Portrait: Madeleena

While fighting leukemia, Madeleena had a stroke which changed the course of her young adult life.

A little bit about Madeleena 

My name is Madeleena Takooree, but everyone calls me Leena. I work self-employed for an online record company called The Jazz Hop Café. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May 2006, which then progressed to pneumonia & a stroke. I was only 18 years old at the time.  


Symptoms that remain 

Not fully having my dominant hand and arm recover has been the most daunting. My speech is still slurry if I’m tired and I often have reoccurring dreams that I’ve had another stroke, so each morning I say a word.  


My passions 

At the time, I really enjoyed drumming. However, as I never fully recovered, it’s not something I can do anymore. You’ll often find me walking my dog, going on walks, or spending time in the gym.  


The highs and lows 

The highs were saying my first word “one” and taking my first steps. To be told I’d never walk again and to see my legs move was surreal. The lows are not having my dominant hand as the dominant one anymore and the fear of something happening to my only good arm.  


A helpful saying that helped me during recovery 

A nurse once said to me, “life’s a gamble, you never know what cards you’ll be dealt” but I take those cards, shuffle them back up, and draw my own. I released my book earlier this year, titled Life’s a Gamble, it details my journey through cancer, pneumonia and a stroke. I hope it can help others get through a hard time and offer them some hope.

Find Life's a Gamble on Amazon

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