After Conquering Leukemia, Graduate Offers Message of Hope

By Johnson, Deborah | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 10, 1996 | Go to article overview

After Conquering Leukemia, Graduate Offers Message of Hope


Johnson, Deborah, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Deborah Johnson Daily Herald Staff Writer

Michelle Bailey was 16 that summer in 1988 when her mom, a nurse, noticed she was sleeping too much and had a lot of bruises.

Concerned, Patricia Bailey took her daughter, then a junior at Naperville Central High School, to a pediatrician.

The news wasn't good. Michelle's parents were left with the difficult task of explaining to their daughter that she had acute myelogenous - a rare form of leukemia.

"I'd been to the doctor and then went out with friends," Michelle recalled. "(My parents) called me at my friend's house and said I needed to come home,"

When she got there, "My mom was at the door crying, my sister was crying. They just explained that I was very sick and I needed to go for treatment."

That day marked the start of a very long road for Michelle and her parents, Naperville residents Patricia and William.

The once-energetic teenager was in the hospital so much that her insurance plan stopped paying for her costly treatment. At one point, the 16-year-old was given only a 20 percent chance for survival.

But, thanks largely to former Gov. Jim Thompson, Michelle's church, friends and complete strangers, this story has a happy ending.

Today Michelle, 24, is cancer-free. On Saturday she will graduate from Loyola University with a master's degree in social work.

Michelle hopes that by sharing her story she will give hope to other cancer patients. She also wants the people of Naperville, who rallied behind her with cards, money and prayers, to know how much she appreciated their life-saving efforts.

A frightening new word

When Michelle first learned of her illness, she denied it was happening. She kept thinking the diagnosis would turn out to be a mistake.

"I was very young, and had never heard the word 'leukemia' before," she said.

Then she started treatment and the illness hit hard. "Cancer means you're going to die, especially to a 16-year-old," she said.

Through the fall and winter of 1988, Michelle underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy.

Her mom recalls that Michelle was so sick she sometimes didn't feel like coming to the telephone.

That Christmas, her friends pooled their money to buy her a cordless phone. It was just one of many acts of kindness the Baileys witnessed throughout the ordeal.

Then in March, Michelle relapsed.

"The cancer was in my bones and in my spleen," she said. "They said the only chance for survival was a bone marrow transplant, and no one in my family matched."

There was, however, one other possibility: Doctors could remove Michelle's own bone marrow, blast it with radiation, and then replace it.

The problem was that Michelle's health insurance coverage had capped out. Public aid wasn't an option because at the time the form of treatment Michelle needed was considered experimental.

"They said I didn't have a good enough chance of survival," Michelle said. "That was when we got a lot of media attention and the community started doing a lot of fund-raisers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After Conquering Leukemia, Graduate Offers Message of Hope
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.