2016 Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero: Justine
Up until age 12, Justine had lived an extremely active lifestyle. She loved to practice Kung Fu, play basketball/swim and ride horses in her free time. But a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) changed all that, robbing her of many of her favorite pastimes; Justine received treatment for ALL primarily at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. Since her diagnosis she has endured six major surgeries in addition to two and a half years of intensive chemotherapy. As a result of the harsh treatment her condition required, Justine was later diagnosed with bone tissue death, known as osteonecrosis, as well as neurocognitive deficit.
Now 18-years-old, Justine has been in remission for the past three years. To give back to the medical team at Levine Children’s Hospital that cared for her so well, Justine has joined Levine’s Teen Advisory Council. Amazingly, Justine has almost completely rekindled her active lifestyle. She is involved in many community-oriented and school-based activities, and she fills her free time with hiking adventures and kickboxing classes. Justine will be attending Auburn University in the fall, and has aspirations to become a veterinarian someday.