Thank you very much for working to raise funds for sarcoma research at Moffitt Cancer Center. Amandalee was told the Sarcoma Fund would bear her name and it pleased her greatly. All her life Amandalee was very goal oriented and excelled in whatever she took upon herself. She was a teen volunteer at the local hospital and worked with preschoolers in a church program.
She was an A student when she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma during the start of her senior year. She had worked full time at Disney during the summer and quietly took Tylenol for pain she had in her femur, which she thought she had injured while jogging. Before she was told the tumor was malignant, she confided in me that she felt if it were indeed malignant she could somehow be used in a greater manner. When she found out she had cancer she cried but then she was determined to fight it and do everything she could to keep living her life and not let the cancer become her.
While she was undergoing chemotherapy she had a homebound teacher from her high school and was able to graduate with her class with excellent grades. She attended the University of West Florida for one semester before Dr. Letson had to tell her to come back because she had lung lesions. Although heartbroken she came home and the next day enrolled at Valencia Community College, which she continued to attend until two weeks before she passed away. Two days before she passed away, she was told by the college that she had completed her last semester, therefore she had reached her goal to graduate, which she did with honors.
Amandalee had great faith in God and her belief was the driving force behind her positive attitude with which she fought her cancer. Dr. Letson always gave her hope that some new treatment for her might be around the corner and because sarcoma research is limited, she could enroll in other clinical trials that basically was developed for other more popular cancers.
At the time we had to travel to NYC and Houston for clinical trials and flew back and forth so she wouldn’t miss many classes. She never wanted anyone to see her down or discouraged and always put on a big smile. She encouraged everyone around her that she would beat her cancer and be healed, which, on this earth, didn’t happen. We are very grateful to Dr. Letson and his staff for their dedication in treating her. She truly benefited from their caring attitudes and encouragement.
Amandalee would want extensive research to be done to provide an understanding of sarcomas and find treatments to allow others a chance to live long and productive lives. We would also like to thank Moffitt Cancer Center for their fine facility and for the dedication they have toward working on a cure for a rare cancer which strikes adolescents and young adults. Not only does this cancer affect the lives of young people, but it also impacts families and communities and the potential each person has.
Thank you again for giving your time and energy to help fight this dreaded and horrible cancer.
Bonnie Jo and Alden Weiss