Sarah

Sarah is a bright, articulate and inquisitive little girl. At seven, she is the eldest of three children and has a natural protectiveness towards her younger siblings Elizabeth, two and a half and Mathew, 11 months. There is also a maturity that speaks of an unspoken wisdom for such a young child. When she asks a question, she carefully listens to the answer before responding. Her comments are well thought out. The bright house is filled with photos of the family throughout the years. There are pictures of parents, Mark and Leah when they first began dating, pictures of camping trips, vacations, family holidays and barbecues. There are pictures of their first born Sarah. There are pictures of Sarah…before she had cancer. There are pictures of Sarah…after she had cancer. The difference is jarring. Sarah was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in late 2012. It was an abrupt and shocking diagnosis for Mark and Leah. “I just remember, after we were told, that I just wanted to leave and go call my mom. That’s all I could think of. I left the room at the hospital and went to another room. I fell on the floor and I was hysterical. It was the worst day of our lives,” Leah says. But when your child is fighting for her life, there is no time to catch your breath or take even a moment to process the devastating news. AML is a very aggressive blood cancer. From that moment in October 2012 until now, Sarah has been on an extremely exhausting, frightening and life-changing medical journey. After extensive chemotherapy, Sarah underwent a stem cell transplant in January of this year. The donor is her mom Leah. Sarah’s medical battle continues. Yet amidst the fear and pain, Sarah was able to receive her most heartfelt wish to visit Disney and to be a Princess. Leah was overcome with emotion when she saw Sarah, dressed up as a Princess. It was not the costume but the fact that staff were able to apply hair extensions to Sarah’s very short hair. Sarah told her mom that although it hurt a bit, having long hair again was the best day of her life. Mark and Leah extend a thank you to all the donors that supported Sarah and her wish. Leah says, “I’m glad there are people out there that help grant wishes. I can hold my daughter and I can help her through this challenge but they can give her the joy. We are truly grateful.”