On the morning of her sixth birthday Kaylee Marshfield was diagnosed with cancer.
It was February 1, 2018 and the phone rang as Todd, Kristina and their three daughters sat down for breakfast. “I took her to the ER on January 31st and they called the next day. It was cancer.”
For nine months, with family by her side, Kaylee battled the disease as she underwent three separate surgeries, received multiple rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and spent more than 100 days a children's cancer ward.
When not in the hospital, the Marshfield's made every effort to provide Kaylee with some semblance of childhood. When her energy levels permitted, Kaylee joined her kindergarten class and as a family the Marshfield’s spent several days at the Great New York State Fair, traveled to Hershey Park and spared no expense with the girls’ favorite holiday–Halloween.
For her part, Kaylee oscillated between animated silliness and periods of quiet and distant introversion.
On October 22, 2018 Kaylee rang a large bell at the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse, New York; it was a celebration to mark her final round of chemotherapy. Less than two weeks later, on November 1, 2018, Kaylee was declared cancer-free.
What began more than four years ago as a young girl’s battle against childhood cancer has evolved into an intimate, ongoing story of a low-income Upstate New York family and a young girl as she navigates all the beauty and complexities of growing up.
Childhood Cancer Awareness: - Each day in the United States approximately 47 children are diagnosed with cancer; the average age is 8 - Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in American children, killing approximately 1,800 kids each year. - Childhood cancer research is notoriously underfunded when compared to all other forms of cancer and hovers just below four percent of the entire outlay by the National Cancer Institute - Federal funding for research is largely based on incidence rates. This means that cancers that occur more often receive more funding. - Critics suggest that one of the reasons childhood cancer doesn't get as much funding is becuase pharmaceutical companies won't receive as much money from the medications and that the government uses the rarity of childhood cancer to avoid funding it.