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"Giving hope and support to Minnesota families affected by pediatric cancer"

Battle of Lady J

Jaimie Senger, also known as "Lady J," became a popular household name in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Jaimie's Battle of ALL, and later AML, was supported by many friends, family, and community members.

The support Lady J and her family received is impossible to put into words. As Jaimie's Journey continued, her support network steadily grew.

Jaimie's story starts in the Spring of 2012, after numerous doctor appointments with various diagnosis ranging from whooping cough, to lyme’s disease. After ten days of being on antibiotics and having no change in her symptoms. The clinic examined her blood levels again and discovered that they had dropped significantly, especially in her platelets. She was referred to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, MN to receive more blood tests and see a blood specialist.

We made an appointment for 8:30 the very next morning, Thursday, June 7th, 2012. A bone marrow test the next morning and on June 8th, 2012 confirmed it, she was diagnosed with cancer. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and it was severe. The leukemia was so packed in her bone that it was difficult to get marrow out for testing.  The test left Jaimie in great discomfort, and making it difficult to even get out of bed for a few days, walking being very tough. Family quickly gathered around her for support and comfort. Now the journey would begin. 

For the next year we made weekly trips to Minneapolis for Jaimie’s chemo treatments. She suffered from some allergic reactions to a couple of the chemo drugs and alternatives were used. One that consisted of her receiving two shots in her legs, every other day. We were fortunate to be able to drive just an hour to receive those treatments. Four times she had to be hospitalized several days receiving high dose chemo on the first day and spending the next days flushing the chemo out of her body. During one of those treatments Jaimie had her gall bladder removed. She had been to the local emergency room several times in excruciating pain. In August 2012 she developed a lower intestinal infection, causing cellulitis in her thighs. 

She was hospitalized for five weeks. Jaimie said “when I get home we are planting a tree”, and we did! In September of 2014, Jaimie had her last chemo treatment and on October 1, 2014, we celebrated as she took her last chemo pills! In February of 2015, Jaimie was granted a make-a- wish trip. We went on a Caribbean cruise and had the time of our lives. We climbed a waterfall - an amazing accomplishment considering all she had been through! No more cancer…or so we thought. 

In March of 2015 Jaimie started to feel ill again. The same symptoms she had with the ALL seemed to be back. Back to Children’s we went. Doctors wanted to rule out relapse before looking into other possible illnesses. We were told that there was no sign of ALL. The very next day we were notified that Jaimie had not relapsed, but she had developed another strain of Leukemia - Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Jaimie wanted more than anything to graduate from high school with her class. Her doctors and school officials knew this. A special graduation ceremony was held just for Jaimie. It was very exceptional and we were thankful that Brainerd High School cared so much to make Jaimie's dream come true. 

Jaimie went to Children's Hospital May 7th, 2015 to begin her first round of chemo, a 21 day course. As in the past, she was extremely sick and decided she didn't want to deal with her hair falling out again so she chose to shave it off. After her first round of chemo, Jaimie got to go home. She was able to attend the graduation ceremony with her class. Her smile that day was priceless! Jaimie got to spend a week at home and she enjoyed every minute. She spend some time with friends and drove her car as much as she could. 

Jaimie went back to the hospital for another 27 day round of chemotherapy. She got to come home again for about a week, she celebrated her 18th birthday with those that she loved, but she wasn't feeling the greatest. She was checked into Children's Masonic Hospital to have a massive dose of chemo and total body radiation. On August 13th, 2015 it was finally Bone Marrow Transplant day! 

Jaimie received stem cells from an umbilical cord that had been donated. She was a pretty sick girl but her blood count numbers slowly came back. We were excited with the progress and we got a pass to go to the Ronald McDonald House. Jaimie was happy just to lay on a real bed not hooked up to any machines. Just a few days later, there was a change in Jaimie's breathing and in time she needed to be intubated. Her wishes were to be sedated if this happened and the doctors did exactly as she wanted. 

Unfortunately, the complications with her lungs became more than her body could handle and on October 13th, 2015, per her living will, Jaimie was removed from the machines. She passed away surrounded by her mom, dad, brother, step parents, grandparents and friends, all that loved her dearly. Jaimie loved the simple things in life, most of us take for granted. The grass, sunsets, rainbows, the beach, all her friends and her car. This foundation has been formed to honor her and to help the other children that are battling as she did.