CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Every child looks forward to waking up on Christmas morning to open presents. But on December 25, 2012, Sydney Marino awoke feeling ill.
Thinking she had the flu, Sydney’s parents took her to her pediatrician. But the pediatrician’s tests revealed troubling news. At Levine Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Chemotherapy had to begin immediately.
“It was rough. It was devastating because you always think, this is not going to happen to my kid,” said Kristie Marino, Sydney’s mother.
During the two years of treatment that followed, Sydney and her family drew strength from each other, finding a way to smile throughout her treatment and spreading hope and encouragement to other patients along the way.
“When my Dad comes with us we always have fun. He always puts gloves on me and my brothers’ head, so that makes us laugh,” said Sydney.
Sydney also found a “second family” in the compassionate doctors, nurses, and support staff from the Torrence E. Hemby Jr. Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center at Levine Children’s Hospital.
“Here in the clinic, the nurses are great, the staff is great. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people to help you along this journey,” says Kirk Marino, Sydney’s father.
Sydney and her family have reason to celebrate. Her treatment has ended and her future is bright. Thanks to your support, she and many other children find hope and the opportunity to say the beautiful words, “I’m cancer free.”
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