Lillian Harper Leslie Chiquet
Lily was a vibrant, beautiful, and strong little girl. She was born on July 11, 2012. She was 6lbs, 4oz and 18.5 inches long. She was our little peanut. From the beginning she always made sure people noticed her whether it was through her adorable smile, her sweet voice or her impossibly loud screams.
Before she was diagnosed, Lily’s biggest fear in life was being left behind. Even when she fell down and scraped her knee she wouldn’t want anyone to come pick her up because she was afraid she would have to stop playing. We all thought being diagnosed with cancer would slow her down and she would end up not being able to play with her sister and cousins but it didn’t. We always said that if it weren’t for her little bald head no one would even know she was sick.
She was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on her 3rd birthday, July 11, 2015. When first diagnosed we were told that this wasn’t the worst that could happen; that this was a “good cancer”. Her odds were definitely good at 90% but the problem with Leukemia is even after she reached remission on August 29, 2015 she was far from being done with treatment. In truth her fight had only begun. She still had years of chemotherapy left. She fought hard for 10 months. Enduring more than I ever imagined a person could. She never once complained other than asking to go home when we had been in the hospital for days on end or sitting at the infusion center for 6 or more hours, multiple times a week.
On Sunday, May 1st, 2016 Lily was admitted to the hospital because she spiked a fever while neutropenic. It was a common occurrence aside from just having been released from the hospital the twelve hours prior. She spent the week battling an infection that couldn’t be tracked down and on the morning of Friday, May 6, 2016, Lily coded and the doctors were unable to bring her back. What we ultimately found out in the following months is that she had caught an infection called Mucormycosis. It is a fungal infection that affects 1.7 out of 1,000,000 annually and it was a wide-spread infection. There are currently no fungal screening procedures that can diagnose mucormycosis in such a short amount of time and the rarity of the infection meant that it isn’t something doctors are typically looking for.