Six-year old Layla Tresedder has a big smile on her face as she runs around the house playing with her cats. She’s talkative, cheerful and full of energy.
She races into the house to tell her father one of her cats was stuck up in the tree.
“Hurry, hurry,” she exclaims.
With her bubbly personality and charming demeanor, you would never guess this past New Year’s Eve, Layla’s life forever changed.
On New Year’s Eve, Layla was complaining her back hurt. Her mother, Terra Olson, and her father, Dan Tresedder, gave her some Tylenol but it didn’t help.
They ended up bringing her into the emergency room at Cambridge Medical Center and did some blood tests. Her blood levels were low and she needed a transfusion. X-rays revealed she had a ruptured spleen.
“They raced her in an ambulance down to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis,” Terra explained. “They told us they had some bad news, and told us Layla had leukemia. We were just in shock. We had heard of leukemia, but we’ve never had anyone close to us be diagnosed with it”
A benefit to help Layla’s family will be held Sunday, May 6, at the Isanti Community Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The benefit is being hosted by Faith Lutheran Church and Thrivent Financial. It will include a silent auction, entertainment and other fun activities for all ages. A pancake breakfast will be served by the Isanti Lions. Tickets will be available at the door for $6 (ages 11 and up) and $4 (10 and under).
Layla was officially diagnosed with ALL, childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Terra explained after the diagnosis Layla spent almost 30 days in the hospital for the first phase of her treatments.
“Layla is doing good considering everything she’s going through,” Terra said. “They are estimating she will have about two years of treatments.”
Terra and Layla’s grandmother, Karen Olson, said Children’s Hospital has been wonderful to work with.
“Layla really enjoys getting the toys at Children’s through Child Life,” Terra explained. “After every shot she gets play money she can use to ‘buy’ things in the toy store.”
Depending on her energy, Layla attends her regular kindergarten class every other day at Isanti Primary School.
“The school has been great to work with,” Terra said. “Her teacher, Mrs. Fenner, has been very understanding. The students in her class made Layla her own corner where she can go to when she needs to rest.”
Terra said another hard experience in her life recently was the passing of her father in late January.
“My father was sick, and I know he prayed to God to take all of Layla’s sickness and give it to him since he knew he was dying,” Terra said. “When Layla was diagnosed with leukemia, the levels in her bone marrow were 98.7 percent. When my father passed, the levels in her were at .001 percent. My father and I were close; we were like best friends.”
Karen also has much appreciation for the Harbor Room, located inside Cambridge Medical Center.
“I stopped in the Harbor Room to find out more information,” Karen said. “I left for a while and when I came back they had a bag of coloring books, cute hats made by the knitting group in Braham, stuffed animals and more. It was so much appreciated.”
Hope Kids is another organization that has been wonderful to the family. Terra explained they have gotten tickets to Minnesota Twins games, Disney on Ice and more.
“It’s opportunity to meet other families who are going through the same thing we are,” Terra explained. “I would also like to mention we have a lot of wonderful support from our friends and family, and our church family at Faith Lutheran Church.”
Terra mentioned all the Children’s Hospitals in the nation share information and research when it comes to childhood leukemia. She explained a little extra fluid is taken from Layla when they do spinal taps that will be used to help with research in the future.
Terra and Dan are both graduates of Cambridge-Isanti High School and high school sweethearts. They live just west of Isanti, near Terra’s mother’s home.
If you are unable to attend the May 6 benefit, but still want to help the family, a benefit account has been set up for Layla Tresedder at Lake State Family Credit Union in Isanti.
While it has been hard on the family, they are staying optimistic.
“Layla loves animals—especially cats—and wants to be a veterinarian when she’s older,” Terra said. “She enjoys school when she’s able to go and just being a kid.”
“She’s a trooper,” added Karen.