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

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) – When Katlyn Claywell’s daughter Kamryn was just 19 months old, she was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in July 2019.

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

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

“So we’re really looking forward to that,” Claywell said. “October 5th will be her last lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspirate, and then November 2nd will be her last IV chemo. We’ll ring the bell that day. It’s the end of treatment.”

After being at 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 do it, you know, nobody will,” she said.

Claywell wished 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 childhood cancer.

“Our children deserve more than that. That’s why it’s so important,” Claywell explained. “People may think it’s rare. I thought it was rare, and it is until it’s your kid, and then it’s not rare.”

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

Claywell’s daughter Kamryn is now three years old and doing very well, especially with her treatment. Although her treatment is almost over, she will probably have to deal with leukemia for a lifetime. She now has a 13 month old sister named Kora Hope. Her parents chose the name Hope after Kamryn’s battle.

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