Rachel was 10 months old when she was diagnosed with stage II, B-cell lymphoma. She underwent 6 months of chemotherapy which sent the cancer into remission; however, 11 months later during a routine visit to MCV it was discovered that her cancer had come back as acute lymphocytic leukemia. At this time Rachel was just 2 and the 92% chance of survival dropped to a shocking 40%. Rachel needed a bone marrow transplant and on October 31, 1996, received that miraculous gift from a wonderful Scotsman named Shaw McIntyre. Rachel worked hard to overcome the many obstacles that she would encounter along her road to recovery. Numerous daily medications, routine weekly trips to the clinic and even some life-threatening emergencies that she had were sometimes difficult for her to understand; but she was a fighter and was determined to survive. Even during the toughest times, she always had a smile. Rachel was honored as Girl of the Year for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society in 1997 and 1998. She also supported the Deltaville Regatta, SMILE and ASK as well as the Teams in Training and has supported the Relay for Life for many years, raising money for the fight against cancer. Rachelís courage and determination are an inspiration to everyone who knows her. It has been almost 11 years since her bone marrow transplant. Today she is a beautiful, energetic 13-year old who remembers the obstacles she had to overcome and treasures each day with her family and friends. She will be the guest of honor at the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Registry Gala Ball in Edinburgh, Scotland, this year. She hopes to raise awareness of the importance for new donors to be added to the registry. Rachel knows that sometimes the journey is difficult, but dreams to come true.
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