August Cancer Cutie Emily!

Meet this brave and beautiful little girl Emily who is our Cancer Cutie this month. We love hearing that she is now in REMISSION! What a beautiful word to hear. Below is her story by her mother.




On June 12th 2014, after being sick for about a week and multiple doctors visits during that week, we were very concerned and decided to take her to Primary Children's Medical Center.  That evening we were told she had cancer and after about a week of tests and scans the doctors diagnosed Emily with Stage 4 Burkitts Lymphoma.  The scans revealed Emily has tumors growing at a rapid rate in her kidneys, liver, spine, face and a large 9 cm mass in her abdominal cavity.  

 The doctors wasted no time in starting her very aggressive chemotherapy treatments.  Her treatments consisted of 8 rounds of high dose chemotherapy back to back.  Five of the 8 rounds were done as a patient in the hospital due to the complications and side effects of the chemotherapy. The side effects from the first round made Emily critically ill.  She developed a serious condition called Typhilitus, as well as other serious complications and had to be moved to the ICU for several days until she could be stabilized.  She spent about 6 weeks in the hospital just recovering from the side effects from that first round. 






Each round was a little better than the last.  Her last three rounds she was able to complete in clinic and at home. On January 24 2015 Emily completed her last round of chemo and on Feb 2 2015 her scans revealed that all the tumors have cleared and we are very grateful and happy to say that Emily is officially in remission.   

Emily is six years old.  She is the youngest of 6 children, three girls, and three boys. She is such a delight to her family and we are so blessed to have her with us.  She loves to play soccer, ride scooters, wrestle with her brothers, play dolls and dress ups with her sister, pretend to be a ninja and fireman, have her nails painted by her oldest sister, and help her mom cook.  It's safe to say she is very "well rounded".  Emily just learned to ride a bike without training wheels.  Emily was also able to finish up the last half of the kindergarten year with her classmates and hopes to be ready for 1st grade in Augus 

Emily you are such an incredibly strong and brave littler girl. That smile of yours lights up the room. We are sending our love to you and are so excited for you to start 1st grade. To donate to Emily go to www.psiadoreyou.com Every donation made this month will go to Emily.



Meet Owen!

Our July Cancer Cutie is this brave beautiful boy Owen and he needs all our love, prayers and donations. 

Stay strong Owen we love and adore you! Here is his story below.



 April 27, 2015
This is the story of Owen, my 18 month old nephew.  Both daddy and mommy are Veterans of the United States Army and need your help.
No one can explain their circumstance better than what comes from his Owen’s mother’s heart. 


 
We appreciate as many prayers as we can get.  Please visit our fund raiser at gofundme.com/Owens-Expense. Owen needs to be transported by flight from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Boston, Massachusetts as soon as possible.  
        I just wanted to take a moment to thank every last one of y’all.  The support we have been shown has enabled us to push through the most difficult time of our lives, one day at a time; sometimes hour by hour.  From the time he was born until recently, Owen never displayed any signs of illness.  Those of you who know me would agree because I have smothered Facebook with enough pictures since day one (I tend to be a lil obsessive), but there wasn’t a single symptom.  




        One month ago, almost to the day, I put Owen to bed and within minutes he threw up.  All day he had been fine, so instinctively I began to dread a stomach bug making its way through my house.  Long story-short, Owen wasn’t getting any better, and no one else was getting sick.  He began vomiting more frequently until it became a constant occurrence.  He was lethargic, and couldn’t even keep the anti-nausea medication down when we brought him back to the ER for the third time.  At that point (day 14) Owen had lost 8 lbs. (1/3 of his total body weight) and was extremely dehydrated.  Tommy and I came with an overnight bag and assured them that we were not leaving until they told us something other than “there’s a nasty bug going around”.  We were eventually sent to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for further evaluation.  We were not in any way prepared for what came next.
The mysterious stomach bug turned out to be an advanced stage of brain cancer!  They were as delicate as they could be, but there’s no gentle way to explain:

You’re beautiful baby boy has a rare form of brain cancer that has now spread throughout his spine as well.
His case is exceptionally difficult because rather than one large mass, he has hundreds of tiny tumors that divide and spread rapidly.
His tiny body can’t sustain the amount of radiation that would be needed; therefore survival is a long shot depending solely on his ability to withstand high doses of chemo that will make him far worse than with standard rounds.
        Devastated doesn’t begin to cover it, but we refuse to give up hope.  Percentages mean nothing to me because he is still here with us today in spite of having endured 4 surgeries (2 brain, 1 chest, 1 back) this week.  Our entire focus HAS to be on him if we are going to see him through this and that is ALL I care about at this point…seeing him through regardless!
        The donations that have been so generously given to us mean more to me than I could ever express.  They have allowed me to pursue the absolute best Children’s Hospital in the country for pediatric brain cancers, and there is no way to repay the hope that brings me.  I know I cannot do this on my own, and I am eternally grateful that I have not had to!  
We love you all for the prayers and compassion for my precious poopsie!    
                                                              ~April (Mommy)
                                      



You can make a difference and donate to Owen at www.psiadoreyou.com
Every penny of your donation will go to this Brave little boy!




                                                                                                                            






In memory of Afton

We are heartbroken to hear that our Cancer Cutie for the month of June passed away on May 24th. When we received Afton's story we knew we needed to feature her and share her positivity and courageous fight with cancer. Afton was one remarkable beautiful lady. We are sharing her story and will continue to collect donations for her family. All our love and prayers are with the Wallace family at this difficult time. 
This month of June lets pay it forward. Live each day as if it was your last. Keep Afton's memory alive and pay it forward.

Afton Wallace is a vivacious young woman, full of life and full of vigor. She faces each day with a smile and her influence has been great! With thousands of followers on her Facebook page and thousands more in her local community, she has touched so many lives. She says, when you have a video and it’s been viewed 5,000 times or it’s reached over 20,000 people… it’s very impactful,” she said. “It’s like wow, something that is happening in my life is — well people comment and say how much it impacts them and how much it inspires them, and it’s really cool for me.” Afton said the feedback she’s gotten from social media reminds her to stay positive. “It helps me a lot to be like ok, I need to put a smile on my face because this isn’t just about me,” she said. “I’m helping other people with my trials and my willingness to stay positive about this.”



The initial diagnosis:
May 25 2014. Another gut wrenching day. After 8 weeks and 8 doctors trying to solve the cause of her pain in her hip, Afton received the diagnosis that she has a form of bone cancer named Ewings Sarcoma.This cancer is very aggressive and has spread throughout her body. Although treatable, it metastasized and spread throughout her entire abdominal region with spots in her liver, spleen, and other internal organsThe main cancer is in her pelvic bone but has spread to the skull, and spine as well. Those in the skull are the most worrisome. One is pressing on the top of the brain and the other near the pituitary gland, causing slurred speech and potential endocrinological issues. Treatment started immediately to try to reduce the tumors so she could be free of the pain….



Since Afton was diagnosed, she has spent 
120 days in the hospital, undergone 45 radiation treatments and received 70 doses of chemotherapyRegardless that many of these treatments took place nearly 3 hours from her home, She's had hundreds of visitors.
                                               


May 2015: After being crowned homecoming queen, named Miss Warren Central High School, chosen as class favorite and voted captain of the swim team, we got the devastating news that not only was the treatment not working, but in the past 6 weeks her tumors have tripled in size and have dramatically increased in number. There are no further standard treatment options available and the tumors are growing so fast they do not believe we will have enough time for her body to recover enough from the latest chemo and radiation treatments for her to qualify for a clinical trial. In fact, they feel that she less than 3 months to live. 



Even with this heart-wrenching news, Afton kept on at it. Her motto has been "Just Keep Swimming". When she first went to the hospital and was paralyzed, she immediately started doing dips on her walker. She should have been paralyzed, but she fought through the pain and is walking. 

Her dream is to attend college this fall. Cancer hasn't stopped her from taking numerous AP classes, scoring a 33 on her ACT and receiving a full-tuition scholarship from Brigham Young University. 
We pray for her to find release from the pain and to know that we've done all we can do to take care of her and that she will be happy.

You can donate here www.psiaodreyou.com and every penny of your donation will go to her family. Afton,Thank you for teaching us courage and strength. 






May Cancer Cutie Braden


Meet Braden our May cancer cutie. We are so thrilled that he is in remission. We heard about his story last year and couldn't wait to share his story with all of you. Braden you are so BRAVE and STRONG! 


Braden loves the outdoors! We as a family love to go camping and ride our ATV's and go Four Wheeling! He was in the beginning June 2014 having very bad leg pain - I took him to the hospital 3 times in the 4 months and to the doctor 3 times even a physical ! They kept telling me it was growing pains and being a normal boy with the bruising! The doctor at the hospital even told me he may be lying! But I know my son - he handles pain very well and is not a complainer!!! 

September 7th We went on a group trip for our 10th anniversary to Jamaica (our portion was only $1400)! Due to it being such a large group and off season! So we had a entire year to pay on it! 

While we were in Jamaica my mom was watching my kids, Braden was having stomach pains and bruising very bad and went to the hospital! His liver was enlarged and they finally did blood work which then they found the ALL Leukemia! 

It was the worst news I could get! We had to wait like 19.5 hours to get on a plane! The airport was terrible! We couldn't get back fast enough! We could not walk - run - take a boat - drive- we had to wait for the plane - due to it being off season there was only one flight out and it did not leave until 1 pm the next day! 

I have not been able to work! My husband missed a a lot of work and in December we have to stay at the hospital every other week for 2 months for some strong chemo appt! So will miss more! But it is all to cure - make him better!! I would do anything to take his place or make him better! 


Braden is responding to the chemo amazing! He is definitely my little super hero! He is 4 yrs old and is stronger then all of us put together! He use to be afraid of just getting his picture taken at the dentist and now he allows all of them to poke - pinch- get his treatments and take his medication without a fuss! But he does hate to remove the bandaids!! 

Update as of mid April

Braden is doing great! He is in Remission (The best Day of our Life's) it took 4.5 months but he kicked Cancers Butt! It did put him in Very High Risk! It was very hard when the doctors were saying it was gone at day 7! Not expected from anyone! Everyday is a new day we try to take one day / month at a time! He is an Amazing Fighter! I am so proud of him! He spent the holidays and his Birthday at the Childrens Hospital doing high dose Methotrexate!  So he has not been able to do normal kid things but -  We plan to have his Birthday Party at the end of the month;) 

Please head over to www.psiadoreyou.com and you can make a donation to this strong little fighter. Every penny of your donations this month will go to Braden.

Meet Landon!

It is always emotional and hard to introduce these brave Cancer Cuties. This month is especially difficult for us. This handsome strong boy Landon is the son of our dear friend Chaney.  He was diagnosed with Leukemia Last month. We are all still in shock that cancer has affected another child so close to us. Landon you are so strong and brave. You show this cancer who is BOSS! 
We will continue to bring awareness and support for all these families. Please donate to Landon and show his family lots of love. 
Packer family, we love you with all our Hearts! 
You can donate to Landon at www.psiadoreyou.com


Here is Landon's story written by his Parents: Michael and Chaney

In the late fall of 2014 Landon was playing in a Tennis tournament in Salt Lake City.   During the match we noticed that he was having a hard time running.  After the match we asked him what was wrong and he said that his wrists and knees hurt.   We didn’t think much of it and figured it was because he was playing a lot of tennis.  Over the next few weeks however his pain worsened.  He would wake up at night with severe pain in his wrists.  It was so bad that he would come into our room in tears.  He was always so tired.  This is when we decided to take him to the doctor.

His pediatrician recommended that Landon give a blood sample to see if that would answer some questions.  His labs showed all his counts to be normal.  The only abnormality was the inflammation in his blood was high.  He told us Landon most likely had Arthritis and we were told to take him to Primary Children’s to see the Rheumatologists.  They confirmed the diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in November 2014.  He received injections in his wrists to help with the inflammation.  Shortly after his knee started hurting again.  They put him on steroids to help with the pain and inflammation.  Over the weeks as we lowered the dose of steroids his pain returned.  Except it was much worse. 


After taking him to the doctor off and on for 3 months, his rheumatologist knew something was wrong.  His pain was not acting like arthritis anymore.  Landon started having other symptoms.  His eye was swollen, he couldn’t lift his arm, he could barely walk on his right knee.  This was concerning to the doctors, so they ordered an MRI in February.


 He was diagnosed with A vascular Necroses or AVN.  This explained the pain but the doctors were confused at why he had it.  They didn’t feel that he had been on steroids long enough to cause AVN.  His blood counts continued to test normal so we knew it couldn’t be cancer.  As a precaution they admitted him to Primary Children’s to do a PET scan and a bone marrow biopsy where they confirmed that he has Pre-B-ALL (Leukemia).  We were all devastated.  Landon thought he would only have to stay in the hospital for 2 days for tests but they moved him to the cancer floor where we stayed for 10 more days.


Being a 9-year-old boy he was very aware of what was going on and we have realized just how smart he is and picked up on everything that the doctors said.  He is having such a hard time not going to school or playing tennis.  Now that he is home he is in better spirits and the chemo treatments are already helping the pain to go away.  He loves being home with his 6-year-old brother and twin 3 year old sisters.  He is the best, most loving big brother ever!  This is so new to us.  We are scared at what we face over the next 3 or 4 years.  We love this little boy.  As scary as this is, we are grateful to finally know what was causing him so much pain these past months.   


Meet Mariah!

We would like to introduce to you our March Cancer Cutie Mariah. This strong lady is a inspiration to all of us. That smile lights up the room and melted our hearts. Mariah you have a army behind you. Continue to be brave and show'm who's boss~! We love and adore you! Stay Strong and fight fight FIGHT!  Here is her story below. You can donate to Mariah at www.psiadoreyou.com



Mariah is our beloved child from God and is 10 years old! One year ago, in 2013, she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called an Ependymoma. She immediately went into surgery to remove the golf ball sized tumor from the center of her brain. Her surgeon was amazing and, through God's work, he removed the entire tumor. Alex and Jennifer, Mariah's parents, spent the next two weeks in the hospital at her bedside while each day she became stronger. Eventually, she was back to our normal, healthy Mariah!  She entered the 4th grade and spent the year without any complications or mishaps! 

       Mariah's six-month MRI scan showed up with a bright spot which the doctors perceived to be scar tissue. So we all waited three months for her next scheduled MRI only to receive the news that Mariah's tumor had in fact returned aggressively to the same size it was the first time. Immediate surgery for a resection is scheduled for Thursday, May 15th. We will all be at the Children's Hospital of Atlanta praying over the surgeons' hands that he may be able to remove this tumor the best that he can. This, however, is the beginning of a long process of healing for Mariah. A resectioning of the skull and brain brings the scary possibility of new challenges aside from the surgery.  Secondly, this time around will be followed by six weeks of powerful radiation which will be administered in another state in which could be Florida, Texas, or Tennessee. We will keep everyone updated each step of the way as it all unfolds. We do not understand the reason behind this awful illness, but we are proclaiming Gods healing over our baby Mariah and that HIS will to be done. 






She is the toughest little lady and will fight. Jennifer and Alex and Gaby, Mariah's older sister, will need an army of friendships and love and prayers to get them through this time. As you can imagine, this process is going to bring many challenges including exhorbitant medical bills and expenses. Jennifer will be out of work for an extended period of time without pay while Alex will be working intermittently. We love you all and thank you for any support you can give. May God's blessings be upon you every day.
All our Love…..


Meet Bella!


We would like to introduce Bella to you. Our February Cancer Cutie. Her smile can light up any room. We are amazed at her strength and courage. Keep fighting beautiful! You got this! We love you. You can donate to Bella at www.psiadoreyou.com 
Read her story here.

 . 


On August 12, seven year old Bella Meyer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) type B. Since her diagnosis Bella has undergone multiple blood and platelet transfusions, bone marrow biopsies, many surgical procedures and countless rounds of chemotherapy at UW American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, WI. As part of the "highest risk" class leukemia patients, she is just beginning her fight. In December the wonderful team of doctors gave Bella and the family the best news. She is in remission! Unfortunately this does not lighten the load any for Bella as far as treatment goes. Because of her "high risk" status she will continue to undergo all procedures and chemotherapy as previously planned out for the next 2 1/2 years.  Bella and the family will continue to endure weekly trips from Rockford, IL to Madison, WI. 










Bella is a fun loving second grader who is wise beyond her years. Her amazing strength and brave spirit keeps her mom, dad and brother Braxton moving forward every day. Bella is a true girly girl. She loves to sing, dance, swim, and play with her American Girl dolls. Bella enjoys doing puzzles, arts and crafts and making bracelets. She has recently started a little business of making and selling these bracelets in order to save up for more AG stuff. Bella cares so much for others and has made many friends going through similar experiences at UW Children's hospital. She is an inspiration to her family and all who know her!