Here’s my story. In May of 2007 I started to feel extremely run down. Naturally, I thought it was from working full time and going to school. After putting up with a sinus infection, headaches, hives, and an odd rash stemming from my feet I decided to go to the emergency room one morning. Little did I know June 3ed would be the day that changed my life. When I arrived in the hospital room, the doctors came in and dropped the bombshell, I had Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. I was floored. How could a 22 year old that had never been severely sick all the sudden have a life threatening illness. I had known someone my age who had leukemia and had died so immediately I thought my life was over.

After days of strong chemo I think we all had come to the conclusion that I needed a bone/marrow stem cell transplant, the question was who would be my donor. Well, God was watching over me because my one younger sister was a perfect match. Everything happened so quickly and August 30th I had my transplant. I didn’t know what was ahead of me after that. I got real bad side effects and there were moments where deep down I didn’t want to go any further. After 40 odd days in the hospital I was able to go home. My mom put a lot of things on hold to come to Pittsburgh and stay with me to help get me through this. 

I think in some ways this was all a blessing in disguise. I truly and fully appreciate family, friends, God, and most importantly life more than I ever thought possible. I think we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of making a living and surviving day to day that we forget what really matters, and that is being happy and making life long memories.

I would love to continue with my massage therapy education more than anything. Right now the thought of coming up with money is overwhelming and being 23 with no savings doesn’t help much. It would mean so much to receive a gift from The Nicki Leach Foundation. It is so wonderful that organization like yours are here to help young cancer survivors like me through such hardships in life.

You and your daughter truly are angels.
Noella Weaver