In June 2016, 10-year-old Maeryn was experiencing unusual pain in her hips and knees. After several weeks of physical therapy, it wasn’t getting any better, so her parents took her to see a specialist. She was referred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Maeryn’s generosity and creativity continued to shine throughout her fight. She chose to delay the start of her treatment by one day so that she could donate her hair in the hopes of helping someone else. She and her family spent more than a month at the hospital while she underwent chemotherapy. Care packages with art activities helped her pass the time, and she gave away her creations to friends and family. Some days were worse than others, but she went through her treatment with grace, strength and an upbeat attitude.
Today, Maeryn is in the maintenance phase of her treatment and back to being an outgoing, creative and energetic sixth grader. She approaches everything with a new perspective now. She calls her diagnosis date her “Dare Day,” and plans to do something out of her comfort zone every year to celebrate her cancer battle. “Nothing is as scary as getting cancer,” said Maeryn. “But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
As the Light The Night honored hero, Maeryn loves to share her story and encourage others to participate in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s fundraising events to raise money for lifesaving research.