Worthington Family Healing Fund

$52,833 of $70,000 goal

Raised by 591 people in 25 months
Cancer is awful.  This, we all know. Cancer does not care about time or age. Cancer does not care about convenience, or fairness, but every story is unique.
This is Kristen and Nikko's story. 

21922610_1498859646.6121_funddescription(Pic: Kristen & Nikko - Feb 2017)

Today, Kristen and Nikko Worthington,  mother and son, are fighting cancer together.  Kristen's breast cancer diagnosis, and Nikko's Rhabdomyosarcoma Stage 4 diagnosis rocked their family -  just 4 months apart.   

About Kristen:

Kristen, loving mother of four, wonderful wife, and caring daughter - is a rock for just about every person she meets. She has a compassionate magnetism that draws so many people to her and has dedicated her entire life to the ones she loves. She brings light and a creative outlook to every obstacle she comes across, and she takes on other people’s obstacles with the same vigor as her own.

Anyone that knows Kristen knows she is optimistic, creative, strong, and funny - a perfect mix of character to help her get through what will undoubtedly be a tough and hard-fought journey.

21922610_1498900551.7083_funddescription(Pic: The Worthington family - Mother's Day 2016)
Kristen's Diagnosis

For a few months Kristen had been feeling fatigued and slightly out of balance, but as a mother of four, of course she brushed it off and continued to go about her busy life. Then she found a lump.  A physical lead to a mammogram, a biopsy, and then a painful waiting period, which lead to the diagnosis. An aggressive, triple-positive breast cancer. Ever since it’s been a whirlwind of constant appointments, phone calls, tests, with a fire-hose of information without time to even process the painful words, “I have cancer”.

21922610_1498998084.7867_funddescription(Pic: Nikko & Kristen, March 2017)

On Valentine's Day, two days after her 43rd birthday, she underwent surgery to remove the primary tumor. Since then, she has had a few complications including a second surgery for a hematoma, then blood clots in her lungs, and after a brief recovery period, began receiving her intense regiment of Chemotherapy.   Her initial chemo treatment plan is scheduled for a year and a half,  and then more medications for the 5 years following, but reconstructive surgery will not be an option for several years during her care.   Through it all, she has done her best to find silver linings, and find beauty in the love shown to her by all that surrounded her. 

However, the family heartbreak was, unfortunately, just beginning.

About Nicholas (Nikko):Nikko is 13 years old, and heading into the 8th grade. He’s an active kid and managed to do well on his middle school wrestling, basketball and football teams, even though he’s half the size of most of the competitors. He has that fearless spirit.  His coaches and teachers often comment on his determination, and amazing leadership skills.  

21922610_1498997598.8664_funddescription(Pic: Nikko and his Dad, Rick, Sept 2016

Nikko is such a warm person. He’s caring and compassionate beyond his years. He goes out of his way to help others and makes sure everyone feels included. When his brother offered to stay home from a recent basketball trip he had planned, his instant response was, “don’t you dare.” His selflessness never ceases to amaze us.

21922610_1498897851.8911_funddescription(Pic: Nikko and his Aunt Beth - Dec 2016)

Nikko has an uncanny ability to make anyone laugh and has since he was tiny. A goofy face when you least expect it. A witty response, way too mature for his age. Putting his action figures in funny places around the house, like peeking out behind books or in cupboards. The quiet nervous giggle he gets when he’s up to something clever. Even in the hospital, Nikko has touched the lives of so many of his caregivers. The paramedics that assisted his transport to a new hospital and nurses from other departments have made time  to let him know they were thinking about him and checking in on his care. 
 Throughout everything, he's been making jokes and laughing when he can. 

21922610_1498908145.7252_funddescription(Pic: The head coach and players from the Rocky Mountain HS Baseball team, including his brother Payton, visiting Nikko in the hospital - June 2017)

Nikko's Diagnosis

In May of 2017, he started feeling a pain in his back. The pain grew and within weeks, he was unable to ride his bike or move well, and began to have a strange feeling of nausea overwhelm him at times. The pain, nausea, and rapid weight loss became so great, doctors performed an MRI to examine the issue, and found 2 fractured vertebrae in his lower back. They also discovered tumors. 

21922610_1498860357.7378_funddescription(Pic: The Worthington family - Mother's Day 2017)

Nikko was admitted to St Luke's Children's Hospital for further examination. It was discovered that his kidneys were on the verge of acute failure, and after several more MRI's, biopsies, and scans, more cancer was found in the bone marrow throughout his body, including his vertebrae, skull, pelvis, and leg bones, and a large tumor was located on his foot. The diagnosis is an aggressive and rare type of childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma.  Stage 4.  Because this cancer is so rare, Nikko's doctors will be collaborating with experts in Seattle.  In mid July, their family will be taking Nikko for further tests, and to meet with the team at Seattle Children's Hospital. 

21922610_1498860451.2245_funddescription(Pic: Nikko, March 2017)

Kristen stayed at the hospital with her son for over two weeks, and has been doing what she can to help Nikko through his treatments and symptoms. Thankfully, Kristen's care was transferred to the same building as Nikko's care. On Friday, June 30th, their shared experiences reached a new level. Kristen and Nikko both received Chemotherapy on the same day - at the same time.   A totally unplanned moment, in a completely unimaginable situation. And if all goes well, they will continue to receive weekly chemo treatments on the same day, in the same building, for the next 12 months.   Side by side. 

21922610_1498859365.7408_funddescription(Pic: Kristen & Nikko, June 30, 2017, moments before they both received chemotherapy treatments at the same hospital)

How you can help. 
This family needs your help, because their fight is far from over.  Please wrap them in your prayers, surround them with thoughts of light and love, hope and determination. And if you are able, your donation will help ease some overwheling medical bills and help with some essential care needed.  Thank you for your love and support for this beautiful and loving family.  It's going to take a village to help them through this rough time. 
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It seems we haven't updated things on this page for a while. Unfortunately, we don't have good news.

Below is a very brief description of what has happened in the past months. For more details, please visit our Worthington Strong Facebook page.

Back in September of 2018, it was discovered that Kristen's cancer had returned - after being off chemo treatments for 4 months. She received a new diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer when it was discovered the cancer had spread to her liver, and a couple locations in her bones.

Then, in October, on Nikko's 15th birthday, 5 months after finishing his chemo, the family learned his cancer had returned as well. Unfortunately, it was widespread. The family made a decision to travel to Seattle Children's Hospital for a clinical trial - led by the world's leading expert on Rhabdomyosarcoma, Nikko's type of cancer. Kristen transferred her care to Seattle as well, so she could stay with Nikko during his treatment time. The treatment seemed to be working for Nikko at first. After a few months of traveling back and forth to Washington, it was discovered that this treatment was no longer working, and the family would need to try something different back home.

After trying a couple different chemotherapies, and several hospital stays for Nikko, including several weeks in and out of the ICU, we learned that we were out of options.

Nikko passed away on March 10, with his Mom, Dad, and older brother at his side.

He remained resilient, determined, and kept his sense of humor through his entire battle, even while being on a ventilator. We cannot begin to express how this loss has affected us. Our family will forever be changed by him, as well as by his absence from this world. And there will not be a single moment moving forward that we will not be missing him.
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From Rick:

Well, it has been another frustrating weekend for Nikko as we are at St Luke's trying to find the source of some pretty serious pain around the area of his feeding tube.
We will be undergoing some tests tonight we hope will lead to some answers and a chance to go home.
Nikko was admitted on Wednesday after spiking a fever. His immune system was pretty low, but his fever has stopped spiking and he is feeling better.
Thru all of this, Nikko continues to show amazing patience and his attitude remains positive.
Now if we could just check out so we can go watch the new Star Wars movie, all would be well. I'm not sure which one of us is more excited to see it.
Merry Christmas everyone.
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Time for a quick update.

This week Kristen and Nikko were both at the hospital on Monday to receive Chemotherapy.

Nikko should be coming home today after having to stay for observation. This particular treatment usually hits him pretty hard, and that was the case again, so it was for the best to be admitted. Nikko will also be back in the hospital the day after Christmas for his next week long stay to receive Chemotherapy again. I've saved my vacation days, so I'll plan to stay with him at St. Luke's that week. The good news is, Nikko finished 5 weeks of Radiation last week!

Kristen never complains too much about how she feels after Chemo, but even she admitted this time around it hit her pretty hard and the fatigue she was feeling is clear. I'm amazed by her ability to continue being in "Momma Mode" even when she has just been thru a treatment.

I changed our picture on the GoFundMe page to reflect our most recent family photo, taken last weekend at the Corwyn's Cause Christmas Party. Notice that Payton is now taller than the rest of us. (He likes to remind us) We were not able to stay at the party long, but long enough for the girls to see Santa and say hello to some very nice people.

Our Christmas tree and lights are all up, and we are excited to enjoy as much of the season as we can. We know we have a long way to go, but will continue to remain POSITIVE and focus on the good things and great people -like you- that continue to support us.

Thank You...
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Once again, Nikko is at St Luke's this week. The biggest difference this time around is that he is getting chemo and radiation.

However, spirits are high. The new Star Wars game just downloaded to his Xbox. What could be better?

Thank you again for all your support.

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$52,833 of $70,000 goal

Raised by 591 people in 25 months
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