Leg pain turned out to be cancer for Elizabeth Forte when she was just 2 years old

Elizabeth Forte started complaining of leg pain when she was just 2 years old. The pain got worse instead of better, and at first the family was told it was juvenile arthritis. But Elizabeth’s mother kept pushing for answers until they finally got an MRI.

The results were hard to hear.

“She left the room, came back, and when she entered the room she was completely pale and said ‘we have to send you for more tests,’” says Brooke Forte, remembering the news from Elizabeth’s doctor.

That’s when they got made an appointment at Nemours and met others who were in similar situations.

“I had no idea where I was going, so I walked into this Hematology/Oncology floor, had no idea what I was about to see and all these little children running around with bald heads and parents who were crying, and I’m here because my daughter’s leg hurts,” Brooke Forte says.

It was much more than a sore leg. The doctors were pretty sure Elizabeth had leukemia.

They had a biopsy done of her bone marrow, and it came back with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL. That was in March of 2010, and it took two years of treatment before Elizabeth was finally cancer free.

“It hurt, but I never cried,” Elizabeth says of those years in treatment.

She got to know the doctors and the other patients, and so did her parents and siblings. The children with bald heads started to feel like family. So did the doctors.

Now Elizabeth is a student at Fletcher Middle School, and she’s living a healthy life.


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