Acute myeloid leukemia, also known as AML, is an adult form of leukemia.
Every year AML affects just 500 kids in the US, which is extremely rare, and now it hits home right here in Central Wisconsin.
Two-year-old Livie Northcott loves to dance.
"Everybody here knows Livie dance parties because she loves to dance," Livie’s mom Trish Folz said.
She's little. She's sweet. She's even a little sassy, but
she’s also got an extra special light.
“I look at her, and I see a beautiful, smiling, happy, dancing little girl who happens to have leukemia,” Folz said.
Livie was diagnosed in December 2013 with AML, acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer that affects 500 kids in the US a year.
Folz remembers the day the doctor broke the news of Livie’s diagnosis.
"At that point my mind shut off because that's all I heard was, ‘Your daughter has leukemia,’” Folz said.
Folz said doctors told her Livie had mono when she brought her in a few times before, but she had a feeling it was worse.
Livie’s tongue was swollen. She had bruising and red dots on her body. She also wasn’t walking.
"You don't know as a parent when you'll be able to breath,” Folz said. “You're waiting for that beautiful word of ‘remission’ and you're scared of that other ‘R’ word of ‘relapse.’”
"What I tell Alivia's mom is every time a child is diagnosed I inhale, and everyday something good happens, I exhale a little more," Dr. Moira Lancelot said.
Lancelot is Livie’s oncologist. Lancelot works at Marshfield Clinic and Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Dr. Lancelot said exhaling has been more frequent lately because Livie’s progress is “great.”
Livie is in remission and in her last chemo round after 10 blood transfusions.
“Most of the time we tell parents, ‘It wasn't anything you did. It wasn't anything your child was exposed to. It just happens,’” Lancelot said.
Livie’s parents, Folz and Brian Northcott know they can’t control the cancer.
“I just want my little daughter back," Northcott said.
So instead, they spread “Livie's Light,” a push for leukemia awareness.
"I think that people need to think that this is the new normal for these kids,” Folz said. “They can do it, and they are strong. They are fighting."
Livie is still fighting, loving and dancing through her remission.
"She's going to show everybody. She's a little sassy spitfire so leukemia picked the wrong girl to mess with," Folz said.
Leukemia isn't dimming this little girl's light as long as her health and joy keeps burning bright.
"She’ll say ‘Get up! Get up everybody!’ Those moments are my favorite for everybody to see the little girl we know she is and to keep on dancing every single day.”
To help support Livie’s Light, you can donate here:
Follow Livie’s everyday progress on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/livieslight
Livie doesn’t need a bone marrow transplant now, but her mom Trish said that could change down the road. As part of raising awareness, you can register to be a bone marrow donor here: http://join.bethematch.org/livie
Trish also said Livie wouldn’t be here without blood donors helping with Livie’s 10 blood transfusions.
As part of raising awareness for “Livie’s Light,” you can register and learn more about donating blood in Wisconsin here: http://www.bcw.edu/bcw/index.htm
From 4-8 p.m., on March 9th, the Marshfield Fantastic Sams Cut-A-Thon will kick off and, all proceeds are going to Alivia.
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