Following Hudson’s Lead in Fighting Leukemia

Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Hudson has taken her cancer diagnosis and treatment in stride, inspiring her parents to do the same.

Kids sitting on surfboards in the ocean

Behind Hudson’s bright blue eyes and sweet smile is a fighter’s spirit that won’t allow her to be defined by her leukemia.

Since her family learned that Hudson has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the independent little girl has taken the diagnosis in stride. “You never know what to expect going into something like this, but her positive attitude really helped my husband, Ian, and me handle everything,” shared Hudson’s mom, Emily.

On her own terms

It was Hudson who first decided that it was time to shave her head. “Chemo had changed her hair, and she didn’t feel like she looked like herself. She wanted to take back control. I said no at first, but Ian said, ‘If she wants to do it, let’s do it—that way, it’s on her terms,’” Emily explained. “So we did, and she smiled throughout the whole thing. She’s been so strong.”

Spreading hope

In fact, Hudson isn’t just tackling her own disease—she wants to help others fight theirs. Along with her twin sister, Kingsley, Hudson celebrated her fourth birthday by collecting presents for other sick patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

When asked about the motivation behind this idea, Emily says: “We realized that Hudson fared pretty well. There are other kids who don’t have it quite as easy. They have to be in the hospital for longer periods of time, or some of their treatment is a little bit stronger than what she had. We wanted to do something for them.”

It was also a way for the family to say thank you to Children’s for all that it’s done. “We cannot say enough about how friendly and loving and welcoming the staff is,” Emily says. “From our doctor, Frank Keller, MD, to the nurses and the employees at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s, everyone did an amazing job of not only making the kids feel the best they can, but the families as well.”

Wish come true

Now that Hudson has gotten some of her energy back, the sports lover decided she wanted to learn how to surf. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Lillystone family got the opportunity to visit Hawaii, and Hudson was treated to a two-hour private surfing lesson.

“She surfed all by herself. At the end of the lesson, we had to drag her out of the water!” Emily says with a laugh. With her strength and determination, Hudson will be riding waves no matter what life throws at her.

Home to one of the top 10 childhood cancer centers in the country

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a large team of providers dedicated to caring for all forms of leukemia and lymphoma, ensuring every child receives highly specialized treatment tailored to her disease.

See More