OCN sat down with a pediatric leukemia patient and discovered that the fight against cancer is everyone's responsibility.
Last month, we interviewed Kaylyn Townsend, a contender for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year. While Kaylyn works to raise money and awareness for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, it's important that the public gets to know those who are fighting this terrible disease. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Honored Heroes program selects individuals who have been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, or myeloma to provide inspiration and encouragement to all who support the mission of the organization.
We happen to have one such Honored Hero from Colorado Springs, who graciously took the time to sit down with us and answer a few questions about being an Honored Hero and his fight against leukemia. Everyone, meet 10-year-old Jalen!
When were you diagnosed with leukemia?
April 10, 2018. I finish my treatment on June 14, 2021.
How do you feel about being an LLS Honored Hero?
I feel very honored because LLS is an amazing foundation that helps lots of kids like me.
We understand that this has been a long and difficult journey for you, but who have you met along the way that has made a positive impact on your situation?
There's a girl named Joelle at my school that had the same cancer I do. She was almost done with her treatment and showed me I could get through it too.
What would you like to tell someone who has just been diagnosed with leukemia?
I know how you feel. It's going to be okay and you can get through this!
Who has been your biggest source of support during this time?
My mom, dad, and my brother, Dexter.
Do you have a favorite doctor or nurse that you’d like to thank?
Lots of them! My doctors, Kristen, Candy, and Dr. Kerr. My nurses, Gene and Rachel, too. Everyone at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital Colorado is great.
Why should people support Kaylyn?
She is very nice and she supports a great cause for a great foundation!
What do you like to do for fun?
Playing with LEGO, Minecraft, and reading.
What would you like to be when you grow up?
President of the United States of America or an astronaut.
We here at OCN agree that if Jalen's courage taught us anything, it's that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.
Every three minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with some form of blood cancer. While that statistic is devastating, it's important to know that survival rates are climbing with the advancements in treatments and therapies. It's because of passionate students like Kaylyn and brave fighters like Jalen that blood cancers are receiving more awareness, funding, and hope for a better tomorrow. And hope, when used just right, is the most powerful weapon against any obstacle - even cancer.