Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brinley's Story

Our daughter, Brinley, had just turned two years old in August of 2008.  She was a spunky, fun-loving toddler with a smile that brought sunshine into the room.  

We had noticed in the weeks before her birthday that she was limping and had seen the doctor for it.  They x-rayed and found out that she had fractured her leg a few weeks prior during a trip to Las Vegas, but it had healed on it’s own.  One week after her birthday, she tripped on our living room floor and was crying hysterically.  We couldn’t imagine what had caused her so much pain because it was not a hard fall. We looked all over for a needle or tack she may have landed on, but could find no reason for her to be in such pain.  She was up all night in pain and we finally took her to the emergency room.  Her femur had been fractured, and they immediately began looking for a reason that she would be fracturing bones.  Nothing could have prepared us for the news that cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, had invaded her tiny body and threatened to take her from us.  

Brinley went right into surgery and had a line placed in her chest that gave them constant access to her veins.  The very day after her diagnosis, our hearts ached while they quietly administered her first dose of chemotherapy as she slept peacefully in the hospital bed.  That was the beginning of a treatment that would last over two years.  In that first month, everything we loved about her personality was gone.  Her smile was gone.  Her laughter was gone.  Her playful demeanor was gone.  She was up all night, every night.  It was heart wrenching to see this change in her, and I could never describe how difficult those first months were.  As time went on, Brinley learned how to endure, how to fight back, and how to smile again, even though her challenges were great.  She had many bumps in the road, and so many days of enduring things no child should ever have to endure.  After one of her treatment days that had been particularly difficult, we went on a walk when we got home from the hospital. It had been such an exhausting and discouraging day.  As I was reflecting on the day, she looked up at me from her stroller and said “this is the best day ever”.  Surprised she would say that, I asked her “why?”  She answered “because I love walks.”  She taught us how to find the beauty when life gets hard, because there is always beauty to be found.  

Brinley has been off treatment and in remission for 10 months now.  She is regaining her strength and continues to enjoy life and we are so grateful for the lessons she taught us.  Because of her we all know how to make lemonade out of life’s lemons, and it is a lesson we will have with us forever.  She is truly a hero.  

To read more about Brinley you can visit their blog at
As written by Brinley's mom: Kristin.


  1. We love Brinley! I am sad we don't run into you guys at clinic anymore. I am so glad she is doing well.

  2. Beautiful, Sweet Brinley. She is a stong example that you can come out on top of this mess. Love that girl.

  3. She is such a sweetheart- and that smile of hers.. just beautiful. Love that most recent photo of her.