My name is LesLee Hacker. I am the mother to two kids, Jonathan 17 and Lauren 14. I have been married for 28 years and have had a fairly adventurous life as a military wife and mom to two active kids. It seemed our life was following the average path of working and raising kids until on 12/12/12 my daughter, then 10 years old was diagnosed with Acute Myelocytic Leukemia. She walked into the hospital on December 11th of that year and then after fighting through harsh chemotherapy and intense illnesses finally left the hospital in remission on June 4, 2013.
We spent the next 2 1/2 years building our life again, with many new lessons and different priorities. We learned to find joy in every moment we could. We faced some problems and grew tighter as a family. We are still trying to figure it all out.
I am writing this blog to share out stories, the resources we use to fight Lauren’s cancer, and to draw more attention to the plight of children and families battling leukemia. Our family shared Lauren’s story on her Caringbridge website. We were surprised to receive letters from so many other families dealing with pediatric cancer or their own struggles. Lauren’s sweet smile and her fighting spirit inspired so many people. Her story also brought many people to pray for her. Despite her suffering and her long, hard battle with leukemia, our family was able to share many happy experiences along the way, such as having Taylor Swift come visit and making such wonderful friends with hospital staff, the Creighton University volleyball players, and have a visit form her classmates on a snowy day making snow angels outside her window.
Unfortunately, Lauren’s leukemia relapsed and we are back fighting it once more. She will enter the hospital on April 13, 2016 to begin her fight again. We hope that we can spread awareness about pediatric cancer. We hope we can increase the number of people that have registered for bone marrow donation. We hope we can increase contributions to help wonderful organizations that have helped our family along the way like Make-A-Wish and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
But, our biggest hope is to continue the love coming Lauren’s way as she faces this brutal monster once again. We hope the prayers come flowing in and families pray together and prepare to be inspired by one little girl that has so much love and joy to give! Go, Lolo, Go!