By Sanford Children's Hospital

In fall 2012, Judy noticed her 5-year-old daughter, Elsie, was more tired than normal and her skin was pale. She took her to a local doctor in Le Mars, Iowa. This trip suddenly turned into an ambulance ride to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls where Elsie was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Elsie soon underwent surgeries, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments and blood infusions. She lost her hair and wasn't able to attend much of kindergarten.

Elsie and her family refer to the Sanford Children's staff as “our team." Judy says the doctors and nurses make them feel like Elsie is their only patient, though they know there are so many others receiving the same excellent care as well.