Three years ago, McKinley, Chloe, Ava and Lauren were all in treatment for cancer at a Florida hospital. The quartet relied on each other to get through the arduous process, and on Monday they reunited for a photo shoot as cancer survivors.
The girls, all between the ages of 4 and 5, take a photo each year in the lobby of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, but this is the first time they are all in remission.
“They were all on active treatment the first time we did this,” Ava’s mom, Alyssa Luciano, told FOX13 in St. Petersburg. ”It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come from being bald little babies.”
McKinley, Ava and Lauren all had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Chloe had a rare form of lung cancer. McKinley said they all bonded “because our blood was sick.”
Lauren’s mom, Shawna Glynn, added that the girls formed a camaraderie when they were at Johns Hopkins because of their bald heads.
“She’s 3 years old and doesn’t have any hair, but all of her friends in the hospital look the same way so it kind of gave her some normalcy,” Glynn said.
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“It was just always a breath of fresh air to see a familiar face and to know that she wasn’t alone in this,” Karen Moore, McKinley’s mom, added.
The moms said that they also relied on each other to make it through treatment.
“Just having other moms to relate to has been phenomenal,” Moore said. “Just to have other people going through it at the same time as us.”
Lauren was the last to complete treatment, with her final one on Sept. 10.
“We’re done,” Glynn said. “She just rang the bell to signify that she has completed her treatment … She’s going into kindergarten on Monday.”
“They have just come so far, all of them,” she said.