It's a disease; it's no one's fault

I am currently working on a story for the Oakland Press’ Christmas paper about three children, between the ages of two and seven, who have been diagnosed with a serious disease (Down Syndrome, Leukemia and Cystic Fibrosis).

One little girl name Nicole Burton, 7, was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was four years old. Only two months after she went into remission in March of this year, she relapsed.

But, despite this disease that has taken over her life for almost half of her life, she tries so hard to make other people smile, especially when she is on the oncology floor of Children’s Hospital undergoing her own chemotherapy. Since she thinks wearing other peoples’ hair is “gross,” she has decided to only wear neon colored wigs.

Nicole’s mother Shelly said: “We have every fluorescent color you can imagine. We have a black-and-white striped (wig), a red-and-white striped one, a glow-in-the-dark Mohawk that lights up. The more outlandish, the better.”

“Every time she finished chemo when she was four, we would get her a new princess dress, and she would parade around and sprinkle fairy dust and glitter on people. Now, she’ll face paint and wear loud earrings — anything to make people laugh and smile.”

Nicole has been going to Children’s Hospital two times a week for blood cell counts, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions.

More than anything, Nicole’s mom Shelly wants to heal Nicole, to give her a normal childhood and for her to live a long and happy life. To be able to do that, Nicole will undergo four days of complete body radiation and harsh chemotherapy in hopes to kill all the leukemia.

Everyone recognizes Leukemia and cancer as a disease. For the victim of the disease, it’s not their fault. It’s the same with depression. Depression is a disease, a disease that could kill you if left untreated. If you or your child was diagnosed with Leukemia, you would never just stay at home, hoping it would disappear. You would go to the hospital, just like Shelly did.

Many people don’t view mental diseases are just that — DISEASES. And they need treatment just as much as physical diseases.

Depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain, and it is no one’s fault. And there is a way to beat it.

Dr. Dessa Stone of Indianwood Psychology Group specializes in helping people with their depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Indianwood Psychology Group is located at 1251 S. Lapeer Road in Orion Township. For more information, call 248-814-404.

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