CLEVELAND — The final countdown is on, as Cleveland Clinic’s Velosano is this Saturday. Among 2,300 riders, there are so many stories of survival. And 9-year-old rider, Amazing Maisie is one of them.
You likely met Maisie Nowlin here on WKYC before. For years, we’ve followed her progress as she beat incredible medical odds, and somehow, she still had the energy to inspire the rest of us.
“Probably the best thing about my life is… people can just say like, ‘Hi Maisie!’” she said, “People don't have to ask me anymore -- like ‘Are you still sick Maisie?’”
“Today she's in third grade and thriving and beat every odd out there,” says her mom, Meg.
Maisie was really sick, for two years or so, battling aplastic anemia or bone marrow failure at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. She was diagnosed just weeks after she started kindergarten.
“At one point, they gave her a 2-percent chance to survive. After a bone marrow transplant and many complications, it was actually an innovative medication that is not regularly used in Pediatrics and definitely not used in the post bone marrow transplant setting that saved her life,” said Meg.
“How I can describe it was really scary at first, but then I started to get used to it because of all the people that helped me. [And all] the support I got from my families and friends,” said Maisie.
All along, Amazing Maisie has been focused on inspiring others. That’s how Velosano became the perfect vehicle – she knew the first time she got to ride in the pace-car in 2016.
“She said to us then, ‘I'm going to ride…I'm going to ride next time in Velosano,’” Mom says.
She trained legs weak from treatment to ride in 12 miles last year – with her Dad and her Dr. Rabi Hanna by her side. This year she’ll ride 10 miles along with her Dad and her twin brothers Peter and Tommy – now old enough to participate.
“I get choked up every Velosano. It's pretty amazing to see that many people giving back and to know that this has come full circle for our daughter. She knows that she can train and that she can give back to people in that same position,” said Meg.
“It's going to be amazing,” said Maisie.
Team WKYC has 18 riders this year. Here's a link to our team page.