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A Suit Of Armor To Fight Leukemia

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IOWA  --  Fashion is a form of art, and for some it's their body armor.

"We just wanted people to notice the outfit," said Bailey Cupples.

People noticed it, alright.

"So, I wore hospital socks. I had a skirt made of infusion bags. My top was an ACE bandage and then my necklace and earrings were blood capsule things."

Bailey put the outfit together for a Trashion Show--a fashion show consisting of costumes made entirely of trash and recyclable materials.

"It looked pretty cool," said Bailey. "I did feel very empowered."

The inspiration for her outfit came while she lying in bed one day.

"I rolled over and my trash can was full of medical supplies," she said.

Bailey started accumulating those medical supplies on November 18th.

"They told me I had cancer."

Bailey was diagnosed with  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. At the time of diagnosis, 90% of her cells were cancerous.

Because she's 19 years old, Bailey is considered high risk. She's now on a three-year treatment plan, and the first six months haven't been easy. Spinal taps are the least of it. Last fall, she had two strokes brought on by chemotherapy. She had a bad reaction to a PICC line, and a long catheter inserted into her vein caused her arm to swell and blister.

"Everything that they say, 'Oh, it never happens,' it's happened."

Bailey's mother Missy finds it hard to watch her daughter go through this ordeal.

"You gotta be tough because she doesn’t like crying," she said. "So if she sees me crying she’s like, 'Stop it.' So sometimes you have to walk away."

But walking away from treatment isn't an option.

"We take it day by day," said Missy. "She's had a very good outlook and very good attitude."

No matter how rough it gets, Bailey's attitude is her armor.

"When I first got diagnosed, they basically told me this is going to suck.  But they said, 'The more you smile, the more you try to keep a positive attitude, the better you’ll feel.'  And it’s totally true."