President Obama gives a shout-out to Mentor girl battling leukemia on election night

MENTOR, Ohio - President Barack Obama mentioned a Mentor girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ACL) during his acceptance speech Tuesday night just days after meeting her family.

Kevin Potter said his phone rang all night after President Obama talked about his 8-year-old daughter Erin and her battle with leukemia.

"I was absolutely blown away by when the president said that, having no clue that he would bring up our meeting on Saturday," said Potter, "My girls got a chance to be with him and my wife and I. You just saw the human being that he is right then and there."

However, Potter said he was convinced the president cared about his family long before meeting him.
 
"It wasn't that moment I had suspected that of the president, for quite some time. I voted for him in 2008, certainly supported him through this journey, especially with the advent of the Obamacare," said Potter.

"I think the comment he made after he mentioned Erin was really something that is important to all of us," said Erin's doctor, John Letterio, the Chief of Pediatric Oncology at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Letterio echoed the president's point that Erin's story could be any parents' nightmare.

"As a children's hospital that provides an important safety net to patients and families in our community, it's really valuable to know the government is providing those resources to the academic institutions to children's hospitals," he said.

Erin is 113 days past her second bone marrow transplant; and she is in her second relapse from her initial diagnoses when she was just 3 years old.
 
"So close to six years now she's been not the typical kid, but her 100-day bone marrow biopsy was last week and it came up crystal clear," Potter said. "So we just got to keep rolling with it one day at a time, you know, and not worry about tomorrow necessarily, just enjoy today."

Dr. Letterio said he is hopeful about Erin's case because leukemia has a high cure rate; plus, they've seen a lot of success in recent years.
    
For now, Erin is looking forward to her ninth birthday in 20 days.

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