Imagine taking your 7-year-old daughter to the doctor thinking she simply had a bad case of tonsillitis. Then, imagine being told her tonsils needed to be removed. That happens sometimes, right? My niece had to have her tonsils removed and we didn’t think anything of it. That is likely what the Kelley family thought when their daughter Bridget went under the knife to remove her tonsils. Sadly, the news they received after her tonsils were removed and what she endured for more than a year afterward was devastating.
As it turned out, Bridget had more than tonsillitis. She had lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a type of blood cancer.
Bridget underwent 15 months of treatment. When she didn’t go into remission she had to have a stem cell transplant. Her 3-year-old sister was the stem cell donor. Her immune system was so weakened and medically repressed that she had to lead a super reclusive life. Not only was attending school out of the question, she also could not go outdoors, attend parties, or interact with others who were outside of her home. Her life was a sterile, controlled environment.
Despite being away from school for so long, she did continue to receive her education so that she didn’t fall behind her classmates. When she returned to Merrymount Elementary School in Quincy, Massachusetts on January 2, 2018, she was met with an amazing greeting from not only her classmates and faculty but also the community.
Bridget was met by hundreds of students, teachers, parents, and even police officers as she went to school to rejoin her classmates for the first time in over a year. Her mother, Megan, said they were initially afraid that the entire scene would be too overwhelming and emotional for her daughter, she realized that Bridget was embracing the moment and loving every minute of it.
Watch this incredibly touching video where Bridget runs in the direction of the crowd with her arms up high in V-formation. The V is for victory because this little fighter is a cancer survivor!