Breanna's Grade 2 Picture,
7 Years Old

Breanna Eileen Aspell was born on Sunday, September 30th, 1990, three weeks early and very much appreciated for her early arrival. She weighed in at only five pounds and nine ounces, pink as a ballerina. She was the most beautiful baby we had ever laid eyes on. She had a cry that would bring down the roof, from the very first day we knew she was special.

Pictures Of Breanna Left To Right
Newborn and 2 Years Old

She was an exhausting toddler, she learned to walk by the age of 10 months,from there on Breanna never stopped! She was a happy, loving child, but was also a difficult child . There were times that I would just sit down and cry from sheer frustration. I knew that a "normal" child did not act this way. Signs of something not been right with her behavior were also seen at the preschool in our church. A lot of people told me she just needed to be stimulated more than what she was getting at home with me all day. So, I went back to work and she went to preschool at our church at age 3. It was a pure relief for me to have some time away from her, and for this I felt incredibly guilty. At age 5 we learned that Breanna has Attention Deficit - Hyperactivity Disorder .Finally an answer to Breanna's behavior. She was a loving child, funny as anything, and everyone loved her. If you had met Breanna, she stayed in your memory forever. People who haven't seen her since she was a toddler, still have memories of her playful behavior. Breanna was Always into something.... usually trouble! We laugh now about her adventures, but at the time I was just devastated. She was just so loving and affectionate, a trait she still has, that you couldn't stay mad long at her. She was, and still is, what my mother calls, "a handful".

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Breanna's Favorite Things:

She loves The Backstreet Boys - Crazy for them, I should say! She loves Horses & Cats - Say's she is going to be a Veterinarian one day. She loves the color Pink - Barbie Pink to be specific. She loves Pizza & Coca-Cola. She loves her Grandma - She lost one, and she's crazy about the one she has left. She loves her Cousin Justin - She will admit to anyone "he is my favorite". She loves her Friends - Everyone she meets becomes her "friend". She loves her Friend Tiffany - A fellow "Cancer Fighter" truly her BEST Friend. She loves to Draw - Is quite good at it as well. She loves to Dress-up - Like a Princess or a Ballerina. She loves Clothes - Dresses, specifically, and Fancy Shoes. She loves Movies - I think Mulan is her favorite, at the moment. She loves CANDY - Who doesn't =) She loves Her Family - Mommy, Daddy, and yes, her brother, Aaron.


On Breanna's 7th birthday I took her out of school for the day and "surprised" her with a trip to Disneyland, just she and I. It was the best day we had ever had together. Only to find out the 4 months later she would be diagnosed with Leukemia. She is a special child and has many special things that she is going to accomplish in her life, this I know for sure. From the time she was a little toddler and had enough personality for 10 kids I said, "this child is going to be something special, people will know who Breanna Aspell is".


[Breanna Disney]

Breanna in Disneyland, Sept./97

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On January 31, 1998 our daughter, Breanna, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. A few weeks before she was diagnosed she had severe leg cramps and stomach aches. We took her to her pediatrician and they did blood work to find out what was causing these pains. They suspected her appendix was the cause. The lab results came back that it was not her appendix, but they were unable to tell us what was the problem. We made an appointment with her doctor to go over the blood test results the next day. When we arrived at the doctor's office he brought us into a room and told us that we needed us to take her to Loma Linda Univ. Children's Hospital, a specialty hospital, 70 miles from our home in Palm Desert. I asked him what he thought was wrong with her, his answer shocked us. "Best case, Acute Anemia, worst case, Leukemia". I started to sob, but quickly pulled myself together so Breanna wouldn't see me cry. I didn't want to scare her. We went home and made arrangements for our three year old son, Aaron, to stay with his grandmother overnight. Not knowing what laid ahead of us.


We arrived at Loma Linda Univ. Children's Hospital around 7:00 p.m. that evening. They had scheduled a bone marrow test to verify the diagnoses. I spent all of that night praying that she would not have this horrible disease, a disease that took my best friends life when we were eight years old. The fact that my daughter was seven years old, on her way to eight and about to be diagnosed with Leukemia, was just too devesting to comprehend. The test was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. that morning. Only one of us was allowed to stay the night with Breanna at her side, so my husband had to go home and sleep, and would come back to the hospital for the test results. I asked if they would hold the test results until he could be with me. So, when he arrived a doctor we had not met before brought us into a conference room and said something that I will forever hold in my memory, "I'm sorry, but I do not have good news, your daughter has Leukemia". I started to cry, what else could I do, my worst nightmare was happening, and I was not dreaming.

[Halloween] [heart] [Bre&Mom]
Breanna Left to Right
Left:Halloween in Hospital,dressed as a Zebra Oct./98 & Right: Breanna and Mom

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I explained to the doctor that my best friend died of Leukemia when we were eight years old, and I was scared to death that we were going to lose our daughter too. He told me something that has given me the strength to get through all these months of treatments. He said, "They've come a long way in treating Leukemia's and other types of Cancer in the last twenty years". This was both soothing, and devastating, to know that she would survive. Her initial prognoses was 95% survival. I know now that this was wonderful news, but as a first time cancer parent, I did not see it this way. It took a few weeks before it all started to sink in that she was going to survive this. It was going to be a long, hard battle, but one worth fighting.


We stayed in the hospital for two weeks the first time, while she received chemotherapy. I remember the first night of chemotherapy, watching them pour poison into my little girls body was the most painful thing I'd ever endured to this point. At the end of the two week stay she received another bone marrow test that showed her to be in remission. We went home from the hospital on Valentine's Day 1998. I was so relieved and scared that I don't know which emotion was strongest. I knew that this was going to be the hardest thing I was ever going to go through. I can't tell you how painful it is to sit by and let someone poison your child to be able to save their life. Knowing that if the chemotherapy doesn't work, she will die. It is not much of a choice!

[Breanna1] [slippers] [Breanna2]
Breanna Dressed As A Ballerina In Hospital

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We are now one year into treatment and it has been truly the most emotionally rewarding experience of my life and hers. All I can do is be strong for her, so she can get through this thing with as little emotional scars as possible. As a parent all you can do is protect, love and support your children and God willing they will grow up to be healthy, happy, loving individuals. Breanna is now eight years old and has returned to school, when she feels well enough to go. Sometimes her counts are too low to be exposed to all of those children, but she loves to be "normal" again. Our journey is far from over and will continue on for the next five years, when she will be considered "Cured". As for right now, she's in remission and her last bone marrow test showed no sign of Leukemia cells. We are grateful to have our daughter with us, happy and almost healthy!

[baby horse][breanna][baby horse]
Breanna Now; And Her Favorite Friend "Lightning"
She Goes Everywhere With Her



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A very special thank you goes to Sharon (Mamadayski) for all her loving work on the Dreamsicle graphics on Breanna's page.Sharon you are a true angel on earth!
Please visit Sharon's page by click on the banner below, you'll be truely impressed!


Well Breanna you did it!!!!! You won the weekly contest.I'm so very proud of you, I can't think of a more beautiful little girl to win. Next step is the 1/4 yearly finals in July. Will keep you posted! Big {{{{{Hugs}}}}} honey, Love Jackie



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