Two years ago, four little girls fought for their lives against childhood cancer.
McKinley, Chloe, Ava and Lauren were all just 4 and 5 years old when they met each other on the oncology floor of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ava, Lauren, and McKinley had acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Chloe had a rare form of lung cancer.
Their heads bald from chemotherapy, these little fighters quickly bonded over their shared medical battles. They were all so young that finding other kids who looked like them and were experiencing the same painful treatments and procedures was a true godsend.
“She’s 3 years old doesn’t have any hair, but all of her friends in the hospital look the same way. So, it kind of gave her some normalcy,” said Lauren’s mom Shawna Glynn.
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The girls became fast friends, as did their mothers.
“It was always a breath of fresh air to see a familiar face and to know that she wasn’t alone in this,” said Alyssa Luciano, Ava’s mom.
The wonderful news is that after two years of treatment, all four girls have now achieved remission. Thanks to this amazing news, these friends-for-life decided a celebration was in order. They all reunited in the hospital that saved their lives for a chat with the doctors, nurses, and staff who helped them through those tough months of treatment.
Just look at how terrific and healthy they look now!
A photographer was on hand to capture photographs of the four, healthy children — a stark contrast to the kids they were when last they met. Now, they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them, and they’re looking forward to starting kindergarten in the fall. They plan to make their reunion a yearly tradition in order to honor the love and friendships they formed during those trying times.
These beautiful, smiling faces are a reminder that everything in life is easier to endure when we’ve got loving friendships to lift us up! Congratulations to McKinley, Chloe, Ava and Lauren! Wishing you a long and healthy lifetime filled with all the love and kindness the world can offer.
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