9-Year-old beats cancer and going for personal school-attendance recordPosted: Updated:
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mike Jones and his daughter, Kelcie, do everything together. Unfortunately, that's meant years in and out of the hospital.
"We were more scared," Jones said. "She really didn't know what was going on."
"He would cry and I would tell him not to cry," Kelcie remembers.
When Kelcie was just 4 years old, doctors discovered a tumor in her stomach.
"He actually gave up his job to stay with me in the hospital," Kelcie said. "He was there for every single day when I needed him."
For Jones, every day presented new challenges.
"We were constantly in a state of chaos and it felt like we had no structure," he said. "There were many times when we were making trips to the ER at 3 o'clock in the morning because she had a fever and I wasn't allowed to give her Tylenol like you would normally do."
Kelcie spent the next few years fighting her cancer. She was so fragile, she couldn't go to school. Her treatmens at times were excruciating.
"I didn't lie to her. I didn't tell her, 'This isn't going to hurt,' when I knew it was going to hurt," he said.
It turns out, 3TV was also at Phoenix Children's Hospital during one of Kelcie's many stays.
Kelcie's grandmother, Paula Jones, said, "You look at that sad little, bald little girl walking into that playroom and I wanted people to know ... that she survived and thrived and is doing wonderful."
Which brings us to today. Kelcie is now 9 years old with a full head of hair and on her way to a near perfect attendance record at Bellair Elementary School.
"It's big now for me and for her mom that she can be in school whereas before all she wanted to do was be in school," Jones said.
When Kelcie isn't in school, she now cherishes her time with her family.
"I feel like I'm so happy because I'm not in the hospital and they're not coming in and checking on me and seeing my IV and putting the flush in me," Kelcie said. "I didn't like that taste."
The only thing she's still adjusting to is all that hair.
"Now it's much more thicker and I have to brush all the knots out," she said.
As for Kelcie's family, they're more than happy to adjust to life without cancer.
"To me it's giving hope to other parents, other families, other grandmothers," Paula Jones said.
Kelcie was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor, a kidney cancer common in children.