Kelly McCann, a beloved teacher at Thoreau, has just been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She is an inspiration to all who know her and now she needs our help.
April 6th was just another day in the life of our Favorite mother, daughter, fur-mom, teacher, family and friend, Kelly McCann. It was the third week of school since returning to in-person learning & she was loving being back in the classroom with her kids. However, she had been experiencing some shortness of breath along with some pain & swelling in her leg and decided to squeeze in what she thought would be a quick visit to Urgent Care. The very thorough urgent care doctor had ordered blood work that revealed an astronomical white blood cell count, which he informed her it is indicative of Leukemia and that he she needed to go to the hospital immediately. Less than 48 hours after arriving at UW Hospital & undergoing endless tests and procedures it was confirmed that Kelly not only had a blood clot in her leg, but that she has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). By the end of the week she had started her first round of a very aggressive chemo treatment which is 24 hours a day for 7 days. This will be followed by another biopsy to see how the treatment is working and if they need to make any adjustments to the “chemo cocktail” before starting the next round. She will have to stay in the hospital for the duration of these treatments, which will be at least 30 days, possibly more.
The good news is her white blood cell count is back down in normal range and the blood clot is gone, but the hard news just keeps coming. Over the weekend the doctors informed Kelly that once they are able to get the cancer into remission she will need a bone marrow transplant. This is going to require another month long hospital stay.
Last week Kelly was looking forward to a few more months of in-person learning with her students, then teaching summer school and getting to do her summer reading program; this week as her world has been turned upside-down, she was told that it is unlikely she will even be able to return to work for the next year after her transplant. With all that she is facing and fighting, financial stress should not have be added to it.
For myself and so many others, Kelly has been an inspiration, a leader, an advocate, a helper, a hero. She is always willing to help someone in need (human & animals alike) any way that she can. AML may be a rare cancer, but Kelly is one in a million & her work here isn’t finished yet. I am reaching out to family, friends and anyone who is able and willing to donate to the support for Kelly during this difficult journey. She is strong and she is a fighter, I truly believe that with all of our support, she’s got this!