Lacey Conlan was having trouble seeing the blackboard.
A visit to the optometrist, however, revealed she didn't need glasses. She had a more serious issue: a swollen optic nerve. A neurologist, in turn, diagnosed the fundamental problem, a tumor in Lacey's brain.
|Diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of brain cancer when she was just 12, Lacey Conlan credits you for helping City of Hope develop the treatments that gave her family hope and turned her from a patient into a survivor.|
At just 12 years old, Lacey had a rare and malignant form of brain cancer. Within three days, she underwent brain surgery.
There were no guarantees.
"We went from this happy girl dancing around singing, to her laying in bed with a big scar across her head," Lacey's mom Kathy remembers. "We were told she was probably going to die."
But Lacey and her family were not ready to give up. When a friend told them about City of Hope and our combination of science, medicine, and compassion, they knew they had found a powerful ally.
That's what your generosity makes you: an ally and partner of every man, woman and child who is battling cancer at City of Hope.
We grabbed every ounce of hope"
For six weeks, Lacey endured daily radiation treatments. Then came six months of chemo. It was rough. But now she and her family had hope.
"To go from hearing your child has maybe a 30 percent chance to live, to hearing 60 percent," Kathy Conlan says, "that may not sound like much, but we grabbed every ounce of hope we could."
Many of the treatments that helped save Lacey's life were developed right here at City of Hope. That is the kind of impact your generosity has.
Today, more than six years later, Lacey is a survivor. And she thanks you for helping her make it.
"If it wasn't for each quarter, each dollar that was donated," she says, "I don't think I would be here today."
Lacey has grabbed life by the horns. She won a recurring guest role on the TV sitcom "That's Life." She met stars like Kevin Costner and Cindy Crawford. She was awarded the Ace Bailey Award of Courage by the National Hockey League Alumni Association. Now in college, she happily returns to City of Hope to talk to staff and patients, take part in events, and raise money for pediatric cancer research.
If you ask her, though, Lacey might say there's nothing exceptional about her at all.
"People think that just because I had cancer I'm different," she says. "But I'm just like any other teenager. I hang out with my friends, I go to the beach, I go shopping ... I love shopping! I'm just an average teenager with average teen girl interests."
And for a girl who once looked death in the face, a chance to be "average" may be the best outcome of all.