|Corey was a very happy-go-lucky little boy who loved everyone and loved to make people smile. In early 2007, at 2½
years old, he was fighting what everyone thought was a typical toddler cold/sinus infection with swollen glands. After about
a week of antibiotics with no improvement, and the "lymph glands" getting larger, he was sent to Cincinnati Children’s
Hospital for a biopsy of the lump behind his ear. On Feb. 2, 2007, the results of the biopsy found that it was not a swollen
lymph gland, but in fact was a cancerous tumor. Later that day, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive
and very deadly childhood cancer.He endured 7 rounds of chemotherapy,
multiple surgeries, a stem cell transplant that put him in the ICU and on dialysis for a period of time, several weeks of
radiation and another several rounds of chemotherapy. In April of 2008, he was NED (no evidence of disease).Then, in October 2008, he relapsed with a new tumor behind his ear. Once again, he went
through more chemotherapy and radiation. In January 2009, the tumor in his head was gone, but now there was a small tumor
on his right femur. More radiation and chemotherapy were given. On March 13, 2009, he was once again tumor free and NED.Corey continued with oral chemotherapy trying to prevent another relapse. Unfortunately
in mid-April of 2009, Corey relapsed again; this time with tumors throughout his entire skeletal system and on his liver.
Corey fought a courageous fight for more than 2 years – and rarely complained
about any of it. (We adults could learn a thing or two from Corey!!) Unfortunately, the cancer was too aggressive to fight
and on May 8, 2009, just a month before of his 5th birthday, Corey lost his battle and earned his angel wings. We miss him
dearly! We walk in memory of Corey to raise funding for further cancer
research so that no other children or their families have to go through this.
Shayna was a bundle of red velvet on her very first
Christmas Eve when we noticed that something didn’t look right in her eye. A week later she would have her eye removed
to prevent cancer from spreading to her brain and begin chemotherapy for the tumors in her remaining eye. Nothing prepares
you for that. After many months of treatment and a new prosthetic eye, she has now been cancer-free for 10 years. We say she
is one of the "lucky ones", but it has nothing to do with luck. Shayna’s treatment was successful because
of research. Determined that no child should have their childhood interrupted or cut short by cancer, our family started CancerFree
KIDS to fund the critical research that is necessary for every child to be guaranteed a cure. This research benefits not only
children, but all of us. Those participating in the walk understand how important it is. We thank you for your support!
To celebrate 10 years of being cancer-free, Shayna, now 12 years old,
started her own fundraising project to raise money for research. She designs and sells beaded bracelets that feature a pendant
with the word "COURAGE". She sells them at various events and on the CancerFree KIDS website. Shayna's goal is to
fund a research grant this year with money entirely raised by kids!
Charlie was diagnosed with AML,
Acute Myloid Leukemia, at age 16 months on January 30, 2006. This specific type of cancer is common in children with Down
syndrome. After Charlie's first round of chemotherapy, we were extremely blessed as he went into remission. Charlie underwent
a total of 8 rounds of chemotherapy accompanied by month-long hospital stays to be sure the cancer was gone for good. We are
happy to say that Charlie hit a very big milestone this past June and was moved into the Long Term Care Program at Cincinnati
Children's. (This means once a year visits; no more long clinic visits!) Charlie is a thriving, healthy 7-year old who enjoys
playing baseball, soccer, swimming, and playing with his friends at school and his very best friend, his 6-year old sister,
Madison. We met Hanna and her family during Charlie's treatment and Hanna was such a great friend to Charlie. We couldn't
be happier continuing our participation in this walk to honor her memory and support such a wonderful organization.
Like Hanna, Mary was just 2 ½ years old when she was diagnosed with a high grade, non-specified, infant brain tumor
on March 8, 2006. Four days later, surgeons at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital removed a baseball size tumor from her
right front lobe. Here began Mary’s journey. In the months that followed, Mary was given four rounds of chemotherapy,
aggressive radiation treatments, and an eight month regime of maintenance chemo. By the Grace of God, her last MRI on December
14, 2009, showed no changes and no return of cancer. Prayers from hundreds of friends and family have so far been answered.
We have hope as each day passes that Mary’s story will have a happy ending, that she will be a lifelong cancer survivor.
The Butterfly Walk is an opportunity for Mary’s family and friends to show their support for Mary, and the ongoing cancer
research sponsored by Cancer Free KIDS. Mary is a happy, energetic 6 year old because of the outstanding care she has received
and the research that continues at Cincinnati Children’s. Please consider joining Mary for the walk this year; she was
thrilled to have family and friends by her side last year. We will continue to support Mary, research efforts, and the hospital
with strength, hope, courage and faith in our hearts.
Parker was 10 weeks old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on February 4th, 2005.
He was a fussy baby that you just couldn’t seem to make comfortable. We found out later that he had tumors in
both adrenal glands, his liver; near his spinal cord and that it had spread to his bone and bone marrow. 6 days after being
admitted to the hospital Parker started an intense research protocol at Cincinnati Children’s which consisted of 8 rounds
of chemotherapy. Six long months of injections, treatments and trips to Children’s and we are happy to say Parker is
a Cancerfree KID! Parker is now followed in the ATP long term survivor’s clinic at Cincinnati Children’s. He is
monitored now more for the effects of the chemotherapy he received and less for the disease itself. We visit the clinic yearly.
We are happy to report that Parker is a strong healthy 7 year old who enjoys playing basketball, snow skiing and wakeboarding
at the lake! He will start 2nd grade this fall. We feel very blessed to have had the
researchers at Cincinnati Children’s who worked so hard to save our child. We are very grateful to them and their hard
work. Without events like the Butterfly Walk, CancerFree KIDS would not be able to offer grants to these outstanding individuals
who work hard every day to save one more child. Our family is honored to be a part of this very special event and we are looking forward to the 6th annual event!
On July 4, 2011, our sweet
6-year-old son/brother, Tony, left this earth and is now experiencing the joys of eternal life in Heaven. In October 2008,
at the age of 3, Tony was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a pediatric brain cancer. He underwent surgery, 31 radiation treatments,
and intense high-dose chemotherapy (followed by stem cell rescue). Tony experienced about a year of clean scans, but relapsed
in June 2010. After another year of various chemotherapy treatments and two surgeries, Tony succumbed to the disease. We are
heartbroken, but are focusing upon treasuring every moment of this life just as Tony did. He had a zest and joy for life that
was infectious. Despite the hardships Tony faced, he rarely complained or cried. He attended school every day he was able.
He enjoyed playing t-ball and soccer. He loved spending time with his three big brothers. By his example, Tony showed many
what it means to be strong and faithful. "Pray~Hope~Believe" became the theme for Tony's journey and remains our
theme for healing and living life
October 25, 2008, Elizabeth Lothrop, 14 year old, was diagnosed with ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Liz was currently
finishing out her volleyball season for Mason Middle School. Lizzy was very active and was never sick. She played Basketball
for Mason and played AAU ball, she played Volleyball for her school too as well as Junior Olympic Volleyball for Sports Express,
and ran track for Mason. Lizzy's back started hurting her the last two weeks of volleyball season;
we took her to see an Orthopedic specialist who confirmed she had a fracture in her lower spin. Liz had a pars injection four
days later in her lower spine and four days after that she spiked a fever of 103 and a massive nose bleed that took 28 min.
to stop. We took her to Children's at 10 pm and by 4:30 am we were told that she had cancer; all of this took place within
a five week period. It has been a battle since but cancer picked the wrong person this time. Liz is a true fighter and has
an infectious spirit. Lizzy has just started the Maintenance Phase of her treatment and
will continue on this course until her last chemo treatment on Feb. 17, 2011. She has endured weekly heavy chemos, blood transfusions,
platelet transfusions, very long hospital stays, severe side effects of chemo, and complete hair loss twice, but has remained
faithful to God, family, and friends. There have been several fundraisers for our family
and for various organizations which we are passionate about. Because of the prayers and financial support we know that one
day there will be a cure. Lizzy's wish is that they find an easier treatment protocol for people with cancer and of course,
In January 2009, just one month before Joel was due to be born, Susie and Adam found out on a routine ultrasound that their
baby Joel had a tumor above his left adrenal gland. Susie was put through a lot of testing to get a handle on what was going
on with Joel so the doctors would know what to do when he was born. He was born two weeks early on January 26th. Due to the
size of the tumor and it pressing on his lungs, he had breathing issues and was immediately taken to Cincinnati Children's
Hospital RCNIC where he then stayed for the next four months. At 8 days old he had his first surgery to biopsy the tumor and
remove a lymph node in question. He was later diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma that had spread to that lymph node and
also to his liver. He required a central line to be placed and at just 10 days old, Joel began his first round of chemotherapy
and did a total of five rounds in the time he was in the hospital. Joel also had pyloric stenosis where the pyloris that drains
the stomach into the intestines thickens making it difficult for food to pass. Joel's was so thick that it was practically
closed, so he vomitted every time he fed. He required surgery on that too. Halfway through the five rounds of chemo, a PET
scan showed that the tumor had shrunk enough to now be removed, to then be followed up with additional chemo. So his next
surgery was for the tumor resection and to repair his pyloris. After four months in the RCNIC, 6 surgical procedures and 5
rounds of chemo, Joel came home on his four month birthday. Joel has now been cancer free since June 2009! He is a very busy
little boy who loves getting into everything he can, playing with his big brother, singing and dancing, doing puzzles, playing
outside and just being with his family. Joel is our miracle boy. We have seen what God can do, and the amazing results that
come from research to provide a way for our little boy to live a long, healthy life. Our prayer is that other children can
recover as well as Joel has and provide a way for other children to become cancer free.
Jake is a 12 year old sixth grader at Loveland Intermediate School. In June 1998, when he was nine months old,
Jake was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer in his abdomen and spinal column. He was given chemotherapy treatments
every 3-4 weeks at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. In February 1999, they surgically removed the remains
of the tumor. After several tests and scans, Jake was declared cured of cancer in December of 2003.
On January 4th,
2010, Jake was admitted to Children’s Hospital with a very strong pain in his left side and back. CT, MRI
and subsequent scans indicated that there were two tumors growing, one on the left between two ribs near his spinal cord,
the other slightly smaller directly across on his right side. Jake has had surgery to remove as much of the tumor
as they can without compromising his spinal cord. He has just finished his 3rd round of chemotherapy
which was pretty hard on him but he came through like a rock star!
Jake is a straight A student
in the gifted program and an awesome athlete. He enjoys playing football, basketball and lacrosse. Jake likes
hanging out with his friends and enjoys reading. Jake is a strong boy with
a million dollar smile that will pull through these tough times
On June 30th, 2009, when Ava was just 3 years old, our lives changed forever. After a night of crying over a tummy ache, followed
by vomiting, Ava saw her pediatrician who sent her for an x-ray to see if she had severe constipation, to rule out appendicitis
or something more serious. We went straight to Cincinnati Children's. After the x-ray was read, calcifications were found
near her right adrenal gland. (A great catch based on comments from her oncologist and surgeons.) Ava then had an ultrasound
that confirmed Ava had a mass, thought to be Neuroblastoma...a malignant tumor. Cancer. Wow..a presumed virus, with symptoms
only lasting two days, brought us to discover this heartbreak. We can only think that this was a sign from God to catch this
before it had more time to spread. On July 10th, 2009 Ava had a very complicated abdominal surgery to remove the tumor that
was growing from her sympathetic chain (part of the sympathetic nervous system). About 99% of the tumor was removed, while the remaining sliver attached to her aorta had to be left behind. Two lymph nodes
that were near the original tumor were removed and one was confirmed to be diseased. Ava was staged 2B. Neuroblastoma is typically
discovered after it has progressed significantly. Confirming our belief in a Godly intervention. In October 2009, Ava suffered
from severe abdominal pain and vomiting for three weeks while under observation and going through many tests. On November
5th, 2009 she underwent another abdominal surgery and several adhesions were found that had formed after her first surgery,
one being the culprit of a bowel perforation, which eventually grew around the bowel twisting it, causing a bowel obstruction.
During this surgery she had a small section of her bowel removed. Ava has now recovered from this surgery and has started
to gain some of the weight back that she has lost. We are very fortunate that at this point Ava has not had to undergo any
chemotherapy or radiation therapy. She is under very close observation with labs monthly and scans every 2-3 months. Her next
round of scans are in May 2010. We are looking forward to the walk this year and thank everyone for their support of the event.
We appreciate the continued prayers for Ava and all of the kids who continue to battle this horrific disease and for the doctors
and nurses who care for them.
In September of 2009, our 2 year old son, Aaron was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma. Since then he has
endured 18 months of grueling treatments including 6 rounds of high dose chemo, 2 bone marrow transplants, 2 tumor resections,
20 days of radiation, and 6 months of immunotherapy. Through all of this he has endured countless infections,
viruses, unbearable pain and even septic shock. And you know what? He's still so happy! Our
children deserve the best we can give them, we can do more about pediatric cancer than the world is doing.
|Gracie was just 7 months old when she was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma (liver cancer) in February of 2007. Doctors at Cincinnati
Children's Hospital found a tumor the size of a softball in her liver. She underwent four rounds of chemotherapy. In May of
2007 she had surgery to remove the tumor followed by two more rounds of chemotherapy. Gracie has been in remission since August
of 2007. Today Gracie is a happy, healthy 5 and a half year old and is enjoying every minute of life. We owe this outcome
to the support, prayers, and research of many people. Organizations like Cancerfree KIDS and Cincinnati Children's Hospital
do amazing things for children battling cancer. We are one of the lucky families who benefited from their research and hard
work. We are honored to be a part of the 6th annual Butterfly Walk and look forward to helping fight pediatric cancer.
Jessica Michaela Elam was just a normal 7 year old girl when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor on October 29, 2001. This
rare cancerous tumor called EPENDYMOMA (type of cancer that only affects the Central Nervous System (brain or spine)) was
successfully removed 3 days later and was followed by radiation. Jessica survived and she was having the time of her life
when not 2 years later, on September 25, 2003, she was diagnosed with a recurrence, but this time we were dealing with a spinal
tumor. The doctors proceeded with radiation that shrunk the tumor about 25% and another successful surgery followed - the
whole tumor was removed and we didn’t have any complications. This was followed by chemotherapy and what we thought
was the worst 4 months of Jessica’s life. Jessica survived and we really thought that we had this cancer kicked when
another spot was detected on March 9th, 2006. We were very fortunate that we caught this early, but the location of this one
in the brain (near the main artery of the brain) was very critical. Radiation was really our only option to give us any hope.
This treatment had seemed to work except for the fact that her brain started to swell 5 months later. Steroids followed to
reduce the brain swelling along with some setbacks it caused but this strong willed girl just wasn’t about to give up.
Jessica survived and then for the fourth time in six years they found another spot on her spine on August 22, 2007. This tumor
again was irremovable (in a location housing all the leg, kidney and bowel functions) and the doctors’ only choice was
to proceed with yet another set of radiation. Jessica survived. In September 2008, just shortly after her 14th birthday, during
routine scans, they found another nodule in her brain. We opted for radiation--the radiostatic surgery for her treatment.
This went over a 5 day period in October. After that was over, she started the oral chemo. Her hair has started falling but
body tolerating it well and she was still going to school. When Christmas break was almost over, so was Jessica's blood counts.
As of January 2009, she has been off of chemo for about 2 weeks but her blood counts are still declining. Her faith and determination
to get her story out there is strong. Her faith in God has made her stronger
and even more eager to help find a cure for this awful disease. Jessica is 14 years old because of ongoing research that organizations
like CancerFree KIDS provide funding for. Jessica wants to help prevent anyone else from having to encounter the lifestyle
of a cancer patient at such a young age so please support our family in the 3rd annual Butterfly Walk for CancerFree
Kids. Hi! My name is Hannah and on May 25, 2012 I will celebrate
my 5th year of being CANCER FREE! I was told I had a rare form of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) when I was 2 years old.
Due to research, the doctors knew right away that my only treatment option was to have a bone marrow transplant. I received
my new bone marrow cells on May 25, 2007! Treatment, transplant, and recovery was a very difficult journey, but today I am
a healthy, happy, 7 year old, 1st grader and my Mom and Dad tell me I am a joy :) My family and I are thankful to God for
providing us with wonderful medical care, and for the research and technology that enabled me to receive my transplant and
help save my life. We are also thankful for all the people who support pediatric cancer research. Without your donations,
life saving research, which has helped me and many other children, wouldn't happen. So I hope you will join me in walking
and/or donating to this year's Butterfly Walk and help more children be cancer free. I'm going to be there to celebrate being
cancer free and my 5th transplant birthday! See you there! On April 25th 2007, our son Roman was diagnosed with High Risk Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. At only 18 months
of age, he showed no symptoms other than a black and blue very swollen right eye. It didn’t help that about 3 to 4 weeks
before we noticed his eye being swollen, he had fallen down on a wooden barn toy and hit the same eye. We thought maybe he
broke a brow bone or hurt something from falling on the toy. Our pediatrician referred us to an eye doc to make sure Roman’s
vision wasn’t affected when he fell on the toy. The eye doc wanted Roman to come back in a week if the swelling didn’t
go down. It didn’t go down at all. We went back to the eye doc on April 24th and he scheduled a CT scan of Roman’s
head for the next day at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital at 1:00. We took Roman for his CT scan on April 25th, 2007. We got to be in the room with him because they used sedation
to put him to sleep. We had absolutely no idea that the nurses who were in the other room looking at Roman’s CT on the
monitor, were alarmed with what they saw. I did however notice one nurse who kept looking in my direction as I held Roman’s
hand. Looking back, she was obviously sad for us with the news we were about to get.They wheeled him to a recovery room with a nurse and then put us in another room so we could see him
still. The next thing we know 4 docs came in and sat right across from us. We knew immediately that some form of bad news
was coming, but had no idea that our lives were about to be turned upside down and inside out. I like to put it as “we
were about to get a new pair of eyes and see everything in a completely different way”. They told us Roman had a tumor.
They wanted to do more scans and blood work to find out more. Later that day, it was confirmed that Roman had High Risk STAGE
4 Neuroblastoma. After more testing, cancer was found in his bone marrow, a tumor on his right adrenal gland and a tumor above
his right eye. That fear is unexplainable what my husband and I felt that day. There are no words for it.He went into surgery 2 days after that on a Friday to remove his right adrenal
gland, lymph node and the tumor itself. The tumor was about the size of a quarter. He also had a central line put in. On that
following Wednesday, Roman started chemo. He completed 6 rounds of induction chemo. He also harvested his own stem cells after
round 2. He had a 7th round of high dose chemo to knock out his bone marrow for a stem cell transplant he had on
Oct. 17th, 2007. The chemo did shrink the tumor above his right eye, thank God. After somewhat recovering from
his transplant, he had 12 rounds of local radiation to his abdomen. After that, he took only 5 rounds of oral chemo (Accutane)
at half the dose, because he experienced a lot of issues from the Accutane. Among them were very high triglycerides, head
pressure and headaches, rashes on his legs and severe rage. Roman didn’t get any line infections or anything out of
the ordinary while on his protocol. He was on so many drugs and had numerous blood and platelet transfusions throughout his
protocol treatment.We are, as we have come to find
out from many other families’ journeys, VERY blessed that Roman even survived protocol at all. Not many kids make it
through to the end with little or no complications. Roman’s health today is that of a “normal” 6 year old little boy. Looking
at him you would never know what his little body has survived and been thru. He is caught up with getting all of his immunizations
again from them being wiped out from his transplant. He has a very slight high frequency hearing loss in his right ear. Not
even enough to warrant a hearing aid. As of to date, Roman has no health issues. As for monitoring him, Roman
has blood work and a clinic visit with his oncologist every 6 months. I would say that Roman is a walking miracle! This journey
is an ongoing journey for Roman. So far, Neuroblastoma has feared him and has left him alone. We pray daily that Roman gets to grow up and do huge and amazing things with
his miracle life that God has given him. On January 14, 2009, we took Leah to the doctor due to paleness of the skin, multiple bruises and minor bloody noses. We honestly
thought we were going there only to be sent home. Leah was never sick. In fact, she hadn't been to the doctor's office in
over 3 years. From there we were sent to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where we waited for what seemed like an eternity to
be told that Leah had Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. After 6 months of living at the hospital, 4 intense rounds of chemotherapy,
2 trips to the ICU, 2 central lines, 3 picc lines, multiple blood and platelet transfusions, one lung biopsy, and one appendectomy,
we are proud to say that Leah has won her battle against cancer. Although Leah is not completely back to "normal",
she grows stronger by the day. She's back in school and has just been okayed to play softball. One of the biggest lessons
we learned from this experience is the importance of giving. We now realize that without the generous donations of others,
our daughter probably would not have survived this disease. We are so grateful for fundraisers such as The Butterfly Walk,
organizations such as CancerFree KIDS, and generous people who donate for giving our daughter, and many other children, a
second chance at life. In the fall of 2003 Madelyn was an active 2 year old girl that could not wait until her 3rd birthday was here. After 2 weeks
of being treated for an upper respiratory infection and not seeing any change, we were sent to Middletown Hospital for a routine
x-ray to rule out pneumonia. From the look on the nurses face I could tell that something was seriously wrong with our little
girl. We went immediately down to Cincinnati Children's Hospital to get a CAT scan to figure out what was wrong.
Monday, October 6, 2003 we were admitted to Children's Hospital and sent to the ICU floor. On Wednesday, October 8th Maddie
had her first of many surgeries and we were told the news that no parent should hear. Madelyn's chest was full of some sort
of cancer that had erupted and at that point could be anywhere in her little body. She had 1/3 of her right lung removed and
had a central line placed due to the apparent chemotherapy treatments which lay ahead. Maddie was finally diagnosed with Pleuropulmonary
Blastoma (PPB) which is a rare childhood cancer that attaches to the lung. With me having had a childhood cancer called Wilms
Tumor when I was 4 years old, we were fortunate enough to have the same wonderful doctor that I continued to see take Maddie's
case. From the start we knew that the road ahead was going to be difficult but once we got into the treatments no one could
prepare us for the ups and downs which you go through. The "PLAN" was to have 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 12 days
of radiation. It amazed me how nothing seemed to go by the "PLAN." In November, after Maddie's second round of chemo
we were admitted to the hospital for a high fever and extremely low blood counts. During this stay Maddie had a chemotherapy
induced seizure which only happens to a small percentage of children. Due to the intensity of the seizure we were taken to
the ICU to be monitored. A feeding tube was also placed in Maddie's nose that went directly into her stomach due to the weight
she continued to lose. In December after a routine ECHO/EKG test she was diagnosed with Coarctation of the Aorta. On December
8th Maddie had a heart procedure which helped open up her artery because of its limited size. After her December chemo treatment
we were admitted at 3am on Christmas morning due to another high fever. In January things continued not to follow the "PLAN."
After her January treatments and once again being admitted for a fever and low counts, we realized if we did not lower the
dosage of the chemotherapy treatments Maddie was not going to survive. We were hospitalized for 3 1/2 weeks and our doctor
decided to lower her dosage to 50% due to the damage it was doing to her little body. In March she had 12 rounds of radiation
that required her to be sedated for 12 straight days to receive her treatments. At the end of March, during a routine scan
we were told something was growing in the same location of the lung where the original cancer was thought to have developed.
After a failed attempt to get a sample from a biopsy the decision was made to go in and remove the growth through surgery.
One week after Madelyn's baby sister Emma was born she had surgery. Due to our prayers being answered, it was not a recurrence
of the cancer, just irritated scar tissue from the radiation treatments. Madelyn finished her last round of treatment in September
of 2004. We all learned early on that Madelyn was not going to follow anyone else's "PLAN" but her own. Courage,determination,
and a lot of prayers is what got Maddie through that year. In June of 2007 Madelyn had been blessed with having been off treatment
for over 2 1/2 years and was feeling great. She was enjoying her summer break and looking forward to starting her 1st grade
year of school. With scans now being scheduled every 4 months since we had hit what we thought was the magic number of 2 years
off of treatment, we received the news that we thought we would never have to hear. On June 19th, 2 days after our annual
"Relay for Life" event during her routine scans we were told that something was growing where the original tumor
had started. She once again had surgery which confirmed that the original cancer had reoccurred. Maddie's "PLAN"
is to have 4 rounds of chemotherapy, 23 days of radiation, and a stem cell transplant that will keep her in the hospital for
at least 4-6 weeks straight. We learned from the first treatment that Maddie only follows her own PLAN." What we do know
is that Maddie is a amazing little girl and with her strength and a lot of prayers she will make it through this and be CANCER
Our journey began on April 6, 2011, after several months of
nosebleeds, fatigue, paleness and finally a blood test that revealed something was very, very wrong. We were sent to Children’s
for more testing and it was finally found that Maya had a more rare type of leukemia, called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
AML is tougher to treat than it’s more common counterpart, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In addition, Maya’s leukemia
has a genetic anomaly that makes it even more of a challenge to treat. It was decided that a bone marrow transplant was Maya’s
only option for survival. Six grueling months in the hospital, 3 intense rounds
of chemo, fevers, nausea, infections, a trip to the ICU, 5 bone marrow aspirates, a lung biopsy and finally a bone marrow
transplant on September 1st, 2011, and Maya’s cancer is now in remission. Maya is a true warrior. She has endured so
much. We pray that her cancer is cured, but further research is needed for her type of leukemia. We’ve seen too many
children suffer from this, and many other horrific cancers. We thank Cancerfree KIDS for a all they have done to help make
cancer in children a thing of the past! We proudly walk in honor of Maya and hope that this year she can walk with us!
Our beautiful girl Alyssa was healthy and happy, so energetic about everything, she never stopped. In December of 2007 she
became very lethargic and was complaining of headaches. We noticed her right eye had started to cross. I took her to the eye
doctor on January 2 of 2008, this was 3 weeks before her 8th birthday. We were rushed to Cincinnati Childrens hospital for
a CT scan, the eye doctor had found her optic nerve was swollen -this is a sign of swelling in the brain- the doctors at the
hospital then told us there was a mass in her brain and wanted to do an MRI. She had a brain and spinal MRI and was admitted
to the PICU that night. We did not leave the hospital for 12 weeks after that. Alyssa had her surgery on January 5, three
days after her tumor was found. She was in surgery for 4 1/2 hours. She came out with cerabellum mutisum and had to relearn
how to read, write, speak and eat. She is a fighter and fought for 9 weeks to get her voice back and boy did she ever! Alyssa
is doing well now, she is in school and extensive therapy. She has another tumor but it is small and is being monitored with
MRIs every few months. We are so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. We walk in honor of her and her fight. She
is the joy and love of our lives!
Randy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called a medulloblastoma at the age of 11 months, Nov 17, 2005. A team of
neurosurgeons operated and removed 100% of the tumor, which was the size of a large plum from his cerebellum. We started Chemo
immediately and everything appeared fine. In February of 06’, we found that Randy’s cancer had spread into his
spine. This dropped his chances of survival down to less than 10%. We were transferred to Cincinnati Children’s where
Randy underwent a triple stem cell transplant, followed by more chemo and now we are happy to say that Randy has been cancer
free since July '06. In Nov 2007, a full two years after he was diagnosed, Randy was officially free of all devices and medicine
that were remnants of the cancer!! Randy started pre-school in December 2007 and has made excellent progress on recovering
from the cancer effects. He is now speaking more and is able to walk on his own. In Jan 2009, we had another MRI and it was
clear. Randy is now officially in remission! Randy met Hanna while in treatment and she always put a smile on all of our faces.
She is missed greatly and is a lesson to all to enjoy life. God bless her.