The Real Deal
- Kate Middleton published a photography book earlier this month that illustrates life during COVID. One of the subjects was a 4-year-old girl with acute lymphocytic leukemia who was photographed during her treatment while separated from her father through a window.
- The Royal’s phone conversation with the little girl, named Mila, was released earlier this month. Middleton promised to meet her in person when it was safer, and said she would wear a pink princess dress, the little girl’s favorite color. It turns out she followed through!
- A leading expert explains acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that is most common in children, to SurvivorNet.
Kate Middleton, Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, is quite a class act, following up on a promise that she made to a little girl fighting cancer.Read More
The phone call conversation between Middleton and Mila was released earlier this month ahead of Kate’s book release for Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, which captures life during COVID. The young warrior was featured in the book; she had been photographed while separated from her father during treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Lucky for the young warrior, now 5, the time has come; a dream come true, since Kate is basically a real-life princess. Middleton, 39, invited Mila and her family to Queen Elizabeth’s Edinburgh home and wore an ankle-length pink dress to greet the little one, who was also wearing pink.
“Hi Mila, look at you. I want to give you a big squeezy cuddle,” the Duchess said. “It’s so nice to meet you in person. I love your dress, can you do a little twirl – and your shoes!” Mila did a little spin for the brunette beauty.
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Over the phone during their initial exchange, Mila greeted Middleton with a “Good morning, Your Royal Highness.”
“Good morning,” the mom of three responded. “Goodness me, you’re so polite Mila.”
The photo in Kate’s book is titled “Shielding Mila.” Her palm and face are pressed to the window while her daddy stands outside smiling at the little one, who is wearing a little leopard outfit.
Mila talked about her dog “Mr. Cole” she liked to walk and her favorite color, pink.
‘I’ll have to make sure I try and find a pink dress,” Middleton responded. “Hopefully when, one day, hopefully, Mila, we’ll get to meet and then I’ll remember to wear my pink dress for you.” She unfortunately had to tell the little girl that she was not wearing a “princess” costume at the time. What a way to make up for that one, Kate!
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Mila was asked what they spoke about during their in-person meeting, and she said, “Well I was busy drawing a picture – a robot,” but added that she “had never met a real princess in my life before.”
Kate gifted Mila with a jewelry box with a message about bravery and the Duchess received a candle and bag from her new mini me.
Mrs. Sneddon, Mila’s mother admitted how amazing this meeting was. “It’s a really surreal and bizarre experience, we’ve come out of lockdown and this is our first trip out which is really unusual.”
Sneddon and Middleton spoke about motherhood and the girl’s treatment, which is typically lasts about three years according to experts.
What is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Dr. Olalekan Oluwole, a hematologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, sat down with SurvivorNet to talk about ALL, how it affects the body and the type of treatments that work to fight it.
“ALL is a type of cancer that is very aggressive,” Dr. Oluwole told us. “It grows very fast. Within a few weeks, a few months, the person will start to feel very sick. And that’s why we will have to give it an equally aggressive type of treatment to break that cycle.”
He says many times the leukemia is rested in the bone marrow, and because it is an abnormal growth, it just keeps dividing.
“It doesn’t follow rules, and it doesn’t stop,” he told SurvivorNet. “Not only that, because this is part of the immune system, the immune system is sorta like the police of the body. So those abnormal cells that have now become cancer, they have the ability to go to many places. They go into the blood, and they often go into the tissue or the lining around the brain.”
“By the time somebody comes to us and they have ALL we already assume that it has gone everywhere in the body, and we have to treat them like that,” Dr. Oluwole says.
He says many patients present with fever or infections because the bone marrow has “failed in its ability to make other types of blood cells.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the main treatment for children with ALL is chemotherapy, which is usually given in three phases.
- Induction, where the goal is to achieve remission
- Consolidation (also called intensification), where high doses of chemo are given to get any remaining cells left over
- Maintenance, where the goal is to keep the patient in remission and typically lasts two years
The most intense treatment is in the first few months, and the entire length of treatment lasts two to three years. Patients are categorized into different risk groups and the intensity of treatment varies by risk group.