James Houlihan

For nearly a year, teenager Ayisha Green suffered from a reoccurring sore throat. Then, in May, she started rapidly losing weight.

According to SWNS, the family originally suspected that the seemingly unrelated weight loss might have been caused by an eating disorder.

The 13-year-old girl lost more than half of her body weight before she was asked to take a blood test at the hospital. The following day, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

James Houlihan

Ayisha’s mother, Jayne Green, told SWNS that her family had taken the young girl to the doctors six times before she received her diagnosis. She told SWNS:

“We thought it was tonsillitis. The last time she had it was in May and we noticed she was losing weight really rapidly. My partner thought she might have an eating disorder.”

Jayne wants other parents to watch out for signs of reoccurring infections and weight loss:

 “I want to let everyone know, if your children are coming down with an infection and it’s always the same thing, it might be a sign of something more serious. You can see a doctor but it’s not every day they take a blood test, which is how we found out about Ayisha. Leukemia can often show itself through tonsillitis because it affects the immune system. The prognosis is that it’s treatable and they are giving her all the treatment she needs.”

According to the family, Ayisha is now receiving her second round of chemotherapy at Manchester Children’s Hospital. Next, she will need a bone marrow transplant. She’s hoping her brothers are a match.

James Houlihan

In an interview with Dearly, Jayne’s fiancé, James Houlihan, said Ayisha’s treatment is on the “right road” and that she has been recovering with treatment:

“It’s been treated and is on right road. We [wanted to tell Ayisha’s story] to have more mention of Ronald McDonald House. Most parents we met or spoken to from our area did not know about it till they got to the hospital.”

The Ronald McDonald House has been providing transportation to help the family to travel to and from the children’s hospital.

Last weekend our team took part in the happiest 5k on the planet, at The Color Run Manchester! We got covered in plenty…

Posted by Ronald McDonald House Manchester on Monday, July 10, 2017

James said the family doesn’t need to raise money for Ayisha’s care, but he was hoping to raise awareness and support for the group that has helped his family:

“Ayisha’s condition is treatable. We wanted to raise awareness but also have a good mention on Ronald McDonald house, so parents know that this organization is here to help families that live far away and can’t travel to and from the hospital. These guys are amazing and need more public support.”

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), acute myeloid leukemia is a cancer that grows in the bone marrow and leads to an increase of white blood cells. It can be difficult to diagnose.

Some of the signs and symptoms may appear random, but can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Bruising
  • Fevers
  • Loss of appetite

“Acute” means the cancer is likely to spread quickly if not treated right away. LLS reports that it is a difficult cancer to treat.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,380 people will be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2017. Most of the fatalities will be adults, as Reuters reports it is unusual for people under 45 to be diagnosed with this illness.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a new drug was just released this week to help with advanced forms of acute myeloid leukemia.

When Ayisha was first diagnosed with leukemia in June, she asked her mom if she would have to lose all her hair. Her mom slowly nodded and told her that she would.

But now, weeks later, the family is starting to settle back into their routine. James told Dearly that Ayisha has yet to find a bone marrow match, but the family seems hopeful that they will find a match and their young girl will make a swift recovery:

“[We haven’t found a match] yet, still looking, but we will find one. That’s a given.”

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