Christian earned his angel wings...

$24,005 of $22k goal

Raised by 361 people in 39 months
Tanya Kennedy  CINCINNATI, OH







*****Christian lost his fight to malignant melanoma at the age of 19 months,yesterday, September 26th at approximately 9:30 pm. But, he won his place in glory. I know all of Heaven smiled when they saw his sweet, little face. Please see the link below if you can help us with the expenses of a funeral we truly hoped we would never have to plan!!!! We are so overwhelmed. Also, pray for is as our hearts break and arms ache in the absence of him here on earth. Pray we can get these things arranged and honor his bright but brief life in a way out precious angel deserves. 

If you want to help us fight melanoma and pediatric cancer- please go to http://nevusspecialspots.bigcartel.com and buy your tshirt or bracelet today.

CHRISTIAN'S STORY:

Christian was born on February 18, 2013 with a rare condition called Congenital Melanocytic Nevus (CMN). Congenital means "present at birth", melanocytic means "pigmented", nevus means "birthmark or mole". This is a fairly unknown birth defect.

1 in 20,000 babies are born with a nevus.
1 in 500,000 babies are born with a giant nevus.

Christian has a GIANT nevus known as a "bathing trunk" which covers the lower half of his body and gives the appearance of a pair of shorts. Christian also has hundreds of spots in various shapes and sizes all over his body.  

His bathing trunk is dry, sensitive, textured and prone to tearing and infection. It produces bulbous nodules that ulcerate, can cause him pain and are potentially life threatening. 002% of babies born worldwide have the type of nevus Christian has.....


By the time Christian was three months old he had already had three  surgeries which included biopsies and the removal of 12 benign but troublesome tumors. One tumor was considered a melanoma and the surrounding lymph nodes were removed as well.

The plan for Christian was to remove the nevus in its entirety. This involves stretching his good skin to the point that the nevus skin can be removed and replaced by the "created" skin.

Christian had two expanders, each connected to a port,implanted just below his shoulder blades on September 13, 2013. He received saline injections three times a week for 8-10 weeks that stretched the good skin creating rather large, grapefruit sized bubbles on his back. December 6th they removed the saline-filled expanders and performed total reconstructive surgery of his back. They were also able to nip and tuck some excess skin on one side and remove some nevus on one leg. Christian had over 250 stitches. Due to being a rather active baby, he pulled them apart in several spots as he recovered. But, that didn't stop this little guy from smiling. 

His next surgery was then scheduled for March 21. And, we had a couple glorious months of just follow up appointments when the unthinkable happened. I found a LUMP in a sensitive area of his nevus. Abnormal growths are 'normal' for a child with a nevus so I wasn't too worried at first. But, it was very HARD and an INTERNAL nodule. Our plastic surgeon scheduled us for a biopsy and said he would just remove it. However, when he operated he found that the tumor was larger then expected and deeper. He could NOT  remove it. He recommended Christian have an MRI and PET scan after he sent the biopsy off.

It took far too long for this to happen. Almost three weeks from the date of the biopsy before there was an MRI and another week for the PET scan. The tumor was found to be the size of a chicken nugget and was sitting on some vital internal organs and appeared to be growing into essential nerve ending and vital blood vessel. It tested positive for MALIGNANT MELANOMA. It needed to be removed. We were sent to speak with a urologists to discuss the findings and the danger involved with the rumoval of this tumor that was deemed to be the size of a chicken nugget. We were heartbroken by some of the information but laid it in the hands of The Lord. It took TWO MORE WEEKS to schedule the surgery that required the availability of four different types of surgeons. During that time, the tumor tripled in size. By the time it was extracted, it was the size of a large manadrin orange!!!!!! They were able to get the whole things but it was NOT possible to get the margin required for such a large tumor.

It was a very hard recover for Christian. Christian spent a week in the hospital( and Mommmy with him)  Christian's incision was 8 inches long and over a hundred stiches. Afterwards, he came down with the croup and was sick again for two weeks. One week later, he started chemo.

There are NO MEDICINES designed to treat malignant melanoma in a baby- or a child for that matter. It's extremely rare. In fact, he is one in about a million.  The chemo Christian began ( and is on now) had to be measured and modified severely just for him. It's not been tried before....he is a true pioneer and brave little warrior.

And melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer. It's not "just skin cancer" when you are talking about the largest organ of your body. It can affect anywhere and anything in or on your body......

Two weeks after Christian began treatment, I found another lump in the same vicinity. All Christian's doctors thought it could be scar tissue or inflammation from his recent surgery. But, I knew differently.....it was another tumor. Christian had another treatment with the awareness that it was there- thinking that that it would help. However, one week later, it was even larger and firmer. The cancer didn't even blink an eye at the chemo.it was very disheartening. By the time we returned to clinic Christian could not sit down he was in so much pain.

If fact, we were an emergency admit that day we came to the hospital for our appointment an WE DIDNT LEAVE FOR 26 DAYS. He was scheduled for an MRI that next night and surgery to see " what was going on in there, and get further biopsies. But, we knew it was the cancer returning with a vengeance. ( in fact, Christian has THREE masses that formed one large one. And, it's INOPERABLE)

New and potentially dangerous chemo was introduced but the cancer was being so aggressive and growing at such a rapid pace it was literally threatening his life before our eyes. It was very difficult getting Christian to take these treatments. He experienced MANY complications with the chemo cocktail. In fact, two weeks in, the second drug, caused his temperature to skyrocket, his counts to go crazy, and he was in incredible pain to name just a few.....His whole team was worried we might lose this precious little boy to this terrible disease. But after removing the second drug, the first drug began having a miraculous effect on his tumor. Two weeks later, Christian was released. We think God for not leaving Christian as he " walked through valley of the shadow of death" . Our Heavenly Father has been a source of comfort and peace as we have travelled this difficult road. 

Christian currently has chemo everyday with homecare coming to us. He has blood work twice a week and we are hoping and praying he will win this war against cancer! God has blessed Christian with an incredibly patient and resilient, happy spirit. I couldn't make it through all of this if Christian's attitude wasn't the way it was. He almost always has a little smile on his face.

You all helped us raise over $4800.00 last year/early this year and that helped considerably with all the expenses associated with the complications and surgery associated with Christian's congenital condition and we are eternally grateful for that!!!

But the fight is on!!! And, while I am fortunate to finally have some coverage at this point, expenses for 'denied' necessary procedures, lost  wages, and unknown future treatment ( most of Christian's treatment are cutting edge and not necessarily 'approved') needs and overall care have been and will continue to be significant!  Friends, family, and strangers have already been generous with their time, money and support- wether it came from a card, a gift or a picture to cheer Christian on....Our point is not to actively solicit,  but MANY have asked how they could help in some way, so please know that any contributions will be used to support our sweet, baby Christian in some way. God Bless!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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Update 20
Posted by Tanya Kennedy
26 months ago
1
1
My heart is breaking......my little man defeated the odds time and time again.......and fought this evil called Cancer with a smile on his face. But, he finally grew just a little too weary and went home to glory yesterday, September 26th at about 9:30 pm. We read him a book called "I wonder what you do on your first day in Heaven" and personalized it according to him as I read. Then the rest of his family, his grandparents and uncle from up north rushed in to touch him and love on him. Moments later he took his last breathe........ Christian's whole team of medical staff continually said Christian had something special and that his smile was infectious. One of our fav pain doctors said no matter how hard the obstacle Christian was up against -he always "leaned towards happy"...what a great compliment to hear as a parent. Often a new doctor would come on for the week and shake his head at the wonderment of what Christian was capable of doing.....because according to what he looked like on " paper" as a result of scans and numerous tests, he shouldn't be doing much of anything. Those things consisted of twisting and turning sideways in bed, riding full speed ahead in a wheelchair giggling, imitating every animal sound to perfection, eating more then any kid on the floor( they were especially amazed when he managed to put away almost half a three way on Monday night)......going to physical therapy and swinging on their swing....not to mention being able to take a trip to the aquarium! Another fav doctor from his team remarked "Remind me again why we are treating this kid!:) " if you Even in PICU, he managed to strum the guitar and shake his little shaker when Katherine from music therapy came in....he wanted to watch Peppa Pig and hold his little figurines in his hands when we was laboriously breathing. The last "real" words he said before needing medication to sedate him and keep him from being so anxious as his heart rate continued to esculate were: eat, this( he wanted a drink and pointed,) happy( Yo Gabba Gabba was on) and No ( with some enthusiasm) when his Uncle Derek and Daddy kept trying to cover him up. At one point when I though he was sleeping, I started singing our song "you are my sunshine" and Christian started humming and "singing" along with me.....his dad and I were both incredulous....and I kept singing and with such clarity, he looked at me and ran his fingers through my hair which he loved to do often. I could barely move and then he fell back asleep again. :( If you could have seen the size of the tumor and the wound that encompassed his whole bottom, as well as the things it did to his insides...Christian would be your hero too. I love that baby with my entire being - he was my whole life and now I have to make sure his purpose shines on. Pediatric cancer has to be stopped. I want to thank you all for praying for Christian and loving and supporting us all...his grandparents, his uncles and aunts, and cousins: both honorary and family, as well as his friends who took such good care of him. Thank you for helping with his medical expenses. But now, we are faded with planning and paying for a funeral that we had hope would never happen. We truly thought God was going to heal him differently then He did.....but we are still grateful for his complete healing in Heaven. Please pray for us and if you can contribute to Christian's funeral expenses in any way, we would much appreciate it.....
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Update 19
Posted by Tanya Kennedy
27 months ago
I just want to take a minute to remind you not to take your day for granted. Rejoice in it, in fact. Because wether you are a " believer" as I am or not, there is no promise of that tomorrow. Christian and I checked into Children's Hospital for what was supposed to be a five day stay, and now we have been here over forty.....I know I'm a good mom and I love that baby more then my own life but I took time for granted and put off doing things with him that I wanted to do for SUCH insignificant and sometimes selfish reasons. I thought we had all the time in the world to take that trip to the beach, go to the zoo or the aquarium or even take him to see friends who had yet to meet him....little did I know that our summer would be spent confined between these white sterile walls. I'm so thankful for our social worker Wanda and the people at Chidlren's and The Dragonfly Foundation for helping to make at least one of those wishes for my baby boy happen recently. I've only left the hospital on my own four times and I haven't slept in my own bed in over a month. Our whole summer has been spent here between our last 28 stay and this....so please be thankful for the sunshine and being able to hear the birds sing or even the traffic race by you. By thankful for laying in your own bed even when you can't sleep. Don't complain if you feel a little tired or overworked. And for the love of God, let the little things so...especially your grievances with others...life is prescious and not worth the wasted energy that it takes to get upset over someone that really doesn't mean anything. Hug your baby, pick them up for the 100th time, let them have that extra treat, take them to the zoo even if you think it will be too crowded, read them one more book, and yes, buy that toy that they really don't need. Hold them a little closer. Call someone you miss or apologize to someone you wronged and say you are sorry. Embrace everything that comes your way and be thankful.... And so it in honor of Christian, my little pint sized pioneer who fight for his life everyday and whose every small smile is worth my bucket of tears. We love and appreciate all of you who pray for Christian. Please keep praying that we get to once again " rejoice in the day that The Lord hath made" outside the hospital ....please pray that sooner versus later we take Christian home with us for good and that this cancer is gone forever. Once again: " I love Christian. And, I HATE CANCER!"
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Update 18
Posted by Tanya Kennedy
28 months ago
I have been overwhelmed with responses on where people can purchase the " I love Christian. I hate cancer" T-shirts and bracelets. You can go to nevusspecialspots.bigcartel.com to help us raise awareness and research for melanoma and pediatric cancer. Less then 1% of all cancer funding goes towards pediatric cancer. Christian has been tolerating his new chemo better then expected and his pain has been managed to the point that he has been able to get out of bed and with the proper padding and equipment take a wagon ride or two. The wound remains the same :( although it's not getting any worse either. We still have a long way to go there. But, his overall swelling has went down considerably. His spirits are high again. Today has been an off day though. He has been irritable and frustrated and not his usual smiley self. I think he sometimes feels SO over" this always having to bed thing" . It's truly no place for a toddler....of course, neither is a hospital..... Please keep praying for continued healing.
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Update 17
Posted by Tanya Kennedy
28 months ago
Christian is having his infusion of the new chemo right now. Keep him in your thought and prayers. The side effects are potentially deadly but it's our hope and prayer that it will help him far more then it can hurt him. We hope that this can be the miracle Christian needs!
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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 5.3K total shares
Myra Virginia Clark
25 months ago

A friend. I want you to know you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Love you my sister in Christ!!!

+ Read More
Myra Virginia Clark
25 months ago

Tanya, I have something I want to send you. Would you please send me your address. My e-mail is: myra eddie69@gmail.com Can you share where you were able to get the picture of Jesus and Christian? I would like to get one for

+ Read More
Jackie Torres
26 months ago

Awww heaven is happy with Christian .God give strength to his mother and family.

+ Read More
Anna Eriksson
26 months ago

Reading your story fills me so much emotion. The strength you have showed with this unfathomable struggle is so awesomely admirable. Pediatric cancer is so heartbreaking, and yet after reading your story I am so grateful that love is stronger than any cancer. I hope you and Christian can be at peace now...and I will keep you in my prayers.

+ Read More
Dana Outlaw
26 months ago

I have been reading about Christian. I didn't know exactly know what this disease was until tonight. Thank you for making it easier to understand.i have to tell u I pray several times a day for you and your precious baby. You are so strong. I can't imagine what u must go thru watching your baby go thru this. I have to tell you that I cannot look at his precious face without breaking down... My heart aches for this brave little soul. I spent a long time in a hospital one time and God knows u don't even know what we take for granted... All the things u said I thought while I was there.just bring outside and able to walk around was a blessing.. I invited all my friends to like your page and keep this brave little fellow in their prayers... I will be thinking of you both always and keeping you in my prayers..

+ Read More
Kim Nichelson
28 months ago

I saw the story on WSYX6 in Columbus. It had shown that you can purchase "Team Christian" t-shirts and bracelets. I would like to purchase some. I have shared your story on Facebook and my friends would also wanted to know. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you ♡

+ Read More
Maria Cazard Alonso
28 months ago

Praying for you little man, God Bless! I linked his page to my FB!

+ Read More
Norma Mcclellan
28 months ago

Sonja, we will keep Presley in our prayers.

+ Read More
Sonja Downs
28 months ago

I linked Christians page to my daughters page on FB. Prayers for Presley. My husbands aunt is a nurse and she is sharing both pages around her hospital, so there should be an influx of prayers coming you way ... Hugs.... Sonja

+ Read More
Lilian Reoch
39 months ago

Hi guys! We have just donated to Christian's special spots charity. Looking at the number of friends on your face book, if everyone gave $100 then Christian and Tanya would reach their target fundraising goal in a heartbeat. I know $100 seems a like a lot but in the big picture with what Baby Christian has to go through it seems very little.....search your heart...and know that every little bit helps.

+ Read More
Heather Holterman
39 months ago

I love you guys! I will definitely be donating and I will be there on Nov. 23. Praying for you all! ((HUGS))

+ Read More

$24,005 of $22k goal

Raised by 361 people in 39 months
Created September 17, 2013
$100
Anonymous
24 months ago (Monthly Donation)
PP
$25
Paula Pemberton
25 months ago

May God Bless You!

$100
Anonymous
25 months ago (Monthly Donation)
LW
$30
Laura Watson
26 months ago

Sending hugs.

JC
$50
Jennifer Cofield
26 months ago

In memory of your baby boy Christian - from one Mom to another.

$25
Anonymous
26 months ago (Monthly Donation)
JP
$50
Jim & Kristi Pemberton
26 months ago

This donation is being made on behalf of Noah McKay in memory of baby Christian.

$5
Anonymous
26 months ago
$50
Anonymous
26 months ago
RP
$200
Rita Pink
26 months ago

Sending prayers for love, comfort and peace. We will always love and remember Christian.

Myra Virginia Clark
25 months ago

A friend. I want you to know you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Love you my sister in Christ!!!

+ Read More
Myra Virginia Clark
25 months ago

Tanya, I have something I want to send you. Would you please send me your address. My e-mail is: myra eddie69@gmail.com Can you share where you were able to get the picture of Jesus and Christian? I would like to get one for

+ Read More
Jackie Torres
26 months ago

Awww heaven is happy with Christian .God give strength to his mother and family.

+ Read More
Anna Eriksson
26 months ago

Reading your story fills me so much emotion. The strength you have showed with this unfathomable struggle is so awesomely admirable. Pediatric cancer is so heartbreaking, and yet after reading your story I am so grateful that love is stronger than any cancer. I hope you and Christian can be at peace now...and I will keep you in my prayers.

+ Read More
Dana Outlaw
26 months ago

I have been reading about Christian. I didn't know exactly know what this disease was until tonight. Thank you for making it easier to understand.i have to tell u I pray several times a day for you and your precious baby. You are so strong. I can't imagine what u must go thru watching your baby go thru this. I have to tell you that I cannot look at his precious face without breaking down... My heart aches for this brave little soul. I spent a long time in a hospital one time and God knows u don't even know what we take for granted... All the things u said I thought while I was there.just bring outside and able to walk around was a blessing.. I invited all my friends to like your page and keep this brave little fellow in their prayers... I will be thinking of you both always and keeping you in my prayers..

+ Read More
Kim Nichelson
28 months ago

I saw the story on WSYX6 in Columbus. It had shown that you can purchase "Team Christian" t-shirts and bracelets. I would like to purchase some. I have shared your story on Facebook and my friends would also wanted to know. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you ♡

+ Read More
Maria Cazard Alonso
28 months ago

Praying for you little man, God Bless! I linked his page to my FB!

+ Read More
Norma Mcclellan
28 months ago

Sonja, we will keep Presley in our prayers.

+ Read More
Sonja Downs
28 months ago

I linked Christians page to my daughters page on FB. Prayers for Presley. My husbands aunt is a nurse and she is sharing both pages around her hospital, so there should be an influx of prayers coming you way ... Hugs.... Sonja

+ Read More
Lilian Reoch
39 months ago

Hi guys! We have just donated to Christian's special spots charity. Looking at the number of friends on your face book, if everyone gave $100 then Christian and Tanya would reach their target fundraising goal in a heartbeat. I know $100 seems a like a lot but in the big picture with what Baby Christian has to go through it seems very little.....search your heart...and know that every little bit helps.

+ Read More
Heather Holterman
39 months ago

I love you guys! I will definitely be donating and I will be there on Nov. 23. Praying for you all! ((HUGS))

+ Read More
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