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Family loses 11-year-old daughter to acute leukemia

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — 11-year-old Cavierona beamed brightly.

“She loved to dance. Every morning she woke up to music. She loved school, became an excellent student, which I am very proud of.”

But her father, Antonio White, is now living through any parent’s worst nightmare.

It started when she was sent home from school with a fever.

“We thought she had a runny nose. We took her to the doctor, they gave her some medicine for nausea, some medicine for sinusitis,” White said.

A few days later, Antonio went to wake her up for school, but she didn’t wake up.

“After turning off the lights, I noticed that she was not answering my calls,” White said. “I called an ambulance, he instructed me what to do, because she was breathing at that time.”

She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors eventually figured out what was wrong.

“Blood tests came in, she had 1.8 million white blood cells, and it was supposed to be only about 10,000. That’s when they found out that it was some type of blood cancer. They took some X-rays and found that her brain was bleeding and a hemorrhage started,” White said.

She died two days later.

“The disease of the blood was leukemia. The doctor informed me that it was treatable and curable, but the main problem was the cerebral hemorrhage,” White said. “UNMC went above and beyond to make sure we got that last moment. I want to emphasize that UNMC has done an amazing job.”

The sixth grader was always healthy, never showed symptoms, and had no head injuries.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of pediatric leukemia can be vague and may not be noticed if they resemble flu or cold symptoms. These symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and paleness.

Nine-year-old Toni remembers her sister through her drawings.

“This is a picture [I] drew her in the hospital when she had braids,” Tony said.

Antonio, a single father of his other two daughters, says his girls are everything to him.

“On the way home, I spoke to Toni and told her that we were going to have big steps and we would be close to each other. I mean, it’s hard when we wake up every day for 11 years,” White said. “But we are dealing with it. We got each other, we console each other, we sleep with each other, so we’re working on it. We just do it second by second.”

Now he is turning to other parents.

“Please, please check your children. It was unexpected. I thought my daughter was clean as a whistle, as healthy as possible, and I come home and she is as sick as ever, ”White said.

Cavierona’s funeral, also known as Cavierona’s Party, will take place on Friday, March 3rd at 9:30 am.

Family donations are accepted through Cashapp at $KMJW23 or Venmo at @mr_white1568.

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