Jael Ridley is losing her hair. At 25, she was diagnosed with adult acute myeloid leukemia.
For the past few weeks, she has been in treatment at Mercy Hospital. She’s undergone chemo, blood transfusions, and genetic testing.
Jael has learned to be patient. There are many things that have been out of her control, and the waiting games continue.
But when it came to her hair, she decided to take charge. Rather than wait to see inches of her blonde strands fall around her, she called up some friends. Together, they were going to shave Jael’s hair off.
“This wasn't a choice... chemo. It was just going to happen,” she said. “I was mad because I didn't want to admit I was sick. I was mad because that was the first sign in public that someone is sick or going through something.”
The idea for the brave shave gave Jael empowerment.
Her story is spreading across Oklahoma.
“I am overwhelmed with how much love I have received,” Jael said. “The number of people praying for me, the faith that my family has…God has been protecting me.”
It’s unclear if Jael will need a bone marrow transplant right now. She knows the road ahead is long.
For those who want to support Jael, here is a link to her GoFundMe. She said she also appreciates supportive messages over Facebook.
At this point, the more people rooting for her, the more determined she has become.
“Every day is a blessing,” Jael said. “I am not a quitter, so I am just gonna take it.”
With mercy and help from her doctors and nursing staff, God and others, she will continue to fight and be brave.
Jael wanted to advocate for the Oklahoma Blood Institute. She said she has already had seven transfusions and wants to encourage others to donate to help save more lives.
The photos and videos were provided to us courtesy of Visual Bias Photography.