A woman was shocked to discover that tiny dots on her skin were a sign of something much worse

We notice small changes in or on our bodies on a daily basis. These usually go away almost as quickly as they appear and aren’t too concerning. If you have a hunch that something should be looked at, you should probably have it looked at. This college athlete decided to have some strange dots on her skin examined. It was later discovered that these were symptoms of cancer.

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Helaina Hillyard was a fit, healthy 20-year-old college basketball player from Iowa in November 2021. She is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. A specific type of blood cancer known as B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her only clues were tiny, strange freckle-like spots that appeared on her arms one night after practice. Over the next few hours, those spots grew and spread to other parts of her body. She wisely chose to go to the hospital to have them examined.

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The doctors rushed her to the emergency room for blood tests. Her blood levels were found to be extremely low. The doctors then informed her that the spots on her skin were petechiae, which are caused by internal bleeding.

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They immediately transferred her to another hospital. Helaina found herself in the presence of an oncologist. Helaina was diagnosed with blood cancer by that oncologist. B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in particular.

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Naturally, the news shocked everyone. Helaina was a young, fit, and healthy lady. She was an athlete. She didn’t feel sick in any way and had no other symptoms of illness.

“I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours to go to the doctor. The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleeding,” she said. “I never in a million years could think something like this could happen to anyone in my life let alone myself.”

Petechiae, or small red spots on their skin, are a symptom that some Leukemia patients may experience. The dots will appear red on fairer skin. On darker skin tones, they may simply appear darker than the rest of the skin and are therefore more difficult to detect. They usually happen where blood is most likely to accumulate. These areas include the feet, legs, arms, and hands.

They are caused by tiny blood vessels that have broken beneath the skin. This is because your body does not produce enough platelets to seal off these blood vessels when you have Leukemia. Platelets clot your blood, preventing it from flowing in places it shouldn’t.

Treatments available right away

Helaina immediately began treatments to try to beat the cancer. She was given blood transfusions and chemotherapy by the doctors. These treatments were given to her every ten days. Her studies and basketball playing are, of course, on hold while she battles the illness.

She shared her story on TikTok in the hopes that it would help someone else. After all, things could have been very different if Helaina hadn’t gone to the doctor that night. Hopefully, this will encourage anyone else experiencing similar symptoms to seek medical attention. Her TikTok video, which has nearly 6 million views, has the potential to save a life.

Helaina is optimistic about her recovery. One woman commented on her video that her daughter had leukemia that started the same way when she was 12 years old. Her daughter is now 25 years old and cancer-free. Helaina’s story certainly serves as a reminder that if something appears suspicious, it is always a good idea to have it investigated. It may save your life.

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