The Heartbreak of Pediatric Cancer: Parents Share their Pictures and Stories

Peyton Richardson: "Ballet is harder than cancer."

Cancer should not get in the way of living life, and Peyton Richardson has taken this belief to heart as she continues to pursue her love of ballet while battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. When she was in seventh grade, Peyton, an athletic and fit cheerleader and ballet dancer, began to experience extreme fatigue and weight loss. Her doctor noticed both her spleen and liver were enlarged, and a few days later she was diagnosed with cancer and immediately began chemotherapy.

Despite the seemingly endless spinal taps and rounds of oral and IV drugs, Peyton’s first priority through it all was ballet; one of the first questions she asked her doctor was when she could get back to dancing. She did just that two months after her diagnosis. Her dancing has helped her through this difficult period in her life, but she refuses to let it beat her. Ballet brings a smile to her face that cancer can’t remove.

Photo: Peyton Richardson