Aubrey Deno, an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivor, will be honored on Saturday, October 18 at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual Light The Night Walk in Chicago. Aubrey will join thousands of other participants at locations around Northwest Indiana and Illinois to honor survivors, remember loved ones and walk in recognition of those still battling blood cancers. In the summer of 2010, Dustin Deno and his wife Lacey noticed some significant bruises on their little 13 month old baby, Aubrey. She had just started walking and they thought it was nothing unusual, especially not cancer. Aubrey was taken to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University for tests and they showed her blood packed with leukemia cells, specifically Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
Typically the treatment for ALL is two years of outpatient chemo but after the first round, doctors saw little positive response. Aubrey received two more rounds of chemotherapy to get her in remission. Since her cancer was so aggressive, it was sure to come back unless the doctors performed a stem cell transplant. Little did Dustin and Lacey know that the intense chemotherapy during the stem cell transplant would have such a negative impact on Aubrey’s health. Aubrey’s liver started to fail, causing her lungs and kidneys to fail as well. Right before their eyes, the Deno’s watched their little girl as she was given less than a 1% chance at survival. After several months in the ICU, intubated and on dialysis, Aubrey was given a trial drug. It worked. Aubrey bounced back and her vital organs began to respond.
Aubrey battled a long two year recovery, but she is taking the world by storm and fighting back against her cancer.