Blessyn's Journey

Blessyn-Watford-Leukemia-Journey-CHKDBlessyn Watford was 2 years old when her family noticed a drastic change in her behavior. It started one morning in May 2019 when Blessyn was sick to her stomach. Later that day, the normally active toddler fell asleep while sitting on a swing at a park near their Suffolk home. That night, Blessyn had a fever, no appetite, and was unusually pale. Her mom, Martesha Watford, suspected something was seriously wrong. She took her to the emergency room at CHKD where she learned the news that turned her world upside down: Blessyn had leukemia.

Relying on her faith, the encouragement of family and friends, and the medical team at CHKD, Martesha found the strength to support her young daughter Blessyn through more than two years of cancer treatment. Blessyn received chemotherapy in her spinal fluid with regular lumbar punctures. Whenever Martesha had a question about Blessyn’s treatment, the doctors and staff at CHKD’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center were there to provide any information she needed. “They never made me feel dumb for asking questions,” Martesha says.

And when Blessyn was having a challenging day in the clinic or in the emergency room, her favorite CHKD nurse, Rob Ericson, would always appear to help ease her anxiety or fears. “He would come in the room and tell her ‘Blessyn, it’s OK,’ ” Martesha says. “She would calm right down.”

Finally, at age 4, Blessyn finished her cancer treatment with a special celebration in the hallway outside the cancer clinic at CHKD. Blessyn, dressed up like a doctor, announced her retirement to a crowd of family and staff who cheered for her.

Today, Blessyn, now 6, is a typical first grader who loves to dance, draw, and google history facts. Her mom can’t thank the medical team at CHKD enough.

“CHKD saved her life.”