November 18, 2015 | Rose Bowl
Carrie Richardson calls a group of eight tutu-wearing ballerinas, whom her daughter Peyton has known since the start of their time dancing, the “Party Girls.” It’s a tribute to the roles the crew got in The Nutcracker last Christmas season.
“They love her, and she loves them. They are her saving graces,” Carrie says.
Carrie says she knows Peyton is missing out on some normal teenage activity, but she feels that if her daughter misses anything, one of the Party Girls will fill her in. “They text her if she’s not there.”
The Party Girls have offered to come to the hospital with Peyton for her treatments. She tried it once but has turned them down since. “I felt like I couldn’t be scared in front of them.” But she says the text messages, after asking her how she’s doing, mean the world to her.
The Party Girls have also been committed enough to learn a new language, the language of leukemia. Peyton says, “It was kind of freaky to learn the words and tell my friends about it, but now they understand, too.” And having a tight group of friends able to understand some of what you’re going through has helped to normalize treatments for Peyton, as much as fighting leukemia can be normal.