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August's Fight

$11,750 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 128 people in 26 days
Created October 22, 2018
Support the Roussell Family in August's Fight Against Lymphoma
On October 10, 2018, the Roussell family was rocked with unimaginable news--their son August, not quite 3 years old, had a large cancerous tumor in his chest.  What Anita and Alex thought was a simple cold became a battle against t-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.

33913264_1540194139159592_r.jpeg-August at Disneyland

The Symptoms
On Monday, October 8th, Anita and Alex noticed that Auggie had some swelling in his face.  While he was getting over a cold at the time, thinking he also might be having an allergic reaction to something, they brought him into his pediatrician.  No definitive diagnosis was made, and they were told to keep an eye on the swelling.  By the morning of Wednesday, October 10th, in addition to the facial swelling, they noticed that Auggie's jugular veins were bulging.  They immediately contacted the pediatrician, who ordered x-rays and bloodwork.  The x-rays revealed something abnormal in Auggie's chest.  Fearing a heart issue, they were referred to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram.  While the echocardiogram confirmed a healthy heart, it also confirmed a large mass in Auggie's chest.  They were sent straight to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in a Sacramento area hospital. 

After being admitted to PICU, August had a CT scan that revealed that the mass was large (10cm), and that he also had some nodules on his kidneys.  A biopsy, initially scheduled for Friday, had to be postponed because doctors were unable to sedate him due to the size of the tumor compromising his airway.  Auggie started on a steroid treatment, with the goal of shrinking the tumor enough so he could be sedated for a biopsy.  

33913264_1540194346394994_r.jpeg-August and mommy, 10-13-18

The Diagnosis
A biopsy on Monday, October 15 revealed that August has T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. This cancer is a rare type of fast-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  It starts when white blood cells, called lymphocytes, become abnormal and grow in an uncontrolled way.  

The Treatment Plan
August began his path to healing on Wednesday, October 17, when he received his first chemo treatment.  An intense treatment regimen is scheduled for the first 4 weeks, where a combination of IV and oral chemotherapuetics will be administered and his blood counts will be closely monitored.  After this initial 4 weeks, he will be reevaluated (bone marrow, CT scan, echocardiogram, etc.), and then he will begin the next phase of treatment. 

33913264_1540194515997760_r.jpeg-August, on the day of his 2nd IV chemo treatment 

The Family's Fight 
Throughout this process, August has kept his spirits high, as only a child can, with his spunky, feisty personality.  His resiliency and positive attitude through this ordeal have only strengthened the family's resolve to do everything they can to get him healthy.  

33913264_1540194582534010_r.jpeg-August, smiling through it all ❤️

In total, the oncologist has informed Anita and Alex that they should prepare for at least 5-6 months of chemotherapy treatment to get their Auggie well.  In addition to the constant hospital visits for treatment, Auggie will require 24 hour care and monitoring at home, as the chemotherapy treatments take their toll on his body and his immune system.  

In order to care for Auggie during this critical time, Anita and Alex will be unable to return to their regular working schedules for the foreseeable future.  And as most of you know, they just welcomed baby Emerson into the world a few short months ago.  They both took time off of work through the summer to bond with their new son, and neither of them has much, if any, sick/vacation days left.

33913264_1540194812409897_r.jpeg-Big brother August, baby Emerson, and Cooper

Please consider donating to "August's Fight" in order to help with the financial burdens of battling this horrible cancer.  Anita and Alex are determined to do anything and everything they can to get their son healthy.  All donations will go directly to them, in order to help offset the costs of medical treatment, travel, lodging, etc. to get their son well.   

The entire Rousssell/Leung family has been overwhelmed with the love and support, positive thoughts and prayers that they have received over the last 2 weeks.  The hospital visits, phone calls, emails, and texts of support have strengthened them during this ordeal, and they are so grateful to be surrounded by so much love.  Thank you for considering a donation to help August and family fight and beat lymphoma!  

33913264_1540194909462129_r.jpeg-The Roussell Family

You can stay updated on August's fight by visiting their CaringBridge webpage here.
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We have officially completed phase 1, or the "induction" phase, of chemotherapy in the fight against Auggie's t-cell lymphoma. This week has had some highs and lows - being put under anesthesia twice was difficult for Auggie (especially because of the requirement that he not eat after being on steroids for 4 weeks!), but we celebrated his 3rd birthday, and he took his last dose of steroids Tuesday night. Best of all so far is that his CT scan and PET scan results came back with good results - marked reduction in the size of his tumor and "no specific metabolic evidence of residual or recurrent lymphoma". We are still waiting for the results of the bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture that were performed Thursday. The doctors said to expect results early next week. We are continuing to stay positive and ask for continued prayers for good results.

Phase 2 of chemo - called "consolidation" - will begin next Wednesday with, most likely, an overnight stay and chemo for 4 days in a row. So, as of now, it appears we will be spending at least the first half of Thanksgiving day in the hospital and then will hopefully have dinner with my parents.

Since being off steroids for 3 days now, we are beginning to see Auggie's personality return back to normal. He is joking with us, laughing up a storm and has started to play with his toys again. It is wonderful to see him having some fun again!

We have been well fed thanks to everyone who has contributed to our meal train. And we appreciate everyone who has continued to reach out via phone, email or text. We will update again soon. Thank you for taking time to read this update and for continuing to keep us in your thoughts and prayers
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Today marks one month since the devastating news that Auggie has cancer. The past month has been a whirlwind of emotions, countless tests & medicines, sleepless nights and determination to get him well again.

It's hard to believe how drastically our lives have changed since October 10. A month of steroids have taken their toll on Auggie. A month of forcing medications into him have taken a toll on Alex and I. Our new normal is difficult and we just have to take each day as it comes.

This next week will be a big one. Tomorrow we celebrate Auggie's 3rd birthday with family, but Monday is officially when he turns 3! It's hard to believe he's already going to be 3 years old. Monday is also a big day of tests - a CT scan and PET scan are scheduled in Sacramento. Thankfully, Tuesday marks the last day of steroids for now. And then, on Thursday, we go back for more tests - a lumbar puncture and bone marrow. Pending all these test results we will find out what our next steps are in this fight against lymphoma.

Thank you everyone for checking in on us. We are fortunate to have many wonderful people supporting us during these difficult times. We will update again soon
#BeStrongLikeAugust #AuggieStrong
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I realized we hadn't posted an update in a few days - this has been the first long stretch back at home. August continues to hang in there but the effects of his medications have become very apparent. Although his blood cell counts have continued to be better than expected, his medications are taking a toll on him. Our little boy is tired all the time and incredibly moody - he wants Anita to do absolutely everything for him so it has been especially exhausting for her. We are counting the days until he can stop taking the steroid medication that has been causing all these side-effects. We just miss our sweet and fun loving little boy.

We find ourselves staying busy all day long with the chores it takes to make a household work, keeping busy seems to make it easier to get through the days. When there is downtime, it's usually trying to catch a short nap. The downtime, like now at night after the babies are in bed allows you to think about the depth and breadth of what this ordeal means for the family. We just hope and pray that Auggie is able to get through this and go on to become the person he wants to be in the world. He will likely face a lifetime of doctor's visits to keep check on the cancer, he deserves to be free and clear of this after fighting so hard.

Our next chemo treatment will be on Wednesday, and looking at the calendar I suppose it feels like we are making progress - the end of this first phase is near. It feels so strange to have this unseen thing challenge and change your life in such a stark way and yet not be able to see or touch it. All of your trust, your hopes and dreams are tied to numbers on a printed sheet and digital imaging. The feeling of utter loss of control over the fate of your child is hard to underestimate. Yet we are hopeful, what else could we be? The encouragement and support shown by all of you reading this has helped tremendously. Thank you, especially my brothers and sisters at work who truly are like family. They have been kind enough to take time away from their own families so that I can be with mine during this time. I am truly grateful and can't fully express the respect and love I have for you all.
- Alex
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Today was Auggie's first visit to the Hematology and Oncology Medical Group, aka the "clinic" in Sacramento. This is where we will have appointments twice a week for the foreseeable future. He had a blood draw to check his cell count and thankfully his numbers are good. Auggie does not like going to the doctor and is still getting used to having his port cleaned and flushed daily. Hopefully it gets easier with time. But even after the doctor visit he was up for a Costco run so he can have more grilled cheese sandwiches (his favorite right now).

We return for more bloodwork and chemotherapy on Wednesday. Hopefully we will have a chance to do a little bit of trick or treating that evening as long as he is up for it. A huge thank you to Auntie Mari for making Auggie's robot costume. We'll post a picture of it soon.

Thanks again to everyone for checking the website for updates and the continued thoughts and prayers. We will beat this! #AuggieStrong #BeStrongLikeAugust
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$11,750 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 128 people in 26 days
Created October 22, 2018
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