Rachel Daly, Acute Myelocytic Leukemia
Teenager Rachel Daly is one tough cookie. Despite having acute myelocytic leukemia at age three and going through three relapses and a bone marrow transplant, her spirit is as strong as ever.
She can still recall how it all started. "I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a pain in my leg," she says. "I thought it was from jumping around at a friend's party." Her pediatrician had other ideas. He referred Rachel to MD Anderson, where she was diagnosed with AML. Even then, Rachel took it all in stride. "My biggest worry was being away from my parents and friends."
Because of her relapses, Rachel was constantly in and out of the hospital. With a level of maturity far beyond her years, she even planned for the worst. "I made out a will at age six, leaving my favorite toys to my friends," she says. Rachel never had to use that will, thanks to a bone marrow transplant from her brother Sean.
Rachel still hangs out with teenaged cancer patients, easing their fears about treatment. She has big plans for the future. "I want to do so many things, and make a difference in this world." For many cancer survivors, she already has.