Dessalyn (Desi) Pattman is a nine year old fourth grader at Peine Ridge Elementary in Wentzville, Missouri. At age six, Desi was diagnosed with Very High Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. From diagnoses, Desi had a difficult time with treatment which required hospital stays of over a month.
In April 2011, Desi was considered to be in remission and had a clear map of treatment to follow which included weekly chemotherapy and monthly inpatient chemotherapy preceded with spinal taps. In the middle of treatment in late 2011, Desi relapsed; the Leukemia was back. Early 2012, Desi was on the fast track to a Bone Marrow Transplant. In April 2012, she endured extensive crania/spinal radiation to kill the remaining Leukemia cells in her body. In May 2012, Desi received a Bone Marrow Transplant from the bone marrow of her little brother Gabriel who was 5 years old at the time.
In August 2012, Desi was diagnosed with Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) while recovering from the transplant which completely shut down one of her kidneys. In the spring of 2013, while on medication to help her recover from the GVHD and the Bone Marrow Transplant, Desi lost mobility in her lower body and had to undergo several months of physical therapy.
Today, Desi is well enough to go to school full time. She has been cancer free since the transplant and only requires regular doctor’s visits and medication to keep her body healthy and strong. Her immune system is holding strong and her kidney is functioning at approximately 88% and not causing any more trouble. Desi has fully regained mobility and strength in her lower body and recently started running again.
Even though Desi has endured multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, a transplant, the loss of hair, many days and nights of being sick, and missing almost 3 years of school; she has always stayed upbeat and focused. She is really into fashion, clothes and design, and makeup. She is very much a girly girl. If she had her way, everything would be pink and have glitter all over it. She enjoys playing with her dolls and her dog Princess.