To go along with North Lamar ISD’s initiative to bring awareness to childhood cancer during the month of September, two very young cancer survivors will be doing their part on the front lawn of Aaron Parker Elementary on Friday morning of September 14.
Madilyn Hallford, who is almost four, and her friend Sierra Faulkner, who is four, will be serving juice and donuts for donations from 7:00 to 8:30 this Friday as students, parents, and teachers arrive to school. The donations they receive will go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that supports childhood cancer research.
Neither of the girls are students at Parker Elementary, but they live in the district and hope to be a North Lamar Panther one day. The two things they have in common is they both have had cancer and both are in remission.
Madilyn, whose parents are Taryn and Jordan Hallford, was diagnosed with Leukemia in August of 2016.
“The treatment for leukemia at Madilyn’s age is two to two and a half years,” said Madelyn’s mother Taryn. Along the way Madilyn had several complications, infections, and viruses including chicken pox, pneumonia, and Sepsis. “Ultimately, Madelyn is doing well. She will have her last dose of chemo in October of this year. She attends the Episcopal Day School, she loves everything princess, and bouncing on the trampoline.”
Sierra, whose parents are Kaylee and Dakota Faulkner, was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma of the skull base in November of 2016. Her tumor was inoperable because it was wrapped around her carotid arteries. Chemotherapy and several rounds of radiation were used to stop it from growing and to shrink it. The treatments were effective, and the tumor went from the size of a tennis ball to a pea. Sierra lost vision in both eyes due to the tumor damaging her optic nerve, however they are working with a specialist discussing their options.
“Sierra is a country girl at heart, with a flair of princess,” said Taryn of her daughter’s friend. “She excels at her home preschool program and loves to dance and ride around in her bright pink golf cart visiting all her neighbors.”
“Both girls are the best of friends, and we are blessed that God has brought our families together,” said Taryn. “We did not know each other before our girls’ diagnoses. I met her grandmother, Connie, one morning at the clinic in Dallas in the waiting room. We were the light in each other’s very dark world.”
Together the girls have raised almost $10,000 for childhood cancer research with hopes of finding a cure.