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Sydnie, age 13, is full of life, a wild princess who marches to the beat of her own drum and will not let anyone or anything change that. She is a God-fearing, smart, outgoing, fun-loving and unbelievably strong-willed young woman - and thank God for that! Sydnie has never really liked school because of frequent bullying, but hopes she can overcome that one day. Sydnie enjoys singing, art, learning to play guitar, playing computer games, watching movies, swimming, riding four wheelers and spending time with family. She dreams to be a rock star, actress, artist, vet, movie producer and her family believes she can do them all!
Sydnie had been in and out of doctors’ offices for the past two years and her family couldn’t quite figure out what was going on; it was always something - sinus infections, sore throat, strep throat, ear infections, stomach bugs, respiratory infections, headaches or even undiagnosed stomach bugs and fevers. In December 2015, they noticed that the left side of Sydnie’s neck was swollen and found a small lump right above her clavicle; she had no pain, redness or tenderness. Sydnie was seen by her primary care physician who thought it was a swollen lymph node due to infection and put her on another round of antibiotics. The antibiotics took the swelling down but the lump was still there. Sydnie had been very tired, not wanting to eat and having night sweats. This was not like Sydnie at all.
Thankfully, her mother, Meg, worked for some amazing people in the surgery department at Augusta University. They took over when everything was brought to their attention. Sydnie had tests run and was in the operating room the next day to have the lump in her neck removed for biopsy. Sydnie was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma 2B and started chemotherapy right away. She endured nine months of chemo and 10 days of radiation. After six months of chemo, the doctors decided she was done. She still gets regular checkups.
Sydnie is her mother’s hero because she "never let cancer get to her," or "be the boss." When Sydnie was diagnosed she cried for a few minutes and then decided that was the last time cancer was going to make her or anyone else in her presence cry. She asked to dye her blonde hair a funky color because she knew she was going to lose it; she dyed it purple, pink and blue.
Sydnie made it a rule that no one was allowed to cry in front of her! There were many times Meg had to leave the room. After the first round of chemo, Sydnie’s hair began to fall out and she immediately made her mom shave her head because she said, "cancer was not going to tell her when she was going to be bald."
Even with the bullying, missing friends, family and events, not being able to celebrate her 13th birthday (due to being in the hospital), being out of school, not having energy to do much of anything most days, she still never let cancer be the boss.
Meg wants others facing a cancer diagnosis to know that they are not alone, even if they feel that way most of the time. She wants them to know that it's okay to be scared and share all of your feelings. There are many people and organizations out there to help, and hopes that Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation can help find a cure to childhood cancer.
Hero Quote: “I will not let cancer be the boss of me!” – Sydnie Silvery
Information provided by Meg Silvery, Sydnie’s mother
Updated April 2017
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