Battle Against Cancer

Image result for Bridget Kelly 8 yr old cancerGates of Merrymount Elementary School in Quincy, Massachusetts witnessed hundreds of students, parents, teachers and police officers holding colorful signs welcoming back an 8-year-old Bridget Kelly after a 15-month absence for cancer treatments and a stem cell transplant. this special greeting, along with the 4-degree weather made Bridget’s parents overwhelmingly overflowed with emotions to see how excited they were for her return. Kristin Healy, a school parent who helped organize the gathering said, “"Her classmates wanted to let her know, 'You were out for 15 months, but we absolutely did not forget about you.” 
Bridget’s parents, Megan Kelly and Dan were worried with the heartwarming scene of the officers from the town, country and state police that it would be too much for Bridget. She said, "It was almost overwhelming, she felt so special and so welcomed after such a long and hard road. When we saw all the people we thought she could be overwhelmed and embarrassed, but she raised her arms like 'Victory!' and she soaked it in. She totally went with it, and that made it that much more exciting."
In September 2016, Bridget was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood cancer and spent 88 days in the Boston Children’s hospital undergoing chemotherapies and surgeries. Further, when she didn’t go into remission right away, her condition required a stem cell transplant. it was when she went to get a swollen tonsil removed that her MRI revealed something much worse. Her parents were completely blindsided, they thought she was getting her tonsil out.

Shannon, Bridget’s 3-year-old sister was the donor of the stem cell transplant. hence, she had a limited contact with people due to her medication and surgery. During the tenure of her treatment, Bridget was on a special diet, with no or limited contact with people that took place outside the house. Kelly said, “She had to live in isolation, We couldn't have anybody in the house. She understood that the cancer was serious, but it was almost more devastating that she wasn't able to go to school or soccer or dance or birthday parties."

Related imageThe Kelleys were helped with regular meals as well as money raised for cancer research arranged by the families in the community. Also, she was tutored during her time in the hospital so that she could graduate to third grade.  Healy, one of the parents, organized a Facebook forum to help plan the special return for the little girl. She said, “I invited 50 people, and by the end of the day it was 150 along with the police,'' Healy said. "Everyone was just super excited for Bridget after she had a really tough battle."Kelley said, "We had anxiety about sending her back to school because we were so trained to avoid germs, but it was also such a relief, it's like we're finally on the upswing now that she's allowed to come back."


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