WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — At two and a half years old, Maebri was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). According to the National Cancer Institute, ALL is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Signs of childhood ALL include fever and bruising, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Jenny, Maebri’s mother, says her world changed completely when she learned that one of her children had cancer.

We had a happy, healthy life, that we thought. It was just a Friday night when she started having some, you know, symptoms that we really weren’t sure what was going on and took her into her pediatrician that next morning on Saturday. And the nurse drew some blood and that nurse came back in and the doctor came in and told us that they wanted us to go to our local children’s hospital. You’re not really thinking that much cause she seemed to be pretty healthy. And you know, by 12 o’clock that afternoon we’re sitting in the emergency room at our children’s hospital and the doctor comes in and tells us that he’s pretty confident that Maebri has leukemia. So, you just kind of go from normal, you know the day before, to your world just changed completely.”

Jenny, daughter had acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Soon after the discovery of Maebri’s cancer, she and her family would go to St. Jude.

“I think what I thought of St. Jude was more of a hospice hospital where they just took kids to be comforted before they passed,” Jenny said. “Walking in the doors that first day and holding her just wondering if this would be the last time I’d get to leave holding her was just a really, really scary moment in our lives that I’ll never forget.”

During Maebri’s fight against ALL, Jenny would learn St. Jude is more than just that.

“We’re just so thankful for our journey and all the things that that hospital has done for us,” said Jenny.

Although the winner in the fight against cancer, Jenny says she’s grateful Maebri does not remember much of it.

“One of the blessings with her age is there’s so much that she doesn’t remember, and I’m thankful for that,” said Jenny.

Jenny says her family was included at St. Jude in the fight against Maebri’s cancer.

“One thing about St. Jude is they don’t make the siblings, you know, not included and they try to involve the whole family in whatever activity we went to,” Jenny said.

Jenny said she was recently asked to describe St. Jude in one word. The word, that she said came to her quickly, was “family.”

“It really is true, you know. We hadn’t been able to go like we used to, with all the covid, and we really missed going, we enjoyed going there we had made a lot of connections there with people that just became like family. The doctors and the nurses and even just the people that worked in the cafeteria and the front desk ladies and just, you’re seeing them so often and they’re just in your life at a hard, special time that. People, just you know, they’re just special people you’ll always remember,” Jenny said.

In April, Maebri will go back for her five-year check-up.