"It was a solid tumor that spread almost everywhere throughout my
body," she told the Rotary Club of Ojai-West. "The
cancer was in my bone marrow, so they removed it, cleaned it, and kept
it until it was time to put it back in. I had seven courses of
chemo, and pinpoint radiation to zap remaining cancer cells. I also had blood
all this treatment, I didn't have much of an immune system. I also
had a nine-hour surgery in which doctors used tools to remove the cancer
from my organs. In the very beginning, I had trouble walking,
because it was in my bone marrow. I weighed 32 pounds at the age of
seven. I had nose tubes, and many shots."
after one relapse, I am cancer-free. Even after missing all of first
grade, and not having to make it up, I am getting straight-A's, and I am
happy to be alive. Now I want to raise money for cancer research,
and toys and games for kids with cancer, because even a small thing can
make a big difference in their lives."
audience member asked Hailey: When you were having a hard time, what
was the source of your strength?
strength was when my parents were there,” she answered. "We would
just try to forget about it. We would play video games, or play
with whatever we could find, card games. That kind of made me
forget. I always tried to keep myself happy."
was visited in her hospital room by her mother, Kelly, and her father
Tom, and two sisters Hollie and Maddie. "I basically lived in the
hospital for a year," Hailey recalled.
is raising funds for children receiving medical treatments for cancer at
the Children's’ Hospital of Los Angeles. The money also goes to
parents of those children, to help them make morale-boosting visits.
that someone wants to help them is really nice, and sometimes parents
can't afford that money,” she said.
has been working to gather funds at her school. She auctioned off
a teddy bear for $590 at Ojai's Friday Rotary Club. The Tuesday
Rotary Club bought pencils for a total of $804.
money goes to the kids," Hailey said. "Every
penny." Hailey's mother Kelly advises those who wish to
contribute to send donations directly to the Children's
Hospital of Los Angeles,
where a special account has been set up to receive it.
advice for anyone who finds himself/herself gravely ill:
give up, because if you give up, then there's no chance. Look at
me. I'm still here."
Hailey Johnson received the Ojai Living
Treasures Award on April 24th.
She is the youngest person to be inducted.
Linda Taylor and Ray Smith,
Rotary Club of Ojai-West