• Cancer

    In the Loop: Making the holidays brighter for other pediatric patients

cancer patient Beth Lepper holding presents and sitting beside Christmas treeThree years ago, one of Beth Leeper's aunts was doing Beth's hair when she felt a strange lump behind one of Beth's ears. "She pushed on it and it hurt," Beth says. When Beth later went to the doctor for immunizations, she had a blood sample taken. "A few weeks later, they called my mom at work and said that I might have leukemia," Beth tells us.

A second blood test at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus confirmed that fear. The news sent 12-year-old Beth into a tailspin. "When they first told me that I had leukemia, I cried," Beth tells us. "One of my relatives passed away from brain cancer, and so when a 12-year-old child hears that they have cancer … they just think they're going to die. And that's what I thought was going to happen to me."

After her diagnosis, Beth embarked on a "long and hard" treatment battle that included several rounds of chemotherapy. And while she didn’t know at the time whether those treatments were going to "cure me or make things worse," Beth says she did know that her Mayo care team was doing everything they could to help her understand what was happening. "All of my doctors and nurses were great," she says. "They really took the time to explain everything to me thoroughly." Read the rest of Beth's story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.