Bella is 12 years old and lives in Clayton, NC with her mother, sister, and two cats. She has a fun personality and enjoys telling jokes and making people laugh. When she grows up, she hopes to become a pastry chef. Bella is a member of her school band, and she enjoys playing board games.
But, there is more to Bella’s story. On June 20, 2017, at the age of 11, Bella was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Five days later, she began chemotherapy and a fight for her life. She endured intense treatment for nine months before entering the “maintenance phase” of treatment in April, 2018.
During the first year after diagnosis, she was admitted to the hospital twelve different times for low blood counts, a hip abscess, fevers, multiple infections, and in-patient chemotherapy. Today, Bella continues receiving chemotherapy, has monthly visits to the UNC pediatric hematology/oncology clinic, and takes many daily oral medicines. The treatments have been harsh on her body, causing avascular necrosis in her left shoulder, and Bella has needed physical therapy to regain her gross motor skills.
Bella missed most of fifth grade year but was well enough to return for the last two months of the year. The school system has been wonderful, allowing her to stay on track with in-home services. Bella is expected to finish her treatment this October!
For Bella and her family, life has been quite different since diagnosis. Their family and vast network of friends have helped in so many ways. It is a blessing that she now feels good and wants to do fun things with her family and friends. Bella is proud to be the Face of the Race for JUST TRYAN IT. She and her family understand our mission and are eager to be involved with helping others.
Bella and her family will be at the Chapel Hill event.