She’s A Fighter, She’s Unstoppable

Hempfield Alumni Fighting For Her Life
Shelby doing a craft the first time she got sick with her nurse.
Shelby doing a craft the first time she got sick with her nurse.
Gia Christofano

As I walked into Bob Evans on Sunday March 3rd, it was busier than I’ve ever seen it. Family and friends crowded in the lobby, surrounded by support and smiles, hardworking happy employees rushed to seat guests. Big orange balloons and pictures can be seen around, even lottery trees. Everyone gathered for one common reason, my sister Shelby Sisco. Shelby is a former student of Hempfield Area High School graduating in 2015. This fundraiser was held to raise money for Shelby who is currently battling AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). She says, “ Seeing everyone come to Bob Evans and support me means the world. Being in here is hard but the love I have is unmatched.” At a time like this what’s needed is loving people coming together. Shelby knows the love and support she has her whole life but to really see it all in one place was special for her.

AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow; the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. The word “acute” in acute myeloid leukemia denotes the disease’s rapid progression. It’s a type of cancer that makes a large number of abnormal blood cells. Leukemia affects red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This may lead to easy bleeding, anemia, and infection. Being in the hospital is the safest place for her to be right now.

Devastatingly, this isn’t her first time fighting, Shelby battled this same disease back in 2012, her freshman year in high school and was inpatient for seven months. Her disease had a 1-3 % chance of returning. To go through this being a 14 year old at the time is hard enough, but in a higher place in her life is just unfair. The chemotherapy she received in 2012 was very powerful and damaged her body forever. One of the effects from the chemo was her heart not being able to pump how it should, the doctors are even considering a heart transplant this time.

Attending Hempfield High School in the fall of 2011, Shelby was ready to face the big school when she noticed she wasn’t feeling right. On February 2, 2012 she was officially diagnosed the first time around. Our family was heartbroken but knew she needed to see us behind her. Missing practically the rest of her ninth grade year, she missed school and was just starting her high school life. After many procedures and four chemo treatments, things started looking up for Sisco, the doctors didn’t think she needed the fifth. She was in remission and able to come home for good, the day before her 16th birthday, July 9. That was the best news in the world to hear. A fundraiser was held in 2012, by my dad and his friends at Unique Ink Tattoo. Shelby was able to come since she was released from the hospital and able to see the support live in action. Lots of families and friends rush in to get tattoos and all profits were donated to Shelby. She goes on to live the best twelve years of her life cancer free and thankful. 

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