High school, what to do on a Friday night and parents are just a sample of the typical stressors of a teenager's life. But while the average teen worries about what they made on their history test, 17-year-old Stacie Molina has a more cumbersome concern. After six years in remission, Stacie still worries that her cancer may come back.
When she was 2, herparents, Jesse and Sonia, took her to Dr. Wehner at Shannon Medical Center for a regular checkup. Dr. Wehner sensed that something wasn't right, so he did blood work and the diagnosis was verified: Stacie had acute lymphocytic leukemia.
"When Dr. Wehner told me, I was in shock" Sonia says. "I could hear him talking, but it wasn't sinking in."
"All you hear is the word cancer and you just think somebody's going to die," Jesse adds.
During her year and a half of treatment, Stacie became a little nurse. "When Stacie's counts were higher, we'd have her at the nurse's desk with us," says Brenda Gibbons, one of Stacie's nurses. "She would play with our stuff and feel like she was a big kid."
After treatment, a small percentage of children will still have leukemia hidden in their body undetected. When Stacie was in second grade, she learned that she would once again have to go through treatment. "I remember talking to my teacher about it, telling her that I was tired of having to go in and out of hospitals, being poked all the time, and it was the first time I knew that I could die from it," says Stacie.
Stacie went into remission after two years of treatment and remains cancer-free today. She gets checked once every six months. "We had a checkup in December, and everything was great," says Jesse.
Stacie and her family look forward to the future with optimism. The high school junior plans on attending Angelo State University where she intends to study medicine so she can care for others as health professionals have cared for her. "The nurses here inspire me," Stacie says. "I want to be that for someone else."