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Nikki`s Story

Nikki was four years old and very excited when she become a big sister on Jan. 26, 2007. I had my perfect family of four. Then exactly one month later after a week of high temperatures Nikki was diagnosed with leukemia. AML type. She was given a 50/50 chance of survival. It took three straight rounds of chemo to get her into remission, or 101 days in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Then after only two short weeks home, Nikki and I returned to the hospital to have a bone marrow transplant. The transplant occurred on June 29, 2007 and her baby sister (Ashley) was the perfect match and only five months old. The transplant is a hard process but Nikki did great and came home July 27, 2007. She remained home with frequent clinic visits to the hospital and many, many restrictions at home. It was a long road with a lot of ups and downs, but Nikki was very brave.


July 27, 2008 was a year Nikki had been out of the hospital. We were very happy that Nikki was doing so great. Life was good! The best news was that all of the tests that she just had done at that time came back normal. No signs of leukemia. Nikki was looking forward to her 6th birthday party and going to first grade. Way to go Nikki, you did it! 

 

Then on April 9, 2009, one week before our family was to go on her Make-A-Wish to Disney, she went for a routine clinic visit. Her blood work was abnormal even though she felt just fine. We returned the next day for a bone marrow biopsy and was admitted for a fever. Her leukemia was back. How could this be happening again? We never imagined that we would be part of the move to the new Children’s Hospital but we were. Nikki was the sixth new patient...she told us she was sixth because she was six years old. She continued to smile and play and make the best of her long hospitalization. I think she did better than me.

 

It was very very hard to get Nikki back into remission but her little body did it and she had her second transplant on June 12, 2009. This was two years since her first transplant. They used unrelated umbilical cord stem cells this time. She had a rougher road this time and developed GVHD and a few other complications. Yet at one point we started to say the word, home.

But then...her organs had enough....especially her lungs....

On August 18, 2009 Nikki couldn't do it anymore. Even though she beat cancer she couldn't beat everything else. My angel went to Heaven only 10 days after she turned seven. Her hell ended but mine had just begun. Life without sweet Nikki is very hard and anyone who knew her will never be the same.


 

Karen (Nikki's Mom)


 

 

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

 

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

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Thinking of Nikki.com © Copyright Dave Adams, 2011, All rights reserved