Tsihala was just over two years old when she received a cancer diagnosis. After a series of doctor visits and many days worrying, Tsihala’s parents received the devastating news that she was battling AML, a type of leukemia. Her cell counts were extremely high with cancerous white blood cells, and treatment began immediately and aggressively.
What followed were months of difficulty for Tsihala’s family. Her mother, Ashley, had to leave her job due to Tsihala’s intensive treatment, making it difficult to keep up with expenses such as rent and other necessities. On top of that, Ashley was pregnant during this time, adding another layer of stress to an already difficult situation.
Thankfully, Tsihala’s family had the support of friends, and a friend connected them to one of our nonprofit partners, Pinky Swear Foundation. Pinky Swear was founded on a pinky swear promise as a dying wish between a nine-year-old boy and his father to help children battling cancer and their families by providing support for immediate needs and unique family programs.
Pinky Swear stepped in to help Tsihala’s family with their rent and other basic needs, allowing them to focus on their little girl’s treatment.
By February, Tsihala had finished her final treatment, but acquired an infection which caused some setbacks and sent her back to the hospital. However, she is now doing well and is in remission! She was recently cleared by her doctor to go to preschool a couple days a week, which is exciting news for this amazing superhero!
Our partnership with Pinky Swear supports the Orange Envelope Program because of incredible families like Tsihala’s. The Orange Envelope Program provides families with a child newly diagnosed with cancer with a virtual “hug” in the form of a care package, delivered right to their mailbox. They receive a personal letter and small financial gift for non-medical necessities as they go through the process of cancer treatment. The program also provides fun gifts such as Love Your Melon beanies and ice cream giftcards - Tsihala and her siblings loved those! We are so inspired by their strength, endurance and bravery, and we are honored to come alongside Pinky Swear to assist these families.
Tsihala’s third birthday is coming up, and this year the celebration will be even more joyful than ever! This little girl may be small, but she is such a warrior and has already endured so much. Thank you for supporting Tsihala and her family as well as other families all over the country who are battling pediatric cancer.