Stories about: leukemia survival stories

Our patients' stories: Taking on cancer with a smile

Ariana was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 2 months old. Allison O’Neill, MD has been with the family every step of the way.

When Sara Cepeda’s daughter Ariana was just two months old, she made a terrifying discovery while changing the small girl’s diaper. As Sara looked down at her baby on the changing table, she was horrified to see that Ariana’s entire midsection was covered in bruises. At first Sara wondered if her daughter could some how have been hurt by a stranger without her knowing, but a trip to the local emergency room revealed that her daughter’s bruising was caused by a medical condition. Based on what they saw in a physical exam, the ER doctors suspected Ariana was suffering from either a virus or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and made arraignments for the small girl to be transferred to Dana-Farber/ Children’s Hospital Cancer Center right away.

“I was a nervous wreck,” Sara says, remembering the long drive from Methuen to Boston. “Naturally I was hoping for the virus, but at that point all I could do was hope. I felt very helpless.”

Read Full Story