PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – She loves Taylor Swift and in her red sparkly dress and pearls, Lili McGrath is sugar and spice and everything nice.

Like so many stories at Children’s Hospital, it was a small thing on what began as a normal spring day that brought her to the hospital.

“We were playing and she has shorts on and I noticed a rash on her leg,” Lili’s mom, Sarah McGrath, said.

Without hesitation, their pediatrician told Lili’s parents to bring her to the emergency department at Children’s Hospital right away.

Within hours they knew what they were up against, when Lili was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

She had just turned 3-years-old.

“It turns quickly to, okay what’s going to happen? When do we start?” Lili’s dad, Sean McGrath, said.

For her parents, it seemed incomprehensible that those tiny red spots added up to malignant white blood cells over-producing in their baby’s bone marrow.

But, what was once nearly always fatal is no longer.

“We’ve been able to cure upwards of 90 percent of the kids with this disorder,” Dr. Peter Shaw said.

Within days a port was implanted in Lili’s chest to pump cancer-destroying chemotherapy into her.

Eight months of weekly treatments began in April and will be followed by two to three years of chemo once a month.

This family’s solidarity is best displayed by their shiny heads.

During the first month, the McGraths spent 20 straight days at Children’s Hospital.

Lili is able to spend more time at home in Castle Shannon with her teddy bear, Cadillac, and a giraffe called “Teeny Weeny” and that adds up to a very merry Christmas.


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