Family Hero

Samantha Vettel

Samantha (middle) pictured with her family on July 15 after participating in the Rainbow Run. 

At just 17 years old, Samantha Vettel was diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Also known as Ph+ ALL, this form of leukemia is a fast-growing cancer affecting the bone marrow's production of normal red and white blood cells.

Samantha's world was instantly turned upside down with this diagnosis. Instead of planning for her prom and getting ready for graduation, Samantha was receiving intense treatments at Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Shortly after treatment began, Samantha developed a severe form of sepsis, a life threatening complication of an infection triggering inflammatory responses throughout her body. Samantha courageously fought of the infection. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without my team of doctors and UH family," she explains.

Now 19 years old and still facing eight more months of treatment, Samantha continues to push forward. With the help of private home tutoring, she is steps away from graduating high school and getting her diploma.

Samantha's fearless attitude and perseverance makes her the hero of her family. On July 15, they were proud to participate in the Rainbow Run, which is a colored powder race benefiting UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s. Samantha explains, "This is my way of giving back to Rainbow - my second family who saved my life."