Meet Jasmine: 2018 Family Advocacy Day Champion
Jasmine is participating at 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 26-27 in Washington, D.C. During the event, Jasmine will share information about her health journey and the importance of children’s health care with members of Congress. Below is her story.
Jasmine is a healthy and vibrant 6-year-old — her parents describe her as “full of spirit and beautiful to boot.” Her smile is contagious, her hugs are warm, and sharing laughter with others comes as second nature. If you were ever lucky enough to meet her, you might never know that at just 2 years old she was diagnosed with a high-risk neuroblastoma — cancer.
Jasmine started treatment in September 2014 at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. She endured tumor surgery, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, radiation therapy and immunology therapy in the intensive care setting for three months. Through it all, Jasmine was fearless. Her unimaginable will to live armed her in the fight for her own life. She battled chemotherapy still running through the halls, and handled a long surgery and complicated recovery with grace.
While her treatment was long and difficult, in 2016, Jasmine was cleared as cancer-free! This amazing news didn’t mark the end of Jasmine’s special health care needs, though. There is a high recurrence rate for her diagnosis — she will need to be followed closely throughout her life. She continues getting scans and diagnostic testing for signs of recurrence, and additional testing for any side-effects of earlier treatments.
Her family is extremely grateful for the care they received at Yale New Haven Children’s. Her mother, Laci, notes that without this special hospital made for kids “she would not have made it — the doctors and nurses would not have had the training or knowledge to treat her."
Now two years cancer-free, Jasmine is wise beyond her years. She’ll soon travel to the nation’s capital with her parents to talk with lawmakers about her special health care needs and policies that affect kids like her.
"It is so important that the research continues for childhood cancer treatments,” Laci shares. “They are not little adults, but rather children with different needs. The research needs to be specific for children's bodies, children's illnesses. The immunology treatment that Jasmine received was approved for children just before she received it. If it had not been approved, she would not have been able to receive it and would most likely not be here today."
This resilient young girl doesn’t waste a moment. Jasmine likes drawing, playing outside with neighbors, floating in the river with her family, learning about Jesus, riding roller coasters, having fun and trying new things. When Jasmine walks into a room she is fully animated, full of energy and ready to lighten up any situation. We can’t wait to see her light up Family Advocacy Day with her spirit and joy!
Join us in welcoming Jasmine to 2018 Family Advocacy Day!
She has been blessed by God and passes those blessings onto others.