TIMNATH, Colo. — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a Colorado family is hoping to raise awareness.
Big obstacles aren't anything new for avid hiker 5-year-old Bellamy. Back in February, she was faced with the biggest obstacle of all.
"Not in a million years did I think that my child could have cancer," her mom, Sarah Bailey, said.
The family was skiing when she noticed Bellamy had swollen lymph nodes. She didn't think anything of it at first, but then the nodes kept growing. Her pediatrician ordered tests which confirmed Bellamy had Leukemia.
"They were very aggressive right off the bat, which I'm grateful for. But it was a lot. We were inpatient at Children's Hospital in Aurora for 11 nights," Sarah said.
When they did get home, the outdoorsy kid couldn't move like she used to but still loved to be outside with nature. They started with walks to the mailbox, then she slowly worked up her strength.
Before her treatment ends in 2025, Bellamy and her mom set a goal: 100 hikes.
"Some days she's in my backpack the whole time and some days she's doing more of it," Bailey said, "I know how much it supports my mental health. For her, it supports a myriad of things: her mental health, physical health. We've seen what it has done for her immune system, it really supports her immune system. This stinks, but the beautiful thing about it is that we are together and I'll take that silver lining I'll take getting to be with her," Sarah said.
The family is just over 20 hikes into their goal. A local hiking group is hosting a community hike open to the public to help cheer on Bellamy.
They'll be meeting at the Coyote Ridge Natural Area in Fort Collins on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:45 a.m.