CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Not long ago Mom Sarah Florczyk was sitting on the sidelines thinking she was aware of pediatric cancer, but it was a world she didn't really understand.
"It hadn't touched me directly," she said. "I think it's easy to assume it's something that happens to other people. For years I've read about #MollysKids because the stories help me make a personal connection. But I still never really understood."
Then Sarah's daughter Brynn was diagnosed with leukemia.
It happened, as it usually does, out of nowhere.
"In early 2015 we started noticing a few things off," she says. "They were symptoms you could attribute to growing pains of a 4-and-a-half-year-old, but a fever and extreme tiredness prompted us to get bloodwork done. Her platelets were so low the pediatrician sent us to Levine Children's Hospital and admitted her to PICU."
Sarah says shock doesn't even begin to describe it.
"My in-laws immediately flew in from Connecticut," she said. "We didn't even know what we were dealing with yet but Brynn has an older brother and younger sister who at the time was only 5 months."
Brynn was in PICU for 24 hours. While doctors analyzed her bloodwork, Sarah and her husband took to Google.
"We knew what it was before they told us," Sarah said. "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia."
She started chemo two days later. She's now a year-and-a-half in.
Another year of treatments to go.
"It's a long haul for anyone," Sarah said. "Much less a child."
Though the Florczyk family is positive, there are no guarantees. But Sarah said Brynn takes it like a champ. She's now 5 years old and just started kindergarten at Lincoln Charter School in Denver, NC. She's a "girly-girl" who plays with Barbie, princesses and often dresses-up. She adores dancing, gymnastics, swimming and soccer and loves to be creative with color and paint.
"She also loves her siblings," Sarah said. "No one can make our baby, Aubrey, giggle the way Brynn can."
I had the honor of meeting Brynn at the MTJFoundation "Catwalk for a Cause" back in May. She walked with Ryan Newman.
We all know cancer is unfair and affects all ages. But it still seems surreal that heartfelt emails about new diagnoses continue to pour into my email.
Ten days left this month. Hopefully you're aware. Have you taken ACTION?
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your sweet girl with all of us.