Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Alani’s Story

When you meet Alani, the first thing you might notice is her big smile.  The second thing you might notice is how many smiles she inspires by making others laugh, getting excited for spaghetti, or ignoring her new toy and instead playing with the box it came in.

Alani was born prematurely at just 3lbs.

During routine labs, it was discovered that she had cancer. 

When she was 14 months old, after five bone marrow biopsies, doctors were finally able to give her a diagnosis: Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

You wouldn’t know from her goofy nature, but Alani is undergoing chemotherapy and has to be at the hospital for 35-50 days for each round, followed by a painful bone marrow biopsy.

Because Alani was born with cancer cells and a compromised immune system, she can only leave her house for doctor visits. That is, until her family was able to stay at Ronald McDonald House.

Alani (center) and (left to right) her grandmother, mom and sister

“RMHCDC saved me and my family. Before coming to the Ronald McDonald House, my mother drove 3 hours one way almost every day to be with us and my other daughter had not see her sister for almost 5 months. It was just really hard.

RMHCDC made it so we had somewhere to stay together close to where we are being treated.”

– Bree, Alani’s mom

At Ronald McDonald House, Alani is able to play on the playground, make new friends, and spend time with her grandmother and sister who couldn’t see her while she was being treated in the hospital due to COVID-19 protocols.

Alani and her family have stayed at RMHCDC for about 4 months on and off between Alani’s treatment. 

If you have been to our House, you know we have a Ronald McDonald bench by the front door.  Alani loves Ronald so much; she waves to him through the window and can’t wait to get outside to share her snacks with him.

While staying with us, Alani learned lots of new words:: School bus, playground, police car, slide, birds, worms, kitchen… and of course, Ronald McDonald. Now, 5-years-old, she’s speaking full sentences!

“Ronald McDonald House provides a sense of safety and security. It is ‘home-away-from-home.’”

– Bree
Alani with Ronald McDonald

Alani’s treatments are going well and she continues to look forward to visiting her friend Ronald whenever she comes to stay for treatment.

Thank you for making it possible for children like Alani to have the love and support of her family while undergoing treatment for a serious illness.  We are able to provide the vital resources necessary to families like Alani’s because of friends like you!