Smiles and laughter fill the Dove family’s home in Jackson, but some days it’s an effort to feel this normal.
Since March 2015 Erin and her husband Ryan have been taking daughter Bailey to Children’s Hospital.
Bailey was diagnosed with cancer after a night when she just wasn’t feeling right.
“My legs were very sore, and I just could not fall asleep,” she said.
The family first thought she had growing pains, but more tests revealed Bailey had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
“Bailey and I went in the room by ourselves and cried a lot. It took us a while to leave. It was a hard day,” Erin said.
Though Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the most common of childhood cancers and the prognosis is usually good, it takes about two years of chemicals being pumped through a child’s body to rid them of the horrible disease.
For the Dove family, it’s a war they have already been fighting for three years. Bailey’s identical twin Lily was diagnosed in 2013.
“The doctor at the time said there’s about a 20 percent chance,” Ryan said.
Nobody wanted to believe cancer would strike twice.
“I was confused at first. I was like, wait, who’s going to the doctor?” Lily said.
Lily has been finished with treatment for more than a year, but she makes regular trips to Children’s Hospital for check-ups and to help her sister through her treatment.
She said the whole family is in the room, “and we all wear mustaches to support her.”
Bailey gets a kick out of mustaches and requests that everyone who enters her hospital room wear one.
Bailey also loves penguins and she incorporated both into the 2016 TODAY’S TMJ4 MACC Star.