One little fighter, Lily Goodwin, is a spunky karate practicing, cheerleading 8-year-old girl of Ionia, Michigan battling cancer.
Lily’s 8th birthday was just twelve days after she found out she has acute myeloid leukemia. She went to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Before she knew she had cancer, Lily was an active member in level 2 cheer with Champion Force Athletics. She also has her yellow belt in karate, and her cheer coach does home visits to keep her abilities up.
After going to the children’s hospital, Lily began chemotherapy. Kimberlee Girlie, Lily’s mother, has been with her through everything. Girlie says that Lily will be in the hospital for several weeks at as she receives aggressive chemo. When her leukemia cell count is down, she can be at home with her family.
Lily’s type of caner is tough to treat due to the kind of gene she has.
“She is a trial study through John Hopkins as well for that which is why she has to go straight to stem cell replacement,” Girlie said. “A lot of kids with leukemia don’t spend as much time in the hospital, but they take longer to treat it.”
When her count gets low, she will undergo a stem cell replacement and bone marrow transplant.
Lily and her family were aware of what Ionia Community Awareness Purple Week was before Lily had Leukemia. Kimberlee Girlie did a lot of events with Purple Week while working at Heartlands Rehab Center in Ionia. She also has an uncle that was in treatments for cancer. Purple Week is not something new for them, but now it has a completely different meaning.
“It’s just an amazing program that they set out there to bring awareness, and I think that it’s so important, especially for some of these diagnosis’ that don’t get much recognition,” Girlie said. “Most of what I dealt with working in health care is you see the breast cancer awareness constantly, which is critical and needs the research, but you don’t hear as much about the other diseases and what they’re doing to study and help prevent these things for people and the support that’s out there that you don’t hear that much about.”
With all of the support received from people, Girlie says they do not feel alone in her daughter’s fight. Lily’s family gives thanks for the prayers from their supporters it has helped them through tough situations they have faced. Lily’s mother says it’s incredible how many people are supporting and praying about their little fighter Lily.
“Now that I’ve had contact with them about stuff that they do for the families that have cancer it has a whole new outlook for me. I didn’t realize they were that in depth with local families and how much they did help,” Girlie said.