EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Bristol Scholte is a 4-year-old in perpetual motion.
This Edmond firecracker will slow down for a few things, such as telling a visiting reporter a knock-knock joke, or to show off her brand new baby brother, Jamison, napping in a stroller.
Bristol loves to have her baby brother for show-and-tell at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, a place where she has spent a lot of time for the past several months.
Her mom, Mckenzie Scholte explains, “She’s a very hyperactive, energetic kiddo which has proven to be a good thing for treatment. It’s exhausting, but I think in a cancer fight it’s worked in our favor.”
Mckenzie remembers the shock of learning that Bristol’s stubborn ear infection last summer was a clue to the blood-borne cancer called acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
“To say we were blindsided would be an understatement,” says Mckenzie. “I went numb.”
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Chinni Pokala recalls, “We met Bristol in the emergency room, and she was anemic and very pale but was as feisty as she is now.”
Dr. Pokala says AML is often a tougher type of leukemia to cure.
Bristol spent weeks and months in the hospital to shield her from infections during intensive chemotherapy.
She apparently didn’t get the memo she would feel too sick to get out of bed.
“She would just run laps around the nurses’ station,” recalls Bristol’s mom. “They’ve got an area with small cars she could ride on.”
Dr. Pokala adds, “She is quite the socialite on the floor, and made lots of friends.”
It is that irrepressible skip in Bristol’s step that keeps her family and medical team in high spirits as well.
“It’s always amazing these kids have such strength you wouldn’t expect to see. They have a purpose,” says Dr. Pokala.
“The staff doesn’t seem to be overwhelmed by her,” says Mckenzie Scholte. “They actually seem to enjoy it. I don’t think she’ll be traumatized by this.”
The hardest part of Bristol’s therapy is over, although maintenance treatment will continue for months.
Advances in leukemia research have allowed doctors to slightly curtail the length of her treatment since she has shown an excellent response to therapy.
There is a chance she’ll remember very little of the days she danced and skipped through cancer.
“We do believe she’s cured of this, and this will be it as far as her cancer story,” says Mckenzie.
If you’d like to help kids like Bristol fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org