MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s Twosday – 2/22/22, and on this special day, meet a 22-year-old St. Jude childhood cancer survivor who’s celebrating the day by asking the community to donate $22.22 to the children’s hospital.
Hailey Kennedy was a teen when she was treated for acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer. She spoke with ABC 24's Nicki Storey about her journey.
“I was diagnosed when I was 13 years old in 2013 with acute myeloid leukemia. Like anyone who's ever had a battle with cancer, it comes as a complete shock and a surprise. Being 13 years old, my biggest worry at the time was how long my hair was, and to be told that I would lose it all felt like the end of the world,” said Hailey.
“I went through six months of intense chemotherapy and was put into remission after just the first month and a half. I responded great to treatment. I went home and thought I was going to be starting my eighth-grade year of middle school. And sadly, after three weeks of being home, I relapsed,” she continued.
“At this point, we flew right back to St. Jude. And at this point, the cancer was so much stronger, that chemo wasn't an option anymore. So I had a bone marrow transplant from my mom. That put me in complete and full remission, and I have been cancer free ever since.”
Now, Hailey is getting ready to graduate from Elon University and begin a career in public relations after returning from a semester abroad in London.
“I'm actually a senior in college now, and you know eight and a half years ago, I didn't even think that that was a possibility. I've had the opportunity to study abroad in London, do internships and experience so much that truly I wouldn't have been able to experience without St. Jude and without my treatments and never having to receive a bill for them. I wouldn't be where I am without all of that.”
St. Jude and Hailey are asking community to consider donating $22.22 in honor of 2/22/22. Learn more HERE.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food – so they can focus on helping their child live.