An Intorduction to :

My Life

Hi everyone! My name is Angie Rose Lee and I am 24 years old. Over the past eleven years (2008) I have had leukemia 3 times, received 2 bone marrow transplants and just recently received a double lung transplant (March 30, 2019)! I have gone through treatment in Canada and the United States at five different hospitals. The road has been long and difficult, but today I am cancer-free and breathing with new lungs!

The purpose for selling my bracelets is to raise funds for the organizations and hospitals that have helped me along the way. I also want to create awareness about bone marrow and organ donation. The more donors we have, the more lives that can be saved. When my cancer returned in 2012, my oncologist told me I would need a bone marrow transplant. The world database was checked and there was no match for me. I had to continue chemotherapy and hope a match would come my way. This is why it is so important to be swabbed as you could be a possible match for someone and save a life. I also want to spread the word about organ donation. I waited for my lung transplant for almost 2 years. There just aren’t enough donors and so many waiting for transplants of all kinds. One donor can save up to 8 lives.

I never once thought this would happen to me. But it did. I was an active, healthy kid, and an outgoing teenager. I loved sports of all kinds – gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, tae kwon doe, and on and on. My friends and I loved the weekends and late summer nights!

I’m grateful for being here but its been a struggle to say the least. I salute all the health care professionals who treated me with kindness and respect. A big thank you to friends who stuck by me and of course.. my family 🙂

On a side note, there are many things I have left out-details about operations, procedures, medicines, feelings/emotions. So much has happened in the past 11 years that it would impossible to cover it all. I’ve kept my story as short as I can so more people can read it without being overloaded with too much information.

I’ve tried to mention the main points of my journey but if anyone has questions for me, is going through a similar experience, or just wants to say hi I am always here to talk!

An Intorduction to :

My Life

Hi everyone! My name is Angie Rose Lee and I am 24 years old. Over the past eleven years (2008) I have had leukemia 3 times, received 2 bone marrow transplants and just recently received a double lung transplant (March 30, 2019)! I have gone through treatment in Canada and the United States at five different hospitals. The road has been long and difficult, but today I am cancer-free and breathing with new lungs!

The purpose for selling my bracelets is to raise funds for the organizations and hospitals that have helped me along the way. I also want to create awareness about bone marrow and organ donation. The more donors we have, the more lives that can be saved. When my cancer returned in 2012, my oncologist told me I would need a bone marrow transplant. The world database was checked and there was no match for me. I had to continue chemotherapy and hope a match would come my way. This is why it is so important to be swabbed as you could be a possible match for someone and save a life. I also want to spread the word about organ donation. I waited for my lung transplant for almost 2 years. There just aren’t enough donors and so many waiting for transplants of all kinds. One donor can save up to 8 lives.

I never once thought this would happen to me. But it did. I was an active, healthy kid, and an outgoing teenager. I loved sports of all kinds – gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, tae kwon doe, and on and on. My friends and I loved the weekends and late summer nights!

I’m grateful for being here but its been a struggle to say the least. I salute all the health care professionals who treated me with kindness and respect. A big thank you to friends who stuck by me and of course.. my family 🙂

On a side note, there are many things I have left out-details about operations, procedures, medicines, feelings/emotions. So much has happened in the past 11 years that it would impossible to cover it all. I’ve kept my story as short as I can so more people can read it without being overloaded with too much information.

I’ve tried to mention the main points of my journey but if anyone has questions for me, is going through a similar experience, or just wants to say hi I am always here to talk!

2008

My Summary

(If you don't want to read the whole thing)

Hi everyone! My name is Angie Rose Lee and I am 24 years old. Over the past eleven years (2008) I have had leukemia 3 times, received 2 bone marrow transplants and just recently received a double lung transplant (March 30, 2019)! I have gone through treatment in Canada and the United States at five different hospitals. The road has been long and difficult, but today I am cancer-free and breathing with new lungs!

The purpose for selling my bracelets is to raise funds for the organizations and hospitals that have helped me along the way. I also want to create awareness about bone marrow and organ donation. The more donors we have, the more lives that can be saved. When my cancer returned in 2012, my oncologist told me I would need a bone marrow transplant. The world database was checked and there was no match for me. I had to continue chemotherapy and hope a match would come my way. This is why it is so important to be swabbed as you could be a possible match for someone and save a life. I also want to spread the word about organ donation. I waited for my lung transplant for almost 2 years. There just aren’t enough donors and so many waiting for transplants of all kinds. One donor can save up to 8 lives.

I never once thought this would happen to me. But it did. I was an active, healthy kid, and an outgoing teenager. I loved sports of all kinds – gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, tae kwon doe, and on and on. My friends and I loved the weekends and late summer nights!

I’m grateful for being here but its been a struggle to say the least. I salute all the health care professionals who treated me with kindness and respect. A big thank you to friends who stuck by me and of course.. my family 🙂

On a side note, there are many things I have left out-details about operations, procedures, medicines, feelings/emotions. So much has happened in the past 11 years that it would impossible to cover it all. I’ve kept my story as short as I can so more people can read it without being overloaded with too much information.

I’ve tried to mention the main points of my journey but if anyone has questions for me, is going through a similar experience, or just wants to say hi I am always here to talk!

2008

The Start of it ...

ALL

On July 1st, 2008  when I should have been enjoying Canada Day, I was instead receiving the worst news one can hear, “You have cancer”. At 11 years old, I was diagnosed with ALL- (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), and would start an experience that would forever change and shape my life.

I began 6 months of chemotherapy followed by a year of pills and endless doctor appointments. Many days and weeks were spent in the hospital for the treatments, and also complications from my weakened immune system. It was such a tough time- losing my hair, joint/muscle pain, mouth sores, eating through a feeding tube and lots of nausea and tiredness. I only attended a few days of 6th grade as I never felt well enough to go.

Before I was diagnosed, I was very athletic. Competing in tennis tournaments, an avid swimmer, top tier of my school running team and a Canadian National Tae Kwon Do silver medalist. But my love and passion was always for gymnastics. I was awarded Top Amateur Gymnast for my province of Alberta, Canada. I believe to this day that the physical toughness and mental focus of this sport really helped me get through some tough days.

2009

TIME TO RECOVER

This year I was back in school for grade 7. I was feeling better but often missed from being tired. It was great to see old friends again and it felt like life was getting back to normal!

Because of the steroids I was on for the leukemia protocol I developed a condition called Avascular Necrosis of the knees. This is where the blood supply is cut off to a certain area and the bone eventually dies. I was told that I would eventually need knee replacement surgery. This is a very painful condition. Also my physical strength was lacking and unfortunately I didn’t make any of the school teams I tried out for. Maybe next year!

Fun Fact

Fun Fact:

Friends of mine who were big Justin Bieber fans dragged me along to an autograph signing at West Edmonton Mall. He was very nice to me and we tlaked about my Make-A-Wish Trip to the Grammys later that year. He would be going for his very first time as well!

2010

The Grammys

Grade 8 was the best year of my life. My body had completely healed, I was in great shape from the volleyball camps I attended over the summer and I was surrounded by tons of new friends. Not only did I make first string on my school team, but I was also accepted into one of our city’s top volleyball clubs! I started gymnastics again and after a few classes was invited to join the competitive tramp and tumbling team! I felt invincible, as if the cancer had never even happened. My oncology checkups and hospital visits were now months apart. I was totally myself again and in control of my life. I would cherish the memories from this year dearly through the dark times that lay ahead.

This year was special because I fulfilled my “Make-A-Wish” trip to the Grammy’s award show in LA. My family and I got all dressed up, our hair and makeup done, and walked the red carpet! (Actually to the side of the red carpet, but still very close to the stars lol) The day before the show I was invited onto the red carpet and interviewed by ET Canada. Best part of the night was the performance by Eminem, Lil’ Wayne and Drake! We were also given tickets to Disneyland and a VIP tour of the Warner Bros. Studio lot. It was an awesome trip and I can’t think the Children’s Make-A-Wish foundation enough and all who give/support this worth while charity. 

2011

CANCER RELAPSE #2

In the fall of grade 9 (October) my cancer relapsed. I was having lower back pain which brought me into the hospital where I was told the news. I cried not out of fear for what was to come, but for the life I had to leave behind- again. I would miss the entire year at school as I was constantly hospitalized for chemotherapy. When the cancer returns it has to be treated more aggressively, so I was feeling just too physically weak and exhausted to attend.

This time I would also need a bone marrow transplant to save my life.

 My siblings were tested but sadly they were not a match for me. The world database was checked, but again no match. To keep my cancer at bay I did chemotherapy every month while I waited for there to be a potential donor, as well as looking at other options and alternative approaches.

These were tough times for me. I tried not making my cancer an issue and kept hanging out with my friends trying to be as normal as possible. I never wanted pity or to be treated differently. However, there were times when I was exhausted just trying to keep up with everyone. It can be pretty uncomfortable wearing a hot and sweaty wig at a friends sleepover in the middle of summer. Still, I just wanted to be like everybody else.