Kayla O'Leary, Anthony Nino and Michael Polley
The Ride Janie Ride Foundation would like to introduce to you three very special people. We have been blessed to meet Kayla O'Leary, Anthony Nino and Michael Polley. Kayla was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Anthony was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Michael was diagnosed with Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It is our honor to have them as part of the Ride Janie Ride family and we take great pride in announcing that Kayla, Anthony and Michael will be the recipients for Ride Janie Ride 2010. Continue scrolling to read each of their biographies. Ride Janie Ride Foundation would like to thank all of those who nominated individuals. We will not forget any of the nominees and hope that they may be a part of Ride Janie Ride for 2011.
Kayla has always been an outgoing, high spirited, energetic and determined little girl. Having spent 27 days in an intensive care unit (N.I.C.U.) at birth, she has already made us aware of her resiliency and determination. She is active with gymnastics, girl's softball and loves playing outside.... all seasons of the year. She spends much of her summertime swimming and going on family camping trips. Kayla has two brothers, Kyle and Keaton, whom she loves very much. Kayla is a life-long resident of Downers Grove and attends Prairie View Grade School in Downers Grove. She also enjoys her Brownie troop and is an aggressive cookie seller. On September 14th, 2009, we were devastated as Kayla was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She is receiving great medical care and treatment from the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. We cannot imagine that there is a better place in the world to manage and treat Kayla's cancer. As we are in the infant stage of this journey with Kayla, we clearly understand that all of our lives and our life's perspective have changed forever. Kayla is currently in stage two of a three-stage chemotherapy program that will span approximately two and half years. She does understand what she has; what needs to be done and willingly "takes her medicine". To date she has responded well to her treatment. Kayla's only wish is to "get her normal life back". We are blessed and thankful to have great family and friends who have tremendously supported Kayla and our family. Though Kayla's path has become crooked, we are confident she will achieve all of her dreams. To learn more of Kayla please visit her caringbridge website at www.caringbridge.org/visit/kaylaoleary
Hi, I am Anthony Nino. I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma on March 2, 2009. It was a big suprise given the fact that I had rarely been sick in the past. It has been a long year and there is still a long journey left with my fight with cancer. The most important thing for me has been the overwhelming support I have been receiving from my family and friends. I am very thankful for the love and support my parents have provided and the fact they had four children because my 2 older brothers and little sister have been amazing. I am a firm believer in having a positive attitude and continue to see the bright side in a tough situation. This has been a tough battle, but I am confident that everything will work out and that I need to just be patient. In February 2010, I will be undergoing a stem cell transplant at Northwestrn Hospital to try to put me in remission and hopefully keep the cancer away. Thankfully, my sister Dina will be donating her stem cells for the transplant. With the continued support of everyone in my life, I know I will be better in no time.
Michael Burnley Polley was born June 26, 2005. He is the third of our four children. On January 23, 2006, when he was just shy of 7 months old, he was diagnosed with Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He battled through 15 months of intense chemotherapy treatments but shortly after entering a maintenance phase he relapsed in his central nervous system. As a result he underwent brain and total body radiation and intense chemotherapy in preparation for the stem cell transplant he received on November 20, 2007. The nurses called him a "transplant rock star" because of his determination and excellent response. However, in May 2008, just three weeks after the birth of his baby brother, he was diagnosed with an isolated testicular relapse. He has been receiving more chemotherapy treatment since that time. Mikey amazes us every day. He is such a forgiving, loving little boy. One of his favorite phrases is "I'd like to snuggle you". We hope to keep snuggling him for years and years to come.