STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - If you met 10-year-old Lindsay Templeton right now, you'd never guess how close she was to death six years ago.
Today Lindsay is not only beautiful, she competes in triathlons (completed six!) and science Olympiads. She wins awards for enthusiasm, hard work and a positive attitude. She's a rock star 5th-grader who kicked childhood cancer to the curb.
Lindsay was a 3-year-old living in Statesville when diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). She went to the hospital in August 2010 with extremely low hemoglobin. Her mom, Ginger, says blood transfusions are justified when the hemoglobin is as low as 8… Lindsay's was a 4.5. Normal is 12.
Doctors soon diagnosed it as cancer.
From there, toddler-aged Lindsay was hospitalized for six months. Her chemotherapy was so intense she was only allowed to leave her room one hour a day, and that was only if she wore a mask. Being around other germs put her at risk to develop an infection or secondary cancer.
Ginger says her daughter not only beat AML, but remains NED (No Evidence of Disease). They've since moved to Raleigh.
"She is one of the very, very lucky few to be virtually unscathed this far out," Ginger said. "We call her miraculous."
Ginger also says the emotional toll on family made an everlasting impact.
"It may have been felt most by Lindsay's younger brother, Michael," she said. "He was 15 months when Lindsay was diagnosed and because of her treatments, he had to be separated from us, his parents, more than most kids that age. But in the end, I believe we are stronger for having faced cancer as a family together."
I first heard about Lindsay when her proud grandparents in Kings Mountain sent an email.
As many of you know, most pediatric cancer treatments are meant for adults, which makes them extremely harsh on kids. That's one reason, Ginger says, more research and funding is needed.
"Who would have imagined my little bald child, hooked up to blood transfusions, IV antibiotics, and multiple types of chemo would be swimming, biking, and running with a smile on her face?" asked Ginger. "Not a day goes by that I don't realize how lucky we have been."
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness (ACTION) Month.
Make it matter.