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Kate Cox

Madison, MS | Acute Myeloid Leukemia

A mother just knows.

Tisha Cox knew that something wasn’t quite right with her youngest daughter, Kate.

There was what looked like a rash on the 15-month-old’s skin, and Kate wasn’t able to fight off the common cold.

“Leukemia didn’t cross my mind immediately, but I guess it was always in the back of my mind,” Tisha said.

In early 2013, Kate was getting a prescription for antibiotics every few weeks, Tisha said. “Finally, I told our pediatrician that I needed to know whether she has leukemia or not.”

Kate was born with Down syndrome, which gave her a slightly higher risk for developing leukemia.

A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000. When tests showed that Kate’s count was about 19,000, the Coxes were sent to the Children’s Cancer Center at Batson Children’s Hospital, a part of Children’s of Mississippi.

“Because AML is an aggressive kind of leukemia, we wanted to hit it really hard,” Tisha said, and the strong doses of chemotherapy did their job. Kate is now six years past her initial diagnosis and is getting good reports when she comes to Batson for check-ups.

Today Kate is an active first-grader who loves swimming, singing and, at Camp Rainbow, a summer camp for children who are undergoing cancer treatments or are cancer survivors , she won the Dancing Queen Award.

“She is very social,” said Tisha, “and she loves to entertain.”

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