By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
CHS senior battling leukemia
Placeholder Image
When Brittany Randle's knees started aching during the first week of soccer practice earlier this month, she scheduled an appointment with her family physician.

"I couldn't even get up in the mornings," Randle said.

The popular Ceres High senior was diagnosed with leukemia on Thursday.

"If anybody can fight this thing and be successful, it's Brittany Randle," said Ceres High varsity girls soccer coach Randy Cerny. "She has strong faith."

Added Randle: "A lot of people are taking it worse than I am. I just have to get it treated."

Randle watched the Ceres High varsity girls basketball team compete against the Davis Spartans in Ceres Thursday night. She was greeted with hugs from students and administrators, including Ceres High principal Bob Palous.

"Everybody is rallying around her," Cerny said.

Said Randle: "It's just nice to know I have a lot of support."

Randle has chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The diagnosis was made after a specialist in Modesto examined her blood and marrow cell.

About 4,600 new cases of CML are diagnosed each year in the United States. CML results from an acquired (not inherited) injury to the DNA of a stem cell in the marrow. The result of this injury is the uncontrolled growth of white cells leading, if unchecked, to a massive increase in their concentration in the blood.

"The average person has 4,000 to 13,000 white cells," Randle said. "I had 109,000."

Randle started treatment the day she was diagnosed. She was prescribed an oral medication. Randle takes a pill four times a day.

"If the pills don't work, I'm going to have to get a bone marrow transplant," she said.

On Monday morning, Randle visited her teammates at practice at Walter White School.

"She's going to continue to be a part of this team," Cerny said. "In what capacity, I don't know. If she could even step on the field for one minute, she would."

Randle played in just about every game for the varsity Bulldogs the last three years. As a starter on defense, Randle earned second-team, all-Central California Conference honors as a sophomore and was an honorable-mention selection as a junior.

The Bulldogs will miss Randle's leadership on the field.

"It's hard," Randle said. "This is the time I'm supposed to be training the hardest for college. That's the worse part of it. I can't play."

Added Cerny: "We don't have anybody at our school that can replace that girl. She has some great ability.

"She leads by example. She goes out and plays hard and it brings up the level of play for the girls that are around her."

Cerny and Randle have a great relationship off the field.

She's been babysitting for his family the last four years.

"Brittany Randle is a top-quality person," Cerny said. "She's honorable. She's ethical. She's intelligent. She's athletic. She has a great sense of humor. She's a very friendly person. I love that kid."

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society contributed to this report. - By DALE BUTLER /

Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier