Thank you to everyone for your support. As we get ready for another brain surgery on Sept. 4th and 8 weeks in Boston for proton beam therapy, these funds will be very helpful. I am out of work for an undetermined amount of time and we are so grateful to everyone who is supporting us. Let's keep Kallie singing and dancing. She's the light of our lives!
We are so thankful for all your support. We continue to be amazed by the generosity of those around us. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for donating here, for the bake sale/silent auction at Sanford and the other events being planned in South Dakota and Minnesota. There are so many people rallying for our Kallie! She can beat this and you are all helping her along the way!!!
Here's Kallie's story... in a nutshell. Last fall/winter, Kallie started vomiting for no apparent reason. It was actually right after she got her nasal flu mist. (no connection) We took her to the doctor and didn't find out much, other than maybe it was a bug of some sort, but it kept on continuing. I then called the doctor and told her I thought maybe she had food allergies and I wanted to have her tested, so we did. Turns out she has a VERY MILD egg and dairy allergy. So mild that she'd have to consume an entire dozen eggs, or gallon of milk to really even feel any effects. Her vomiting continued, only by February, it had gotten worse. We were on a trip to the Black Hills in Rapid City and walked up to Mount Rushmore and she threw up, then continued on like nothing happened. She then would vomit and have an accident in her pants, in fact so many in a row that we didn't have any dry pants to wear back to Sioux Falls. Little did we know this was progressing into something more than we could imagine.
She would have episodes through out the day where she would start holding her stomach and walk around in a circle and looked like she was in a lot of pain. We called the doctor again and got in and they thought maybe she was constipated. After an X-Ray confirmed our thoughts, she was in fact a little constipated. We tried a home remedy that still didn't help. We were then sent to a GI specialist and started another remedy, along with a prescription. This solved the problem, however her "episodes" of holding her tummy and walking around and not responding persisted, only now her left eye started blinking/twitching strangely during these episodes. Keep in mind sometimes she would have 1-2 a day, other times she had between 10-20 a day.
After doing a lot of my own research and talking with family and friends we thought these "episodes" appeared to be seizures. We called the doctor, explained what we thought and they referred us to a pediatric neurologist. The wait to get in was forever long. (we weren't supposed to get in until June 17) One night, Kallie had so many of these episodes, I called the doc the next day and they got us in right away. We scheduled and EEG, which was done on June 13, 2013. The EEG showed she was having frontal lobe seizures. Later we would find out the scan in Sioux Falls didn't actually show seizures and we'd have another EEG in St. Paul that did confirm the seizure activity. The doctor in Sioux Falls started us on Keppra, an anti-seizure medication.
Then came today, (or yesterday as I write this) June 26, 2013. We showed up to the hospital at 10 a.m. for Kallie's 12:30 p.m. MRI, which would hopefully give us some answers as to why she was having these seizures. We did great, she did not have to be sedated and I was so excited by the fact that she was doing so well, I wasn't a bit phased by the fact that she laid in that MRI machine for 1 hour! A 15 minute MRI that was an hour long should be the first clue that something wasn't right. Troy and I stood in the same room with her, holding her hands so tight. It was amazing watching her sweet little face and her eyes going back and forth between Troy and me and the comfort she found in both of us being there for her. We also had to distract her a couple times as they had to stop the MRI and push her out to inject contrast into her twice for a better "read." This was not good, but again, I was so happy she was so brave and strong and that we'd be out of there in no time on our way to have lunch at McDonald's per Kallie's request. Boy was I wrong!
We were pretty much skipping back to our hospital room from the excitement of Kallie's accomplishment in the MRI machine with no sedation. Then no sooner did we sit down, an attending physician walked in and said that there were some "findings" on the MRI and that we should know more soon and that our doctor would likely be coming up to talk to us. Troy and I went silent... I was speechless, but hopeful it was nothing serious. I kept Kaiden and Kallie busy in the toy room playing games, whatever I could do to pass the time until the doctor came.
3 p.m., the doctor comes in. He sends our kids off with the nurses and child life to keep them busy and takes us to a huge monitor and goes through the MRI scan with us. There it is, right before our eyes, a tumor on the left side of Kallie's brain. I'm numb, I'm speechless, my eyes were bulging out of my head as I could feel my heart pounding, my palms sweaty... and then I felt Troy's arm come around my back and I felt peace for a moment knowing we are a good team, we are good parents and we are going to get through this.
This is the beginning of our journey. Tomorrow, (later today, June 27, 2013) we head to Children's Hospitals and Clinics in St. Paul. We have a pediatric neurosurgeon lined up to meet with us, as well as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. We are going on the ride of a lifetime for our little Kallie. She's the light of our lives. Thank you for supporting us and for your thoughts and prayers...
Kallie has been diagnosed with a rare, grade III brain tumor called anaplastic astrocytoma. At just 4 years old, Kallie is the light of our lives. No child deserves to go through something like this and our family will do anything it takes to get her the best treatment possible. Money raised here that is not used for Kallie's medical care will be donated to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. http://www.alexslemonade.org/
It has been a long journey for Jessica and Troy as they have spent months working with doctors trying to find out what was causing Kallie's symptoms. Read more here. On July 8, Kallie underwent a 15 hour surgery to remove the tumor. The surgeon was not able to remove all the tumor, so Jessica and Troy are now searching for other options for Kallie before she undergoes aggressive chemo and radiation treatments.
Thank you for showing your support for Kallie. If you know her, you know she is a bubbly little girl who is full of life. She has the best personality and knows how to get a room full of people laughing.
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