childhood cancer awareness month

‘I'm a Lot Stronger Than I Thought I Was'; 14-Year-Old Battles Leukemia

Addi Graham is nearly 15 years old. She was diagnosed with cancer this year.

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and, according to the American Cancer Society, 10,500 children 14 years old and younger will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

Fourteen-year-old Addi Graham is one of them.

"We arrived on a Wednesday, and by Thursday evening she'd had a bone marrow biopsy," Graham's mother Mallory Bennett said. "She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia."

Graham has spent much of 2021 at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

"I was a little scared at first," Graham said. "And I wasn't happy to be missing school."

When her classmates had their first dance earlier this year, Graham joined them from the hospital. She got dressed up in a gown, with flowers and an IV stand as her accessories.

"She makes me be positive about the situation... some days I want to sit and sulk," Bennett said of her daughter. "She doesn't let me. She's like, 'It's going to be all right, we're going to get through this."

According to the American Cancer Society, after accidents, cancer is the leading cause of death among children 14 years old and younger. Advances in treatments have helped more children survive longer.

"I think it's important to recognize what we go through and how hard we fight every single day," Graham said. "I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was."

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