Zainab's family describes her as a "Minnie Mouse-loving, big-brother-bothering, mac-and-cheese devouring, bubble-blowing fairytale princess." These days, she also holds the title of "superhero," as she is in the midst of a journey to slay the evil villain, cancer. In April of 2017, Zainab's family observed a noticeable decline in her energy after an epic family road trip through Arizona where they saw everything from pipe cactus to snow. "There's a virus going around," "toddlers get bruises," or "it's just growing pains," her mom was told. However, they knew it was clearly something more when Zainab just wanted to stay in her mom's lap and nap at a birthday party where she would normally be engaging everyone in a rousing game of hide-and-seek.
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The next day, after hearing all of her symptoms (fatigue, bruising, loss of appetite, spotting on her tongue), Zainab's pediatrician immediately ordered a blood test. Within a couple of hours, her parents received a life-changing phone call. After the doctor asked them to sit down, they heard the words, "I'm sorry, your daughter has leukemia. You need to go to the hospital right away. They're waiting for you." Zainab was diagnosed with B Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and began chemotherapy the next day.
After staying inpatient for 30 days, Zainab was finally able to return home. She was moved out of the room she once shared with her brother to a small bed on the floor of her parents' bedroom so they could keep a closer eye on her. After more than a year of treatment, Zainab is back to being the diva that she is and is leading "Zainab's Squad" with her witty humor, charming smile, and glitter sneakers. Zainab still has more than a year of treatment left, but this super-hero princess is ready for her own room!