Lily and Bailey Dove
Lily and Bailey Dove share a special bond: they are identical twins. They both also beat leukemia.
Lily was diagnosed first and completed two years of treatment in August 2015 at 10 years old. “I felt relieved to be done, but also, Bailey was just diagnosed six months before that. So, it felt like the fight wasn’t technically over,” Lily says. Bailey, who was considered high-risk, completed treatment in 2017 at age 12. “It felt amazing to finally be able to move on without having to go in for treatments,” Bailey says. “To be physically healthy again, it felt amazing.”
Both girls received numerous blood and platelet transfusions during treatment, and Bailey recalls feeling healthier after receiving blood. “Bailey had 8-10 transfusions,” says their mom, Erin. “She was treated on a different protocol and received more chemo than Lily did. Lily received platelets once but had an allergic reaction to them.”
Lily and Bailey are now considered cancer-free and see the doctor once a year for a checkup. They also receive electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) testing every five years, as some types of chemotherapy can weaken the heart. “We are still in twice a year now, because they are each on their own schedules because of treatment ending,” Erin says. “It’s a mix of a social catch-up hour, and also difficult to be in that space again.”
“It’s kind of mixed emotions,” Lily agrees. “It’s nice to see our nurse practitioner again and catch up. But when I leave appointments, I’m tired and I don’t feel like myself. It takes a mental toll on me, even if I don’t realize it.”
“I feel like it’s very similar for me,” Bailey says. “It’s hard to go back to where I was treated; you feel a lot of the same feelings that you did during treatment.”
These days, both girls are enjoying student life at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Lily is studying marketing, while Bailey hopes to pursue a career as a speech pathologist. They are grateful to everyone who donated blood to help them and encourage others to donate if they are able.
“Thank you so much for taking the time,” Bailey says. “Literally anyone could receive your blood, and it could even be you who receives blood at some point,” Lily adds. “Thank you—please understand the importance of what you’re doing.”
Erin is grateful that Versiti blood donors were there when her daughters needed them most. “Not only does Versiti help girls like mine with cancer, but there’s a wider range of people that they’re helping,” she says. “Blood donors help girls like mine beat cancer. I just want my daughters to enjoy a long and healthy life.”
People need people, make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood.
We must rely on each other for the gift of blood, and patients in your community rely on the generosity of Versiti’s blood donors to help. Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate. If this is your first time, donating blood is quick, easy and relatively painless. And, it is a great way to give back and help patients in your community.
View our Blood Donation FAQs for more information.