Meet Sha'Miya: 2021 Family Advocacy Week Champion
Sha'Miya is participating in Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Week from June 13-18, 2021. Through this event, Sha'Miya and her family will discuss her health journey, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s role in providing Sha'Miya with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Sha'Miya.
In April 2020, Shantel, Sha'Miya’s mother, knew something was off when her daughter started sleeping more and losing weight. They soon noticed a lump on Sha’Miya’s upper thigh and went to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to have it examined. Surgeons removed the cyst, but tests revealed that Sha'Miya had acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
“It was devastating,” says Shantel. “We were hoping the tests would be wrong, but it was confirmed, I started to cry and then began to pray with all my heart.”
Sha'Miya started chemotherapy immediately and received intense treatments each month. In her second month of treatment, she needed a blood transfusion. Five months into treatment, her liver and lungs were failing, and she was transferred to the ICU.
The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for family members to visit her in the hospital. Shantel resigned from her job to ensure she would be there for her daughter. Soon after her health improved and on November 9, 2020, Sha'Miya was declared cancer free.
“Joe DiMaggio Children’s hospital took good care of me,” says Sha'Miya. “They treated me and helped me beat my AML.”
Today, she is doing great and continues her monthly check-ups and her blood counts are good. Sha'Miya is currently in fourth grade and enjoys painting and drawing.