Rylee Motycka
Rylee Motycka
Tim and Dayna Motycka from Convoy, along with their two-year-old daughter Rylee, and older brother Kaden and sister Haley, are looking forward to a much better year in 2020. On Feb. 28, 2019, 16-month-old Rylee Ann was diagnosed with Pre-B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

For the first 32 days after her diagnosis, Rylee and her parents were inpatient at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Those days included blood transfusions, lumbar punctures, bone marrow biopsies and surgery to put in a central line to her heart.

Dayna recalls those first days

“Our world was turned upside down in a matter of minutes. Rylee went from what we thought was a low grade fever from teething to being diagnosed with Leukemia. As a parent in that situation, you don’t really have time to process what is happening.

“We were, and still are, so overwhelmed by all of the love and support from everyone in our families and the community. There were so many prayer warriors lifting her and us up. People don’t realize how much that means,” continued Dayna. “You just have no idea how truly humbling that kind of generosity is when something like that happens.”

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Hematology and Oncology Unit on the fifth floor became their home away from home. They met many other families in similar situations and they found comfort and knowledge from the shared stories of other children.

Rylee stayed strong and gave her parents courage, even as she played doctor with her toy stethoscope.

“She used her toy stethoscope to check my heart one day and it made me sad to realize how much she was getting used to all of the poking and prodding from the nurses and doctors. But at the same time, it comforted me to know she wasn’t as afraid of them anymore,” Dayna said.

Rylee had to endure many days of intense chemotherapy, but encouragement came in many forms. Kaden and Haley’s classmates made homemade cards and Tim and Dayna were encouraged by so many people throughout the entire journey.

“It’s crazy how all of this just becomes a normal part of life,” Dayna said. “After her induction phase ended, even with all the drives back and forth to Cincinnati for treatments, we were so thankful to just be able to be home with the other two children and be a family again.”

Rylee has completed the first four phases of chemotherapy and today she is sporting a full head of new hair growth and has entered her maintenance phase, which means she only has to go to Cincinnati once a month for the next year. She will continue on a less intense daily oral chemo at home. She continues to show strength. She still has a long year ahead of her, but she is a true cancer hero.

Rylee is a survivor and she and her family are looking forward to complete remission.