s so important,” Claywell explained. “People might think it’s rare. I thought it was rare, and it is until it’s your child, and then it’s not rare.”

It is estimated that each day, 43 kids in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. “It’s not rare at all, and so we do need to advocate for better research and better drugs for our kiddos. A lot of these drugs that they’re taking, they’re extremely old, they’re dated, and so they cause a lot of long-term side effects,” Claywell explained.

Claywell’s daughter Kamryn is now three years old and is doing very well, especially with her treatment. Though her treatment is nearly over, she will likely face life-long effects of leukemia. She now has a 13-month-old little sister named Kora Hope. Her parents chose the name Hope after Kamryn’s battle.

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