Three year-old Hadley Gray is back to doing what three year-olds do: driving her toy jeep and serving tea at her home in Bluff City.
All of that was put on hold for the last six months as Hadley underwent treatment at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Brittany Edgeworth Gray, Hadley’s mother, explains AML is a cancer common in adults 60 and over that requires urgent treatment. She says St. Jude only sees about 20 kids a year with the condition.
Hadley was in critical condition when she arrived but the staff at the hospital did their best to make it feel like home.
“In my mind, that was always a place that kids go and then you just kind of wait for the inevitable. And that’s just not what St. Jude is at all. There’s so much happiness and hope in that hospital,” Brittany said.
One example is the viral video being shared of the staff’s “no more chemo” song, a tradition at the hospital when a patient is deemed cancer free.
Brittany has endless gratitude for the friends, neighbors and strangers in the Tri-Cities who helped her family in their time of need: “I wish their was somewhere we could go and everyone could just line up and I could hug them to pieces…and Hadley too, she’s a hugger.”
St. Jude is hosting a 5k to end childhood cancer at the Pinnacle in Bristol, TN on September 15th in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Hadley’s team is called “Hadley has it,” which you can support by walking, running or donating. Registration is at 7am.