When Raquel’s mother took her to see her pediatrician over swollen glands and a sudden weird mark on her nose, the last thing she (or Raquel) ever thought they’d hear the doctor say was that she had leukemia. But that was the diagnosis. Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Raquel was referred to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (formerly Miami Children’s Hospital) where she received treatment. In four months, she learned her leukemia was in remission but her treatment still has over two years to go before she’s in the clear.
Losing her hair was tough for Raquel, “When you get stares, it’s very easy to start feeling ashamed because it’s a sign that you’re fighting for your life” she says. “And that’s really not something to be ashamed of.”
So she decided to do something about it and started the Bald is Beautiful Project that provides young girls fighting cancer with bald American Girl® dolls. She has also been named the MCHF5K Hero by the Miami Children’s Health Foundation for their 6th annual 5k Run/Walk on September 17th in beautiful Coral Gables.
I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with Raquel and her mother Maria to create the latest in a continuing series of videos I’ve been producing for Miami Children’s Health Foundation, who raise funds and awareness for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. To help children like Raquel, please visit www.mchf.org/donate and join Raquel at the MCHF5K this September by registering a team (or joining Raquel’s team Oliver Forever Strong) at mchf5k.com.
Here’s Raquel’s story…