MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – Four-year-old Uriya Hubbard of Moore loves dogs, lemon-line lollipops and running free outside.
“She would live outside if we let her. Just give her an open field and she’ll run until she can’t run anymore.”
Uriya’s mother, Amber Hubbard, says about a year ago it dawned on her that Uriya was not herself.
“She woke up and she was really swollen in her face, so I took her to the doctor five times in a month,” says Amber.
Uriyah is the baby of the family and suffered from allergies, but that wasn’t the cause. Finally, a family doctor keyed in on Uriaya’s heart beat and quickly sent them on to OU Children’s hospital.
“Before I could get her calmed down to do the CT-scan, the doctor came in and said, ‘Uriya has leukemia.’ My world just stopped. What her doctor was actually hearing when he thought he heard a heart murmur was instead a mass above her heart that was restricting her superior vena cava,” recalls Amber.
It was acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML. In the middle of the pandemic, it meant the Hubbard’s world shrunk to the size of a hospital floor. She underwent chemo treatments for almost six months. Due to covid precautions, her siblings couldn’t visit.
“The third round of chemo, she ended up in the ICU. She was on a ventilator for awhile. It was the worst time of my life,” says Amber.
But even in those dark days, photos of Uriya show her smiling with delight. She enjoyed visiting therapy dogs and became fast friends with her nurses.
Her mother recalls, “She had an obsession with lemon-lime dum-dums, so they’d search every unit to find the lemon-lime dum-dums just for her. They had dance parties every night, and they just really cared. You could tell.”
Treatment at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center went as planned. Uriyah’s cancer receded, then disappeared. She will be carefully watched for years to come.
“We’ve been really blessed that she’s responded so well to treatment. She missed out on Pre-K, missed out on the whole summer of 2021, but we’re so thankful she’s better now and can make memories from here on out,” says Amber.
If you’d like to help kids like Uriyah fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.