The Freeze will be playing a Charity Game at 7:30pm at the Parkview Ice House. Funds from the auction will go to support Erika Sell. 17yr old who is fighting to win the battle with leukemia and underwent a Bone-Marrow transplant earlier this year.
A teenager who just turned seventeen on
August 3, named Erika, is like most her age. She enjoys doing art, reading, and outdoor activities. While being in doors watching a movie there might be a chance that she is watching Finding Nemo, or House the T.V. show. She will listen to any type of music. The one person that she would like to meet in the entertainment world is Jonny Depp. She wants to meet him because he plays so many roles with different personalities she wants to talk to the real Depp. She also enjoys being with her family. Her family consist of her dad, mom, step parents, step sisters, step brother, and brother. Between the families they have 6 animals.
Now, let’s get to know Erika a teen fighting cancer! Leukemia to be exact. Leukemia is a cancer of blood forming tissues hindering the body’s ability to fight infection. An easy way to put is; is that there are more white blood cells than red blood cells. Now you can imagine that this is not anything you would want you or anyone to go through. So the Fort Wayne Freeze is helping out. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s time to explain. The Fort Wayne Freeze is a not for profit hockey team made up of Fort Wayne police officers. This team selects a cause to do a hockey tournament. They have silent auction items and except donations for the cause. So here is Erika’s story.
Q: Being thirteen did you understand what cancer was?
A: Not really, I had no idea how complex the disease was. I thought it would be chemo, then lose your hair, then be done. Boy was I wrong.
Q: when you first found out you had cancer what was your reaction?
A: Mind went blank. Unsure how to handle it. Felt like hiding, crying, and screaming at the same time.
Q: What changed in your life when you found out?
A: Everything. Nothing has been the same since.
Q: When did you find out you were in remission?
A: 2013, chemo got me into remission within a month or so.
For a better understanding of what remission is. Remission is when the treatments comes to a halt, as long as it does not grow or spread.
Q: what did you do when you found out you were in remission?
A: Didn’t truly understand remission at the time- still had a lot of treatment to come.
Q: How long were you in Remission?
A: Stayed in remission the next 2 ½ years through treatment (chemo) Last chemo was on 9/11/2015.
You may be thinking that’s great she hasn’t had issues with it for 2 ½ years. Well hold on it doesn’t end there. In 2016 Erika had gotten some bad news. She relapsed which means back to the doctors. Relapsing means that some of the original cancer cells survived treatment. Keep going to see what she felt like.
Q: In 2016 when you relapsed what were your thoughts?
A: First thing I thought was “Can’t I catch a break?” The next few months were so different then he first time. Not very common to relapse so treatment was much more intense. Got a lot sicker this time. At times I would even have to be placed in the ICU to stabilize.
The ICU is the Intensive Care Unit. For those who don’t know what that means it’s part of the hospital where if a patient is not doing well they go there to have a close eye on them. They typically 1 nurse for 4 patients. This did not keep Erika from fighting. Even when she had a bone marrow transplant.
Q: We know you dad donated bone marrow to you. How did that make that make you feel, knowing he will do whatever it takes to help you?
A: There are no words to explain how grateful I am to my dad and my whole family. I know not everyone has a dad like mine, and a family to back it all up. My dad’s ringtone on my phone is There Goes My Hero by the Foo Fighters.
Playing the song is recommend to understand why it’s her ringtone. Part of the song goes “there goes my hero watch him as he goes. There goes my hero he’s ordinary.” Now that song could not be any more perfect for Erika and her dad. Her dad has taken many days off work, thanks to people donating their personal hours to him, to spend time with his daughter. He has put many things aside to support, love, and care for his daughter.
Q: Has this made you and your dad closer?
Q: How do you feel when you see, or hear, your friends going out to the movies, dances, dinner, etcetera and you not being able to join them?
A: Jealous, I feel I have the right to be. Also happy for them that they still can live normal lives.
Q: What stops you from being blue; what keeps your spirits up?
A: Family, friends, hobbies, music.
Q: What is the one thing that you have missed out on doing the most?
A: Being home.
Q: We have heard adults talk about cancer and chemo, but tell us from a teenager’s point of view what it’s like?
A: It puts your whole life on hold. Chemo has been really hard. I react differently than most to some of the drugs. This makes every new treatment very risky.
Q: What has cancer taught you?
A: - don’t take things for granted
-Don’t know what you have until you almost lose it
- I am a lot stronger than I thought.
Q: Lastly if cancer was a person, and you could talk face to face, what would you tell it?
A: F**k You! Plain and simple just like that.
As you can tell cancer is hated by everyone. It doesn’t affect just the person who has it but the family as well. Erika has high spirits and isn’t quitting to kick cancers butt. This is Erika’s Story. Thank you to her dad for taking questions to her for this article, as she was recovering in the hospital. Come support Erika and the Sell Family on 11-12-16 at 7:30 in the Parkview Ice House. So clear you schedules and come out. Hope to see you there. There are a ton of great items to bid on. Also donations are accepted.