Lyndsey was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2016, when she was 17 years old and a junior in high school. Although she is still fighting this illness and is tired most days, Lyndsey has maintained a positive attitude through all this and lives life like she did before her diagnosis as much as she can.
Lyndsey’s diagnosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) makes her truly one in a million. CML is a cancer of the white blood cells that affects men more than women and the average age of people with this diagnosis is 65 years old. “Lyndsey’s leukemia was discovered because of a different problem,” explains her mom, Correne.
“She had severe acne and after months of nothing working, a blood test was required. On December 8, 2016, Lyndsey had her labs done and the next morning, the dermatologist contacted her pediatrician about the results. She explained that her white blood cells were extremely high (over 50 times the normal limit) and she needed to be taken to the emergency room immediately.”
Lyndsey went from sitting in class to being pulled from school, rushed to the hospital where she stayed for a week for treatments to remove the excessive white blood cells. It turned out her severe acne was a symptom of her leukemia. It’s safe to say Lyndsey’s life had been turned upside down and she needed something to bring her some extra joy. So when wish granting volunteers from Make-A-Wish North Dakota asked her what her one true wish would be, she asked for a Yorkie puppy.
Lyndsey and her three siblings had always wanted a dog and their mother finally agreed it was time to welcome a furry little family member. After a few months the perfect puppy was found and presented to Lyndsey. She named him Tucker and from the moment they met you could tell there was a special connection. “Tucker has brought a tremendous amount of joy to this family. He is a lot of fun and so cute,” says Correne.
Lyndsey graduated this year and her leukemia has sparked an interest in the medical field so she will be studying radiology in college. Lyndsey has bone marrow biopsies every six months and recently there has been a slight increase in the cancer so she will continue treatment.
This time, however, she will have her new four-legged best friend by her side the entire time. Tucker is such an important part of Lyndsey’s life that they even had her senior pictures taken together. You could say Tucker is one in a million, too.