Baylee Banning's Story

Baylee Banning & the

Purple Power Team

At RMHC, we talk a lot about the network of support found within the walls of a Ronald McDonald Family Room or Ronald McDonald House. But often times that support network extends beyond the bricks and mortar, into extended families and into the community, across state lines and even between different RMHC Chapters. For Baylee, that support network became an energetic team that dons purple uniforms as they rally around their friend, daughter, sister, student, and hero.

 

When Baylee was sixth months old, doctors discovered a large tumor on her eye as well as six other cancerous tumors inside her body. It was diagnosed as stage four neuroblastoma. Devastated but determined, the Bannings sought immediate treatment at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. 

 

Through six rounds of chemo, two weeks of radiation, several surgeries, and multiple blood transfusions, the Bannings spent countless days in and out of the hospital, fighting by Baylee’s side. There they found a place where they could regain their own strength though: the Ronald McDonald Family Room of Wichita, just steps away from Baylee’s bed. Whether it was a cozy chair, a moment of quiet, or just a snack, they had all that they needed.

 

Baylee’s cancer required one more big surgery to help her survive – a full bone marrow transplant. For this, the Bannings traveled to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, where they were again greeted with the signature compassion and hospitality of RMHC. They checked into the Ronald McDonald House in Forth Worth and found a network of support that would help them, help Baylee miraculously beat her cancer.

 

“RMHC gave us these amazing places to unwind and get away from beeping machines and at times very emotional days at the hospital,” said Brianne. “We gained friends, and by sharing stories we gained hope. By being right next to Baylee to give her all the hugs and kisses she needed to heal, we helped her get 100% better.”

 

Four years later though, in August 2012, Baylee was diagnosed with another rare cancer – a Wilm’s Tumor was found in her ovary, which required immediate surgery and more chemo therapy. Once again, Baylee’s team made up of amazing doctors, her loving and caring family, and RMHC rallied to help her heal. 

 

But this next round of cancer fighting required an extra special kind of support – a little something that her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Criswell organized. On Baylee’s chemo days, all her classmates dressed in purple, Baylee’s favorite color. These ‘purple power days’ gave Baylee strength and motivation to fight through her treatments. The staff at RMHC Wichita joined in every Thursday and wore purple to show support for Baylee and her family.

 

Mrs. Criswell teaches her class that, ‘Alone, you can’t conquer anything. You have to do it as a team.”  And at RMHC Wichita, we couldn’t agree more. Baylee finished her treatments and is now declared cancer free. We continue to send love, support and purple power her way. 

 

(The Staff at RMHC Wichita)