My daughter Kennady was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on October 1st, 2018 at 5 years old. She began treatment just a couple of days later.
Kennady was a sassy girl! She had so much energy, even during her chemo treatments. She loved music. She loved to sing and dance. She was truly the entertainment of the floor. Kennady would put on performances for the staff at the hospital. She was also very much into hair and nails. Kennady had the most beautiful black curls. When she lost her hair due to the chemo she was very self conscious at first but then she quickly embraced her beautiful, perfectly shaped bald head! She loved to put makeup on herself and others. I can’t tell you how many makeovers I received. Not only was Kennady the entertainment at the hospital, she was also the cosmetologist. She would stay up late and keep the nurses busy by doing their makeup and nails. Even one of the male nurse practitioners let her do his nails. Kennady attended as many of the hospital events as she could. We walked the halls of the hospital constantly and visited the gift shop almost daily.
Kennady’s cancer was in remission after her first round of chemo but relapsed in the middle of treatment. I was told she would need a bone marrow transplant. We did the work up for the transplant and I was going to be her donor. Because of the relapse she also needed radiation to her brain. The day of her last day of radiation she had one more lumbar puncture for the pre transplant workup. The very next day we were given the terrible news that the cancer was back in her bone marrow and spinal fluid. At this point I was advised that her leukemia was too aggressive and that she would not be able to have her transplant. I was told she would only have about 3 weeks to live. We filled up those last few weeks with a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, a big unicorn party with a couple hundred people who love her very much and a Make A Wish shopping spree! She loved to shop for toys and makeup! By this point, she was starting to get very tired and her legs began to hurt more and more. We went back to the hospital for one more try with a different type of chemotherapy. During that last hospital stay, she developed respiratory issues and needed to be intubated and on life support. I made the decision to stop the life support and let her rest. On March 11th, 2019, a little over 5 months since diagnosis, my little girl passed away in my arms and surrounded by family. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her with everything I have.
Thank you for honoring our babies who were taken too soon. I think most days we feel like we are alone in this world but there is a huge community of parents just like me, missing my baby.
Kennady Faith Cunningham
May 29th, 2013- March 11th, 2019