At the age of 14, Schyler Herman was a freshman at Pleasant Valley High School in PA. She was the Varsity goalkeeper for PV’s Soccer Team and the goalkeeper for PDA (Players Development Academy) Crew. Schyler’s parents noticed that she was suffering from unusually deep bruises recently as opposed to normal goalkeeper battle wounds.
During an intense game on September 29th, Schyler came in contact with another player and a deep hematoma formed. Schyler’s parents took her to the emergency room the next day. The X-rays came out negative for a fracture, but by the end of the day blood work suggested Schyler had leukemia. Schyler was rushed to The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia for immediate treatment because her blood levels were so critical.
On October 2nd, 2017, Schyler was diagnosed with pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of leukemia in children, according to the National Institutes of Health. Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia is where the bone marrow makes too many immature white blood cells.
Schyler received aggressive chemotherapy treatments and spinal taps to monitor the disease at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP)
Following her diagnosis, Schyler’s teammates, friends, classmates, coaches, and community rallied around her organizing fundraisers and activities to show support.
Exciting news came on March 14th from the Bone Marrow Transplant Team that there were 10 perfect matches on the National Registry.
On March 20th, 2018, Schyler celebrated her 15th birthday while receiving treatments at CHOP. As a birthday wish, she asked for donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; this determined, fierce, beautiful 15-year-old raised over $1300 to celebrate her birthday. Schyler continued to receive treatments as she prepared for her bone marrow transplant.
On June 18th, 2018, Schyler received CAR T-cell immunotherapy which was supposed to eliminate her ALL leukemia. Instead her leukemia mutated into AML leukemia which is a more aggressive form and it mutated from her original chemo resistant cancer. Schyler had to start all over again with a new leukemia immediately after a month-long fight with CAR T-cell’s causing CRS in her body triggering 104-degree temperatures for weeks straight.
In late August, Schyler’s treatment plan was changed radically and customized for her and it was working better than anything that she had seen in the last 11 months. She was determined more than ever to beat this terrible useless disease, get her body back into shape and get back between the pipes where she belongs and help her teams. She couldn’t wait to get back home and be with her family, hug her dogs, sleep in her bed, and just get back to being the Schyler everyone loved and so many people looked up to and were so inspired by.
In late October 2018 the new treatment was modified because of complications of the AML Leukemia. Schyler was scheduled to fly to St Louis on November 5th to undergo a new immunotherapy trial using “killer cells” from her parents and then straight to bone marrow transplant back at CHOP.
On October 29th, our Schyler suffered a brain bleed due to the AML Leukemia and passed away on October 31st, 2018 laying in her mother’s arms. We miss our daughter more than words can express, she will never be forgotten, she is an inspiration to many to fight no matter how bad the odds are, and we will keep this foundation alive to honor her and her spirit.