On December 19, 2010 Micaela White was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. In August 2011, after a brave battle, she lost her life to this terrible disease. No one who knew her was ever the same.
Micaela Danielle White’s arrival on January 20, 1993 changed her family’s and friend’s lives forever. Over the next 18 years she blessed everyone whose lives she touched with many adventures. As her mother says: “We moved through each year with wonder and excitement.”
Micaela was funny, kind, smart, inquisitive, beautiful and loving. She was a loyal friend, a great big sister, and a wonderful daughter.
According to Sharon and Danny White, her parents, “ Micaela changed us in ways we never imagined. We were truly blessed by her life and love. As parents, we have never been more proud of anything in our lives as we are of our children. We felt lucky to be their parents.”
In October of 1994, Micaela’s brother, Jack, was born. Jack was born with Down Syndrome. Micaela could not have been a better sister, mentor and best friend to Jack. She joyfully taught, guided, cared for and loved him.
Micaela had many loves in her life including her family, friends, sports and dance. As a child she played soccer and T-ball, but it was dance that became her passion. She took her first dance lesson when she was two and a half years old, and from that time forward, dance is where she spent most of her childhood. She spent hours each week in the studio eventually becoming an integral part of a dance team that was a well-oiled machine. Dance was her place, her space. When she danced, she danced with her whole heart, allowing her emotions to develop her steps. She danced with unbridled joy.
Micaela attended Prince of Peace School from preschool through eighth grade. She attended high school at the prestigious Ursuline Academy in Dallas, where her world was opened to many new adventures: Friday night football games, high school dances, learning to drive, and noticing boys!
During her senior year in high school, Micaela made plans to attend the University of Oklahoma. She could not wait to become a Sooner! After her last visit to the OU campus, she knew Norman would be her new college home.
Like many 18-year-old girls, Micaela looked forward to a bright future. She contemplated what she might study at college, whether she should try out for cheerleading, what sorority she might pledge. She also dreamed about her future after college. She wanted to be in the Peace Corps and work in an orphanage in Africa. She wondered who she might marry, and how many children she would have. She loved children and looked forward to having a family of her own.
Micaela loved her life, loved her friends, adored her family and planned to make a difference in the world some day. All of her plans and dreams were lost.
When Micaela was diagnosed with AML, her life and the lives of her family and friends were changed forever. Over the nine months after her diagnosis, Micaela went through numerous harsh Chemotherapy treatments, surgery, and complications from treatment that left her exhausted and in so much pain. She had to undergo spinal taps, blood transfusions, sores on her hands and feet, nausea and pain that no teenager should ever have to suffer. Ultimately, she had to have a bone marrow transplant. Micaela spent almost the entire last nine months of her life in the hospital because her immune system was compromised by the treatment.
Complications from the drugs used to treat AML are severe, including kidney and even heart failure. Her family and friends prayed each day and relied on their faith to carry them through. Finally, Micaela reached remission and was able to have a bone marrow transplant. Her family was so grateful to the donor who gave Micaela a chance for a healthy life.
“ Micaela and I were forever changed by her battle with AML and her 8 month stay in the hospital. We talked about how we could make a difference in the world and what we could do to accomplish this task.” – Mom –
Micaela developed an infection from the bone marrow transplant that her weakened body could not fight, and on August 17, 2011, she passed away. Micaela had fought as hard as she could, but she, like too many other young people, lost her battle.
“Our precious daughter, our heartbeat, our present and future were lost forever.” – Mom, Dad & Jack –
Micaela’s life and all of her dreams, along with the dreams of her parents were stolen by a horrible disease that crushes lives and loves every single day. Her journey through cancer treatment was painful and debilitating, but Micaela’s hope shone like a beacon through it all. While her loss was devastating to her Army of family and friends, they vowed to fight this disease in her memory and her honor.
Micaela’s spirit inspires Micaela’s Army Foundation and gives us the strength to carry on.
Micaela left us her imprint, to help us make an imprint for change in pediatric cancer research,
As Micaela would no doubt say:
Be Strong, Be Blessed!