AGRA, Okla. – Calliope Ross grabs her puppy’s front paws and she giggles as they step backwards together. This little girl from Agra is affectionately known by her family and friends as Detho.
“Her Sac and Fox Indian name is Nowa Detho,” explains her grandmother Teresa Butler. “We shortened it up. She likes to be called Detho.”
The name means “reflection bear” for a little girl who loves to smile for the camera.
“Any time she walks by a window that shows her reflection, she has to look at herself,” Butler says.
In the summer of 2018, 5-year-old Detho struggled to deal with continuing leg pain.
“Before we brought her to the ER, we carried her into the doctor’s office because her pain was so severe she couldn’t walk. It was three days of crying,” Butler said.
“She was hurting tremendously,” explains Dr. Renee Mcnall-Knapp from Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer. She says the pain was due to rapidly multiplying cancer cells in Detho’s bone marrow, creating pressure deep in her bones. “If kids are hurting for any length of time, that’s a warning sign we should pay attention to.”
The diagnosis of leukemia was followed by immediate chemotherapy treatment that, in Detho’s case, worked quickly. As she went into remission, Detho’s sunny spirit re-emerged. “She’s in remission and she’s been in remission two months after starting chemo.”
For Detho, the stress of a clinic visit is offset by the staff at the Jimmy Everest Clinic that are her friends.
She is standing in front of their toy-closet, trying to choose one item after bravely handling the day’s round of lab procedures and therapies.
“You get one today, which one do you like better?” asks a nurse, as Detho chooses a toy horse. “Good choice,” laughs the nurse.
“She’s always been delightful, from the very beginning, has a cool sense of humor,” Dr. McNall-Knapp said.
Her grandma agrees, saying, “She is outgoing, she’s very comfortable, it doesn’t matter who it is she’ll talk to you.”
For Detho’s family, the process to ensure healing and wholeness will require two years of maintenance chemotherapy. It’s due diligence for Detho, a girl with a bright future.
If you’d like to help children like Detho fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org
‘Kids with Courage’ is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center.