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Welcome to Cara's CaringBridge website. We've created these pages to keep our friends and family updated about Cara's condition and to have a space where messages can be posted. If you are reading this, you know that Cara has leukemia. And we know that you are pulling for her! How we got here is in the section called My Story.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, view the photo gallery, and write a note in the guestbook.
Cara Ryan Collins is 7 years, 10 months old. She has a twin sister, Tessa Quinn, and a brother, Aidan (MAC to us, since is first name is actually Michael). Cara is a first grader at Roland Park Elementary and Middle School. Cara also has Down Syndrome, and is a survivor of open heart surgery, which she had performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital when she was 4 months old. Cara has lots of friends and family.
A few weeks ago, Cara began complaining that it hurt to walk. After a few doctor visits, additional emerging symptoms (red dots all over her chest), and a blood test that revealed an extremely low platelet count, Cara underwent a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap, which confirmed a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most common type of leukemia among children and the most treatable.
Good thing she is a fighter!
Cara is enrolled in a Phase III clinical trial at Sinai Hospital. The treatment regime is lengthy -- roughly 3 years -- and there are 5 phases. The vast majority of Cara's treatment will be outpatient, in our home or at the Sinai Clinic.
Please read our journal to keep up with us!