CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Makayla Clark has many people cheering for her.
Her fans wear T-shirts with her name splashed across the front.
Her Facebook page, "Cheering for Makayla," has more than 5,000 "likes" from some strangers, many friends and all of her family.
They used to support her from the sidelines when the 17-year-old Marmet resident shouted her chants as a cheerleader at Horace Mann Middle School and then Capital High School.
But today, they show their support by bringing her cards, coloring books and company to her hospital bed.
Makayla was born with Down syndrome.
Kay, Makayla's mother, said she didn't have a clue that her fifth child, her youngest, would be born with Down syndrome, but everything was going to be OK.
"We sat there, as a family, and we said, 'We will take care of this. She will be just like the other kids,'" Kay said.
Doctors diagnosed Makayla with acute myeloid leukemia just two short years later.
She lost her hair and spent much of her time in the hospital, her mother said.
Kay said other residents in the hospital entertained her toddler daughter by walking her up and down the hallways.
One year later, Makayla had completed chemotherapy and was cancer free.
"She never let anything stop her," Kay said.
Before she could talk, Makayla learned sign language to express when she wanted "more" to eat. She still signs today if someone doesn't understand her, Kay said.
"She had a hard time learning to talk so she signed what she wanted," Kay said. "She is always wanting to learn more."
Makayla had a "pretty normal" childhood, her mother said. She loved being around people, and even today, "she doesn't know a stranger," Kay said.
Her hospital visits became frequent again when the family learned that one of her kidneys was very small, just the size of a quarter.
At 11-years-old, Makayla had a kidney transplant and spent a year on dialysis.
She got to enjoy much of her teenage years without dramatic health scares, until about eight months ago, Kay said.
Makayla "did wonderful" when she got braces -- Kay said she thought her daughter might try to take them off -- but it was the sores that randomly developed in her mouth that had her parents worried, Kay said.
It took a visit to the family doctor, then a routine checkup with her kidney doctor, a 24-hour visit to the hospital and eventually a spinal tap and a bone marrow biopsy to try to figure out what caused the sores, Kay said.
Makayla's bone marrow biopsy came back abnormal.
She was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, an out-of-control growth of lymph cells that is life-threatening, according to the American Cancer Society. It is linked to a malfunction of T-cells and the presence of Epstein-Barr virus.
Doctors are still watching a myeloid that might be a factor in confining Makayla to her Cincinnati Children's Hospital bed since Nov. 8.
Makayla first stayed at Charleston Area Medical Center's Women and Children's Hospital beginning Oct. 18 but moved to Cincinnati Children's as a "better bet to prolong her life," her mother said.