Sheila noticed her daughter, Walasia, was having issues with balance and short-term memory. Then she began slurring her speech and throwing up, prompting Sheila to seek answers. It took a full year of medical investigating to receive the horrific diagnosis: Walasia’s symptoms were being caused by a cancerous brain tumor. “I was worried that my daughter might die; she was so quiet,” said Sheila. “She asked me, ‘Am I going to die?’ I told her that God had her back, and she didn’t ask me again.”
For six years, Walasia battled four different brain tumors. Her treatment was difficult, requiring two stem cell transplants and resulting in the loss of her vision. “I used to like drawing and I couldn’t do that anymore,” said Walasia. “When you lose your sight, the world is taken away from you.”
When first diagnosed with cancer, Walasia’s family received support from family and a few children’s cancer foundations. However, after Walasia’s second round of cancer, most foundations couldn’t help them anymore.
But there was hope: Walasia’s social worker told them about Pinky Swear Foundation. One of their greatest memories during this time was the gift of their All-Star Weekend from Pinky Swear. “We were able to celebrate Walasia being in remission, just the two of us,” said Walasia’s mom. “We truly felt like the All-Stars that we are.”
Today, Walasia is cancer free and enjoys making people happy, museums, music and public speaking. In fact, she is now educating others about the realities of childhood cancer, including sharing her story at Pinky Swear Foundation’s Youth Leadership Council in June.
The partners at Pinky Swear Foundation are not only providing hope to families battling childhood cancer; they are also growing our family of advocates and support so more children and families can get help when they need it most. There are no one-time gifts at PSF, as the impact of your generosity lives on in the lives of those you help through Pinky Swear forever.