Kaitlyn Johnson is becoming a local name for her enthusiasm, perspective on life, and for her story. Kaitlyn Johnson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at only eighteen months old. Through the very beginnings of her life she was met with challenges that even adults have a hard time truly wrapping their head around. Kaitlyn went through years of chemotherapy in an effort to control her diagnosis. It was at the ripe young age of four years old that it happened. The cancer had seemed to have finally won. Her doctor’s had only a couple of options left, all of which had a high potential of failing. Her father, James Johnson, and her mother, Mandy Johnson decided to throw what James called “the Hail Mary pass.”
Kaitlyn was entered into the CAR 19 T-Cell program being funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and conducted by Dr. Carl June at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This program was in still in the research phase and was still being tested. This was a true, last ditch effort on the part of James and Mandy to save their beautiful four year old’s life. Kaitlyn received her first round of treatment and according to James, “she experienced very few, if any, of the side effects that the research team had seen in prior cases.” This did not bode well for James and Mandy’s hopes for Kaitlyn. After a second treatment and a combined eight weeks in the hospital, the research team and doctors tested Kaitlyn and found no signs of her leukemia. NONE.
Three years later, at seven years old, the small east Texas communities of Royse City and Rockwall are beginning to see and experience how wonderful Kaitlyn’s attitude and enthusiasm truly is. Her story reached us at Lake Point Advisory Group and instantly connected with the staff, Advisers, and owners. Lake Point Advisory Group, through what had to be an aligning of the stars, was responsible for a grant given to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s SCOR program. This grant happened to specifically fund Dr. June and his research team. We at Lake Point could not believe it and were beside ourselves with excitement that we could name this grant for Kaitlyn Johnson. The Lake Point family enthusiastically embraced Kailtyn’s story and her family. We view this opportunity as a truly great chance to shine even more light on what the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is doing as well as to tell Kaitlyn’s story. Our hope is that connecting Kaitlyn’s dots of cancer victim, to cancer survivor, to now research legacy will come full circle and provide a very valuable connection to the struggle of patients and of those conducting the out of the box thinking that allow little girls like Kaitlyn to survive.