My inspiration is Catherine, a 14 year old young lady who lost her beloved grandfather to cancer in February 2013. She was unable to say goodbye to him as she was sick with an unknown illness. After several tests, Catherine was diagnosed with leukemia. Since March, she has been making weekly trips to the hospital for bone marrow tests, lumbar punctures, blood test/ transfusions, and chemotherapy infusions. High dose steroids produced a negative affect on her personality. In May she had an allergic reaction to chemo and was admitted to the ICU. In July, Catherine began the interim maintenance phase which consisted of 4 hospital admissions. After receiving the initial chemo infusion she developed mouth sores and was unable to eat or drink for several days. Catherine turned 14 years old on July 15, 2013 while in the hospital. In early October she had a 2 week break from chemo and happily joined her 8th grade class on their trip to Boston. "Delayed intensification" chemotherapy began on October 18th and will continue for 2 months. Treatments for Catherine's cancer will last at least 2 years and, unfortunately, come with unpleasant side effects. She has already lost 30 lb, her hair, and almost a year of school. Fortunately for her, she has the support of a loving family and numerous friends. I am honored to raise money for the LIVESTRONG Foundation on behalf of a beautiful young lady named Catherine.
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