BENTON - Rather than enjoying all of her first-time experiences as a freshman student at Marshall County High School - the fun of Friday Night Lights, dances and opportunity to participate in a winning season on the volleyball team, Lakin Scott has spent the better part of this school year battling Acute Leukemia.
Lakin was diagnosed in September and was immediately sent to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville where she began intensive chemotherapy treatment.
The strong rounds of chemicals took their toll on the young girl, leaving her nauseated and weakened – but certainly didn’t break her spirit.
In part, perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that since her diagnosis, Lakin’s family and friends have rallied around her, having designed T-shirts, bracelets and planned fundraisers to show their love and support.
They've been by her side through every test, treatment and doctor’s visit. Scott’s boyfriend Drake has also been a constant companion during this time, most recently showing his support by shaving his head the same day as Lakin.
The two are pictured just moments after, smiling and embracing what will likely be a moment they never forget. The photo caption reads “bald is beautiful.”
Lakin’s mother, Amy McCallon says her daughter has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community during her battle with the disease and is so very thankful to everyone for the kindness they have shown to her and her family.
“Lakin has been so moved and strengthened by it,” she said. A strength evidenced by her strong will to make it past the many days and weeks of non-stop sickness brought on by the chemotherapy.
After making it through her first round of treatment, Lakin was released from the hospital. On Oct. 6, she was able to come home, but continues weekly chemo treatments on an outpatient basis.
At this point, the cancer has gone into remission, with preliminary results of her bone marrow showing no signs of leukemia cells.
While the news of remission has brought a much needed and welcomed sigh of relief, McCallon says she is reluctant to celebrate too much at this point citing statistics that indicate 95 percent of patients go into remission after the first initial month of treatment which is known at the induction phase.
Heavy doses of chemotherapy will continue to be administered over the next two and a half years. McCallon said an ‘all clear’ at that time, would mean the cancer had been cured.
She adds that the journey ahead will be filled with challenges, including the fight to keep Lakin infection free, which will be a must due to her weakened immune system.
Her mother notes any fever over 100.4 means a trip to the hospital for Lakin.
“She has to be on antibiotic within two hours if her counts are low because the simplest of infections can be fatal. She will not be going to school for at least this school year, has to refrain from crowds for the next few months, etc. So even though we are in remission and that is great...we are still in very hot water and still need those prayers.”
In addition to prayers, the community continues to show their support through planned events and fundraisers, the next of which is being held on November 10 at Food Giant in Draffenville.
The following items will be sold beginning at 10 a.m. and will be available until all quantities are sold out:
Whole Boston butts will be $25 each;
Full slabs of ribs - $20 each;
Whole chickens (2 halves) $7 each;
Pre-Orders will be accepted until Nov. 3 by calling either 556-1246 or 564-6709.
You can also use either contact number to inquire about T-shirts and other fundraising opportunities.
Contributions for the Lakin Scott family can also be made at any CFSB location.