The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Beautiful Nichole - 2012 Honorary Survivor

The Relay For Life of Henderson County would like to introduce their 2012 Honorary Survivor, Nichole Gray of Oquawka.

Her parents John and Tania Gray have provided a short story of her two year journey.

It has been a long and hard two years for Nichole. She has never stopped fighting and neither have we.

In December of 2010 three days before Christmas we found out Nichole had AML Leukemia. She was only 8 months old. Peoria sent us to St Jude's in Memphis, TN.

She went through six rounds of chemo. She also got a line infection from tap water and we almost lost her. It has been very scary and hard to watch her go through all of this.

The cancer went into remission and we were all very happy. But the doctors told us that she was at a high risk of the Leukemia coming back. We went home in June 2011.

Nichole got a fever before we went home. Nothing showed up so we went on home. It took two weeks for the bacteria to grow. She ended up getting another line infection, it was acid fast bacilli.

She spent almost a month in Peoria in the hospital. The doctors were watching her close to make sure her numbers were coming back up. Then in October 2011 after routine blood work we got a phone call from Peoria. (The words we never wanted to hear again)

She showed blast cells in her blood and we needed to be in Memphis Monday morning for a bone marrow test. It only took two hours to find out that she relapsed. It was hard to take in everything, because we knew what that meant.

We then met with the doctors at St. Jude's and were given a decision to put her through stem cell transplant or bring her home on hospice and the odds for her survival were only 20% through the transplant, it wasn't a hard choice we had to keep fighting.

She is almost 100 days out of transplant and doing very good, she is a true miracle and beating all the odds. She spent 47 days in the hospital for the transplant.

We are blessed to have her here with us. Nichole is the first reported case of AML M0 in an infant in the world, so this was all new to the doctors also. We cannot THANK EVERYONE enough for all the prayers, thoughts, and support we have received.

Relay For Life of Henderson County hopes you join us on July 13, 2012 in honoring Nichole and the many other cancers survivors in our community.