Hi! Welcome to HOPE xo wesbite! My name is Amanda Rhye but my friends call me AK. I love to travel and also love cheese pizza. :) I’m glad you stopped by…here’s the reason behind HOPE xo.
When I was 11 years old I had just gotten out of school for the summer. It was time for our annual Texas trip. Long story short, I had been dealing with some different things going on physically for a few months. Random busing, swollen lymph nodes, and elevated white blood count. My doctor was having a difficult time trying to figure out what was going on with me, but it had not reached a place of emergency up until we walked in the doors of my Nana’s house in Texas. As soon as we landed for our 2 week long fun-cation, my parents received “the call”. The call that changed everything. It was my doctor on the other line with my dad saying I had to come back as soon as possible, because some tests came back and they believed it was cancer. So, after being so mad I couldn’t stay for all the fun we had planned, my parents and I hopped back on a plane towards Atlanta. It was June 1999 when I walked into the hospital and was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), which is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. A whole new kind of nightmare….
I was given 2 weeks to live with no hope of survival. Long story short, my home was the hospital for months, treatment started and the fight for my life then began. Many tough nights and months, complications of all sorts was a part of my daily routine. Once I was nearing the end of my treatment I was sent home (at that time to say goodbye because they didn’t think i would make it through the next round). My last treatment happened and they had done all they could do. It was now a waiting game. Waiting to see when the cancer would show up again. Every check-up I sat worried, waiting for the bad news...waiting for the cancer to come back. Days turned into months and months turned into years and finally 5 years out they said another "c word", CURED! They couldn't understand it and even the doctors said it was miracle.
It’s 20 years later this year (happy dance) and I am still cancer free! I have two beautiful kids (which I was told I would not be unable to have) and the husband of my dreams. (really though, I've wanted to marry him every since I was 5 years old.) He use to visit me in the hospital - which is a whole nother story of love and miracles. It took me some time to be able to visit the hospital rooms again- I practically lived on the 3rd floor at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and stayed in every single room on the floor during my time of treatment, so it was hard going back, but I desperately wanted to let every kid on the cancer floor know that if I can make it so can they. My mom always said that if she had someone like me stop by it would give her just a little hope and with what the doctors were saying that was all she really needed.
Over the years I have loved being able to visit the hospital to see kids who were in the same room, same hopeless situation as me, showing them my bald pic and letting them know they've got this! So, today that is why I am taking it a step further to do more - to launch a line that helps bring hope to many. An avenue for each child with cancer and the parents beside them to know that there is hope for them too. Cancer is not going away anytime soon it seems so while it's still here causing pain, sickness and sadness we're going to continue to kick its butt with HOPE! I am excited to share so many stories of hope along this journey. Stories from when I was in the hospital and when the doctors looked at my parents and said, "she won't make it through this", stories from other cancer survivors and stories of those who are in the middle of their fight today.
My heart is to bring hope to every family affected by this disease and to put a smile on the face of every child that is diagnosed across this world, while on mission to find a cure. I mean if your going to buy cute stuff it might as well help make a difference. So, here at HOPE xo a portion of every purchase in the shop will go to helping childhood cancer awareness. I hope that you will join me. Below is some of my memories in pictures. I can't wait to share more.
Amanda Power & her crush Josh Rhye visiting her in the hospital - 1999
Amanda and her new puppy she got as a end of treatment gift for Christmas 1999.
Amanda's hair growing back - Summer Camp 2000 with Josh Rhye