acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
La Mesa, CA
My story starts when I was just eight months old. In March of 1994, it was discovered that I had a cheek tumor. Doctors removed the tumor, and I was treated with chemotherapy. I relapsed at two years old in 1995. I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Leukemic lesions had spread to my brain. I received intense chemotherapy and 14 days of cranial irradiation. I was very lucky that my little sister was born in June of 1995. Doctors had saved her umbilical cord (her stem cells). I underwent more chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in October 1995. I have been in remission for 27 years. I remain cancer-free and celebrate life with my sister, my hero. We try to attend Light The Night (LTN) each year and do the walk with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) together.
I am extremely proud to be a part of the LGBTQ community as a lesbian. My coming out story starts after the move to San Diego and learning to accept myself for the first time and feeling safe with my two sisters to come out finally at the age of 23. In my teenage years, I had identified as Asexual. I had to learn to not only accept myself but to love myself and manage my depression and anxiety better. Started dating at the age of 24. When I came out it was one of the happiest moments in my life and felt a huge relief. I am a lesbian, cancer survivor (AML), and a depression/ suicide attempt survivor.