ADA, Ohio — A big milestone for a little girl from Ada, who was diagnosed with cancer as a baby.
Over the weekend, Keara Downing posted on social media that her daughter Azraella Parker had finally been chemo-free for an entire year and in remission.
"On Friday the 5th of 2021, she had hit one year of no chemo. And that was exciting for everybody. She's had no signs of relapse. Her counts have been phenomenal. She's obviously healthy," said Downing.
Doctors diagnosed Azraella with leukemia at just 15 months old.
It's been a rough road but she's finally cancer-free and 2021 has been an epic year for "Azzy," as she's better known.
Last year on March 5 is when she was the first to ring the new "Rope for Hope" bell at Mercy Children's Hospital.
"We feel free, I would say. 'Cause we can do so many more things even though the COVID happened. You know, it didn't prevent us from being able to still do more compared to before," said Downing.
The family had to take extra precautions because of COVID-19, but there are no more hospital stays or painful treatments.
And the big dreams of a little girl are coming true.
"Gone to the park. She's made a lot of friends. She started pre-school back in August. She's getting ready to graduate from pre-school. It is official now. She will be starting kindergarten this fall," said Downing.
Full of excitement and energy, her mother says Azzy is ready as she offers her advice to others going through the same thing.
"Keep pushing you know. Never give up. If it's something as small as someone telling you that you look good today or your child's smile is beautiful, hold on to that as if the biggest hope ever," said Downing.
It's hope Azzy never has to go through chemo again.
Azzy still has to visit Mercy Children's Hospital once a month but her parents believe they'll decrease now that she's healthy.