Two-year old is winning battle against childhood leukemia –
By Patricia Beech –
Bailey Grace Buck is a happy, seemingly healthy two-year old girl with a bubbly spirit and an adventurous, talkative, and playful personality.
But when bruises began mysteriously appearing on her body, her parents, Nathan Buck and Lyndsay Day of West Union, could find no reasonable explanation. Suspecting that falls might be the culprit, they became more watchful, focusing on keeping Bailey safe.
Then, on May 3, 2018 their daughter developed an unusual rash that Day suspected might be chicken pox. She took Bailey to see an urgent-care doctor at the Southern Ohio Medical Center.
After examining Bailey, the doctor gave Day some frightening news.
“She told me she wasn’t going to waste my time because she thought she knew what was wrong, and that it was more severe than anything they were able to handle at urgent care.”
The doctor advised Day to take her daughter to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.
“We went to urgent care just like a normal visit, we figured everything was going to be fine,” says Day. “It worried me alone when the doctor told me she thought it was more serious, I really didn’t know what to think at that point.”
The following day, doctors at Children’s Hospital confirmed the young parents’ worse fears. Bailey had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) – a form of childhood cancer.
“As soon as we found out, we both just broke down in tears,” says Day. “At that point I was just concerned about how severe it was and whether she was going to be okay. I tried not to think the worse, but I definitely did.”
“Getting that diagnosis was literally the worst part of this whole situation,” says Buck. He credits the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital for making the process less frightening.
“By the time we got out of admission and got to Bailey’s room, we had already talked to several doctors and nurses and they already had a plan in place,” he says. “From the moment she stepped foot in the hospital they knew what was going to happen, they knew what they were going to do, and they let us know what to expect.”
Bailey and her parents remained at Children’s for one month while she underwent chemotherapy and steroid treatments.
When they left Children’s on June 4, Bailey was in remission. Her final spinal tap results showed she was 100 percent cancer-free. However, she would have to spend the next 23 months in treatment to ensure the disease did not return.
Bailey returned to Children’s on June 11 to begin chemotherapy treatment.
Speaking by phone to the Defender, Day said her daughter was doing much better, and was excited about returning to Children’s.
“She loves it here, I love it here,” Day said. “She’s doing exceptionally well. Her chemo isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but the doctor said the younger the patient, the easier it is on them.”
“Bailey is so resilient, it doesn’t bother her at all,” says her father. “To her, going to the hospital is just a road trip where she gets to see her doctors and nurses, whom she absolutely loves.”
Buck says the staff at Children’s was instrumental in helping he and Day get through the difficult and frightening time.
“Children’s is the place to be,” he says. “They explained everything in detail and they were 99.99 percent accurate about what would happen. They dedicate their lives to helping children, and as a parent, I really appreciate that.”
Bailey’s depleted immune system, a side effect of chemotherapy, has also required changes in her home.
“It’s very life altering,” says Buck. “We have to be careful to keep germs away from her while she’s at home.”
He says Bailey hardly seems to notice the added precautions.
“I don’t think many kids could handle it as well as she has,” he says. “There’s just something about Bailey that is literally the strongest thing I’ve ever seen in any human being – she is our bundle of joy.”
Day says what kept her strong throughout her daughter’s illness was “her faith in God and her faith in Bailey”.
“Love is a powerful thing,” she says. “You can’t explain the love between a parent and child until it happens, and you can’t imagine how strong that love makes you until it happens.”
While their daughter’s illness has brought significant changes to Buck and Day’s lives, they say Bailey is hardly changed at all by the experience.
“She’s a little quicker since they’ve cut her hair off, it made her more aerodynamic,” says Buck. “She still keeps us running.”