Myleigh McDowell (8 y/o) / / daughter to Jessica & Robert McDowell / / beloved sister to her siblings / / 2nd grader @ Abner Creek Academy / / 2019 CHOP! Cancer Childhood Ambassador Chef / / singer, dancer & future surgeon (or mathematician!) / / lover of Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly & Fruity Pebbles / / currently surviving Wilm’s Tumor (34% survival rate; diagnosed Feb. 2, 2018)
Myleigh: “My science project was about paper towels. Who was the strongest, and who absorbs the most water. We put them in water and squeezed them out, and put them in little cups to see which one had the least water in it. When they were dry, we put money on them, to see which would break. Viva and Bounty didn’t break, but Publix did, because it still had the most water in the towel! Math is my favorite subject. I love art and math! My dad likes math, too.
“When I grow up, I am going to be a surgeon, a singer or a dancer. I could dance right now! I want to be a surgeon because I just want to look at cool things and help people.
“My favorite thing to do now that I am out of the hospital is to dance. I am learning how to cook! I have a kitchen at home. We play CHOP! [Cancer] at home.
Robert (father): “And who do I let win every time?”
R: “But I told you, I am going to have to stop letting you do whatever you want!” [laughs]
M: “I found out I had cancer Feb. 2, 2018. It’s Wilm’s Tumor. It’s on my kidney. We had it taken out. I like my doctor. He’s a surgeon. I have 3 girls and 3 guys as my doctors. I like them! I had never had surgery before that. It wasn’t scary.”
R: “She did chemo for over 10 months, and she did radiation for 11 days straight. She is a warrior. She is looking good. We are just trusting Him — God is good, and Myleigh is our hero.”
M: “I am not a hero! I am a SHEro.”
R: “She is our strength. I never met a stronger person — not even talking about a little girl. She is the strongest person I have met in the world, bar none. She is focused. She can make statements that will break anyone.”
M: “My daddy was the saddest one, because he is always there for me. So is my mommy — ALWAYS there for me! Look — he is about to cry right now. He would cry because if me and my brothers [6, 9, 11 and 12 y/o] are hurt, he will be sad. He loves us.”
R: “When you pray, what do you pray for?”
M: “God, my brothers and my sisters.”
R: “She is an awesome kid. She did most of her praying for us, most of the time. She said she was fine, and God was going to take care of her. She would pray and it would make us all cry. She prayed for mommy and daddy, and her brothers, and that God would touch us and take care of us. She is always like, dad, I am ok. Don’t cry.”
M: “If you believe, God will make a miracle.”
R: “That’s IT!”
Interview by Amy Doser//Photo by Patrick Cox