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Tionna took a leap of faith when cancer kept her from the gym

At UF Health, she found a problem-solver in Dr. William Slayton who never gave up.

Tionna Moore

In the Fall of 2014, 9-year-old Tionna Moore started complaining of a stomach ache. Every time her parents, Tedrick and Shamani Moore, took her to her pediatrician, the answer was always the same, it’s a stomach bug, and she’ll get better soon. After hearing that repeatedly, Shamani was in search of a solution. She took Tionna to the UF Health Pediatric E.R. on October 1, 2014. That trip turned into a 378-day hospital stay, something her family could have never imagined.

After multiple tests, Dr. William “Bill” Slayton, chief of pediatric hematology/oncology for UF Health, diagnosed Tionna with acute myeloid leukemia. She was admitted to the hospital and immediately started chemotherapy.

From November through February, Tionna’s parents, physicians and local businesses searched for a bone marrow match, and multiple blood drives were held throughout the community. On May 15, 2015, Tionna underwent her first bone marrow transplant, using a 9 out of 10 match. Then more bad news came when Tionna did not engraft with the new cells, which meant it had failed.

Looking for solutions, Dr. Slayton along with other UF Health physicians, decided it would be best to use the cells from Tionna’s 12-year-old sister, Tedreyonce, who was a little less than a half match.

“Something inside me told me that I was going to be the one to save Tionna’s life," said Tedreyonce Moore, Tionna's mother.

Tionna had her second bone marrow transplant on July 21, 2015, using her sister’s cells, and she engrafted on August 15. On October 18, Tionna’s 378-day hospital stay finally came to an end. She is now 12 years old, cancer-free and back to being a kid who loves to play, create artwork, do gymnastics and spend time with her family.

And Dr. Slayton is back to searching for new solutions that move medicine forward.

Tionna Moore

For the media

Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620