Condition: Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
City, State: Hillsboro, OR
Club: Hillsboro High School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 1/11/2019
In August of 2015, Lilly and her family moved to the Northwest from California and events in her life began spiraling downward. Her father had a stroke the day they arrived and seven weeks later he passed away from a brain hemorrhage. After careful deliberation, Lilly’s mom decided that staying here was best.
Fifteen months later Lilly was experiencing a recurrence of hip pain she had been having on and off since she was four years old. Her doctors felt they were just growing pains, but this time the pain didn’t go away. It just got worse. After weeks of pain, doctors decided to do an x-ray which revealed a spot on her hip. An MRI was ordered and the concern over the spot grew. Unsure if the spot was an infection or a tumor, a bone biopsy was ordered just three days before Christmas and Lily was officially diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.
Histiocytes are a part of white blood cells, which help the body fight infection. Langerhans cells occur due to a random genetic mutation. These cells build up in parts of the body and can form tumors. This type of cancer often goes away on its own so doctors decided to monitor it. Lilly was given x-rays every few months and she eventually got better.
In January 2018, Lilly started drinking unusually large amounts of water and waking up multiple times in the middle of the night. Doctors diagnosed her with Diabetes Insipidus, a rare disorder involving the pituitary gland. However, after attending her last oncology appointment, her oncologist immediately knew this rare type of diabetes was a common sign that the Langerhans had returned.
Doctors found a tumor inside her pituitary gland which caused her body to not be able to regulate thirsts and hold fluids. Lilly’s chemotherapy started immediately and her cancer journey officially began again. In April of 2018, a port was surgically implanted to allow for chemo every week.
Lilly has made her way through these experiences with hope in in her heart and a positive attitude. She hopes to someday be an oncologist who can change people’s lives. Lilly loves cats, horses and dogs. Art and drawing are her passion along with reading, computer games and all things Pusheen the Cat. Her love of cooking meals with exotic foods keeps her smiling but Lilly needs our help. Her family is strong but many added costs come with battling cancer and most of their family and support system remain in California.
Lilly will be adopted as a Sparrow to Hillsboro High School. Students will work hard to not only love and support her, but raise money for Lilly through sponsored community service and fundraising.