The first thing that gets me up every morning is peering into Samar’s deep soulful eyes. Once she has a hold of you, she melts you with her charm, pushes you away with her sass, as she plays with the kind of innocence that reminds you of how wonderful it is being a child. She has the fight to fend off her territory and the compassion to care for people who need it, often in the form of small gestures or super strong hugs.

13217462_10153402820666923_7176719713536601840_oSamar just turned two. We celebrated with family and enjoyed the evening with her. The next morning we received a call from our daycare provider. They discovered a bump on her cheek and asked if she had fallen or hit anything. We curiously said no. We took her to our pediatrician the next day. She was unsure what caused the bump, so she asked us to keep watch over the course of a week to see if the swelling would go down. During our follow up appointment, our pediatrician was still concerned. She called a few doctors and immediately pushed us to see an ENT specialist, for an MRI and CT Scan. The next day, we were told she had a tumor. She’s been at the hospital ever since.

After four biopsies, several in-patient procedures, and a week of waiting, she was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). We know Samar’s strength and sass will get her through this. She’s on an intensive in-hospital treatment for the next six months. Her journey starts here but won’t end till she fights this thing to remission.

Samar’s only two. She has the strength of a 10 year old, when she fights every needle prick, temperature check, and vital scan. Her heart is even stronger. Samar’s sassiness and smarts bring an indelible happiness to everyone she meets. She has taught us lessons of love and strength, and she will teach you, if you take the time to listen to her story. We hope that by sharing the strength and courage of our daughter, we can help shine a path of hope for other families dealing with pediatric cancer.

Prayers up. #SamarStrong