BY MARY KAY SWEIKAR
CATLIN — Doctors have told Paige and Danny Byrom of Catlin that their 3-year-old daughter, Sadie, must undergo at least another year of chemotherapy and other medical procedures to fight her leukemia.
The little girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 18 months old. Her type of leukemia strikes about one out of every 2,500 children. It also has a 95 percent survival rate with treatment, which her parents found reassuring.
Sadie has undergone chemo treatments since she was diagnosed, along with several surgeries, numerous spinal taps, bone biopsies, blood and platelet transfusions and other medical procedures. Because she is in constant pain, she also receives morphine treatments.
Because Sadie is more susceptible to colds and infections when she is taking chemo, her parents can’t take her out in crowds, and she can’t participate in play groups. So the Byroms are anxiously waiting for the day when her treatments are completed and her immunity is built up.
Sadie initially lost her long blonde pigtail when she started the chemo treatments, but it has since grown back.
Danny and Paige now have a second child, Addison, who is 10 months old. Because Sadie’s leukemia is not genetic, they aren’t fearful that Addison also will develop the disease.
“Even after all that Sadie’s been through, we’re still extremely hopeful,” Paige said, “and we’re looking forward to the time when life can get back to normal.”
The plan is to enroll Sadie in the pre-school program at Catlin Grade School after she completes her treatments.
The family makes many trips to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where Sadie receives her treatments and is hospitalized at times. “You just do what you have to do,” her mother said.
Paige started two jobs last fall at Danville Area Community College in order to supplement the family income. Danny works for CSX Railroad.
Danny said that they have already paid more than $8,000 out of pocket for Sadie’s treatment and care and they’re looking at another $27,000 in medical expenses over the next year. The family has organized an online fundraiser through the end of the month.
“We appreciate everyone’s prayers and support that they have given us up until now,” he said.
How to help
Danny Byrom has organized an online fundraiser for his daughter. You can give now through Feb. 28 at http://secure.giveforward.com/donate/55325/. There is also an account set up for Sadie at the First National Bank of Catlin, 202 S. Sandusky St., Catlin, IL 61817.
More information on Sadie’s condition and treatment can be found online at Sadie’s Fight at http://www.facebook.com/groups/SadiejByrom.