Liliana is a giggly and fun-loving 6-year-old who is full of life. She enjoys playing with her four siblings and has a love for unicorns.
When Liliana was only 3 years old, her parents noticed that she didn't have her usual bubbly energy.
Her appearance turned pale, and she experienced persistent fatigue. She became so tired, that she kept asking her parents to carry her.
Her parents initially thought this was anemia, but iron supplements didn't help any of Liliana's symptoms. As Liliana's condition continued to decline, her parents made an appointment with a pediatrician.
That’s when everything changed…
The pediatrician explained that Liliana had a low level of hemoglobin in her blood, and should be taken straight to hospital.
At the hospital, an oncologist shared the heartbreaking news, Liliana was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“I kept beating myself up, thinking, 'How did I miss this?' I guess it’s just hard to imagine cancer ever happening to your child,” her mother, Tiffany, told us.
Liliana was initially admitted to the hospital for 10 days, and began chemotherapy immediately. She also had access to a clinical trial for a new drug that researchers believed to be more effective and less harmful than other cancer treatments.
After more than two years of intense treatment, Liliana completed her last cycle of chemotherapy in February 2023.
However, Liliana still endures the side effects of such harsh treatment. Cognitive delay, physical weakness, tachycardia, constant fevers and blood sugar fluctuations are what impact her the most.
Liliana is also still undergoing multiple therapies, tests, and scans to monitor her condition, including an electroencephalogram.
To improve outcomes and provide safer alternatives for children like Liliana, further research into pediatric cancer is vital.
“Even if her story touches one person, and that person spreads the word and touches a few more people… maybe those people will donate to help kids in the future,” Tiffany said.
“If we can be part of helping another family get through this, maybe that’s our calling.”
Liliana, your strength and resilience inspire our GCC community. We will be riding for YOU this September!