Week 5: Running for Mia Elena

I'm getting better. I've managed to increase my distance somewhat and the runs are getting easier...probably means I need to pick it up, but I'm enjoying the fact that I'm not dying. My first 10K is in a month and I'm super stoked. I've never run farther than a 5K before, so this will be a great accomplishment.

I have been liking and following different Facebook pages of children who have come upon unfortunate circumstances with the hope that I can run for some of them. I can't remember if Mia's page was suggested to me or if I just stumbled upon it. Mia's mom posted a picture a few days ago of her and her daughter and it floored me. Because I knew Mia's momma. I had grown up with Mia's momma. I'd spent every summer from fourth grade to graduate year with Tara and my first year of college was with her too. I remembered following her pregnancy on Facebook and how she had named her little girl Mia, but I had not connected the dots until now.

Mia's story, as told by her mom, Tara. Visit her website to read the complete version.

On Thursday, February 26th, the actual day of Mia's birthday, she was acting strange. She didn't want to talk or play and just wanted to sleep. She had a small get together at Chuck E Cheese with family and close friends and had no interest in playing or eating. She did not have a fever at this time, but she was shivering, now had a wet cough and her pale coloring was getting worse. 

I took her back in to the pediatrician the next day. I was told that the flu and pneumonia just hit her really hard and to give it time. She was sent home. A week went by and Mia spiked a random fever of 101.5 and was so lethargic that she was even falling asleep at the table. My mom and I had been saying something was wrong with her almost every day because of her lethargic behavior but really decided that night that something was seriously wrong and we needed answers. 

After several doctor appointments and labs, Mia's parents were told that they needed to redraw Mia's blood because the results showed severe anemia and she need to be taken to the children's hospital immediately for further testing.

At 7:30 that night, Mia arrived at the ER where an IV was started and blood was drawn. Within an hour, the ER doctor came in saying that Mia was needing to be admitted to the Hematology/Oncology unit that night and that her HEMONC physician was on his way to look at her lab results and see what kind of cells he could see on the microscope. 

Within an hour of being admitted, we were told that she was going to need a blood transfusion, platelet transfusion and would have a bone marrow biopsy the next morning since the doctor saw some abnormal leukemic-looking cells under the microscope. Her hemoglobin count was 4 (normal is 11-13) so she received a blood transfusion throughout the night.

The morning of March 12th was the last morning that we thought we had a perfectly healthy child. She was taken in a procedure room for a bone marrow biopsy where she was put under general anesthesia.

Around 2 pm that same day, Mario (Mia's father) and I were pulled into an empty room and told that 70 percent of our child's bone marrow was invaded by leukemic cells and that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 

Mia had her first dose of chemotherapy that next day, and after more testing, it was discovered that she didn't have leukemic cells in her spinal fluid, which was great news!

The plan is for Mia to undergo chemotherapy for the next two and a half years. Lots of doctor's appointments and hospital stays she is currently undergoing and will continue to endure for such a long time. Please join me in prayer for Mia and her parents who are going to need a lot of strength and support. I remember feeling so helpless when Baby Bish had RSV, which is nothing compared to what Mia is going through. When our babies hurt, we hurt. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mia, as are the miles I run this week.

To support Mia, you may donate to her GoFundMe as well as visit their website and Facebook page.