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This Girl's Own T-Cells Helped Her Become Cancer Free And Could Save Millions of Lives | "Made Me Feel Like A Superhero"
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This Girl's Own T-Cells Helped Her Become Cancer Free And Could Save Millions of Lives | "Made Me Feel Like A Superhero"

Her story has now become popular for opening up mutiple forms of T-cell treatments for other cancers in the medical community.

Cover Image Source: CBS News
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Cancer is a killer that is all-pervasive, and notorious for reluctantly letting go of its host. For Emily Whitehead, however, the treatment she received was a miracle in her life. Speaking to CBS News she mentioned, "My T-cells, part of my immune system, were trained to fight and kill my cancer." Now a senior in high school, Whitehead was an acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient when she was five years old in 2010. Since then, she had been in chemotherapy for multiple sessions before her parents intervened and sought a different form of treatment. She was initially cured, relapsed, and after the second round, relapsed again. 

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"She had 22 months of chemotherapy," said her mother, Kari Whitehead. "She had every off-the-shelf chemotherapy that they could throw at her cancer," her father, Tom Whitehead added. Kari used her experience in dietician research to look into the chemotherapy treatment she was getting. Tom mentioned, "They wanted to give her a regimen of chemotherapies." He recalled, "Kari had researched it and said, 'You know, that could possibly destroy her kidneys. Then she's gonna need a kidney transplant.' My inner voice was screaming, 'Don't do that today.'" Deeming this too dangerous, they took Emily to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to treat her further. This was definitely a leap of faith. "We weren't positive we were doing the right thing," said Tom. "We were just trusting our instincts."