In December 2017, Azlee Requena who was only 4-years-old at the time, was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Azlee’s mother, Vanessa Requena, first noticed that Azlee’s lymph nodes were swollen and she had lost energy.
Her swollen lymph nodes were treated as an infection but Vanessa noticed that they continued to swell and weren’t getting any better. She took her to another local doctor who recommended that she take Azlee to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
She was seen by an infectious control doctor who performed a biopsy on her lymph nodes and she was then diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Azlee endured intense chemotherapy for several months and shied away from people after she started to lose her hair.
Now, almost two years later, Azlee is doing much better and is in complete remission.
“Her treatment is going great,” Vanessa said. “The doctors said she’s been doing awesome. She’s been having minor side effects of chemo but she’s in complete remission as what we’ve been told.”
Azlee still has a year and a few months left of treatment at Cook’s. She goes there for treatments once a month.
She’s doing so well, she even started kindergarten at Glen Rose Elementary.
“She’s really shy so today was a big day for her because she’s not used to being around so many people,” Vanessa said of the first day of school.
Azlee is a shy 5-year-old who likes to color and keep to herself. Her diagnosis caused her to withdraw into herself but Vanessa said her personality is slowly changing and she’s beginning to act like her old self again.
"Before she had gotten diagnosed, she was a little bit more outgoing, not too shy like she is now. I think she kind of built herself up to where she’s not so shy anymore because when we go to the hospital, she’s a lot more talkative to the nurses,” she said.
During Azlee’s treatment, a silent auction on Facebook was held for the family along with a potato supper at the Citizens Center. A fundraising walk was also coordinated.
Vanessa wanted to let the community know how Azlee was doing and to thank them for their continued support throughout her recovery.
“She’s doing great and we thank them for everything that they did for us, for having faith when she first got diagnosed. It was a great help. The community helped a lot for gas and for food,” she said.