PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Faith and family. Those are what many people rely on when a child is diagnosed with cancer. One family knows all-too-well the power of faith and family.
They went through it once and are back in the fight again, with a little girl, Lily, and a rare kind of cancer.READ MORE: Crews Battle Wildfire At Brendan T Byrne State Forest In New Jersey
The twinkle in her eye and the courage in her soul is amplified even more by the love of her bet butterflies. Butterflies are said to be a symbol of change and hope.
On this day, hope was radiating as brightly as the afternoon sun and its grip on that feeling of family would not let go.
“So we just finished the first phase of treatment for Lily, it’s caused induction and it was really intense and it was 30 days long,” Jackie said. “There were some pretty doubtful moments that we would reach remission, meaning 0% cancer in the biopsy and that’s the goal no matter what kind of Leukemia.”
But Jackie got some good news that morning.
“We found out this morning when we went in that we have negative MRD, which is minimal residual disease in her bone marrow, which means 0%,” Jackie said.
Lily was just a baby when she first met her Uncle Danny.
Danny Hammond, who is an Alex’s hero kid, Jackie’s brother, and Jody’s son, passed on in 2014, after complications resulting from a tumor that he had developed on his spinal cord.
“Which is like a flue cell that went rogue and that’s how he developed his cancer, Leukemia is very different,” Jackie said.
“I just remember when Danny was diagnosed, even though they were different kinds of cancer, I was pretty in tune with everything else that was going on,” Jody said.READ MORE: Viewing Underway For Fallen Firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson In South Philadelphia: 'It's A Terrible Tragedy'
Thanks in part to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which plays a huge role in making dreams come true.
Lily? wants to help animals when she grows up. She has two cats.
“I want to be a vet, a veterinarian,” said Lily said.
“It’s so important to donate to Alex’s Lemonade, they bring hope, and there are so many families, I mean just think about our family. I don’t know where we would be without the research, people helping. I just think the research help’s because it gives answers,” Jody said.
Research truly does help and for this family, so does the power of prayer. Lily also dealt with other health issues which included her heart and that would complicate matters when the possibility of heart surgery arose while also undergoing Leukemia treatments.
“One night after praying, she did say to me, ‘Mommy, Jesus told me that God put a light in my heart and would make me feel better,'” Jackie said.
Surgery was avoided, but this wasn’t, family support was plenty in the form of shaved heads after Lily lost her hair during the Leukemia treatments. She says this made her feel happy.
And the joy continues, through the efforts of the foundation and with support from all over the country, especially from people who remembered Uncle Danny.
“That means the world to me because it’s my daughter, they just know her from a few pictures and a story and I’m just so grateful,” Jackie said.
Reaching out, extending a hand to provide comfort, care, and like the butterfly, hope.MORE NEWS: Phillies' Bryce Harper Out Indefinitely With Broken Thumb After Being Hit By Pitch In 4-2 Win Over Padres
“We’re gonna beat this, it’s gonna be hard, but we’re going to beat it and we’re going to stay together as a family and we’re never going to leave each other’s sides, no matter what we go through,” Jackie said.