Brinley Thomas is 14-months-old and in most ways is just like any other baby.

“She bites and pinches and gets in trouble just like any kid, the only difference is that she lives at the hospital,” said her mother Renee Thomas, a speech therapist for the Chattooga County school system.

Brinley travels back and forth for radiation treatments at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

She took her first steps in the hospital days ago and was released for nine days before she returns. At 9 months old, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and has been receiving chemotherapy for the past months.

This week, the family was part of the ninth annual radio Care-A-Thon and stopped by the WSB station in Atlanta briefly.

Thomas said the family had a lot of fun with the program, and Brinley spent her time “playing with the microphone.”

Brinley’s treatments for her leukemia aren’t done yet. Thomas said her daughter will have to receive inpatient care for six to eight months, and she may still need a bone marrow transplant.

Brinley also must wear a back brace because of clusters of leukemia cells that were killed left compression fractures in her spine.

Thomas said she feels blessed to be supported by the school system after just a year of employment.

“With the budget cuts and things like that, I feel very fortunate to keep my job,” Thomas said.

She also said her daughter’s illness and treatment has taught her a lot about appreciating family.

“This journey has taught us that you can’t take the time you have with your children for granted,” Thomas said.

Rome News Tribune