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August's Fight

$14,225 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 146 people in 2 months
Created October 22, 2018
Jenie Leung Chang
on behalf of Anita L. Roussell
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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Update 15
Posted by Jenie Chang
2 days ago
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Final call for our Auggie Strong t-shirt fundraiser! We will be finalizing our order very soon, so if you are interested in a t-shirt, please place your order no later than Tuesday, January 15th. You can fill out your order information using the link below. Thank you so much for supporting Auggie and family in their fight against lymphoma! #AuggieStrong

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScJwBU9uvbEV9t2MrM1--80YqU8vTNpm0sNVvK_rZaIGxRHow/viewform

For those who have already ordered, thank you, and we appreciate your patience! T-shirts will be on their way to you soon!
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Update 14
Posted by Anita L. Roussell
8 days ago
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One week into 2019 and we have started the second half on the intensification phase of treatment. Auggie and I actually spent New Year's Eve and day in the hospital as was the plan for this part of treatment. He received chemo 4 days last week and will have another 4 days this week before we are finished and can go home for a couple days. Today's bloodwork showed that his hemoglobin was low again so we had to go straight to the hospital for another transfusion. Auggie did great all day for everything. The nice thing is that Auggie is much more used to the nurses and having his tubies cleaned/accessed without much of a fight; the bad part is that his improved behavior is a side effect of the fact that he has cancer and that these clinic visits/hospitalizatons/ transfusions are part of his everyday routine

We have received the rest of Auggie's treatment road map and it looks like it will be much longer before we make it to the maintenance phase. If we stay on schedule we are looking at the end of July before he is on maintenance which is when things can go back to "normal." But really, what is normal these days?! As a parent to a child with a life threatening disease your day is consumed by cancer and everything that comes with treating it. We flush his port first thing in the morning, somehow get him to take his yucky medicine, try to get him to eat, monitor for fevers etc. All of this takes its toll on him and us. We have feelings of fear, anger, sadness, loneliness, isolation, guilt... so many emotions that take their toll mentally, emotionally and physically. As any parent would do, you fight for and with your child. You never give up. But there are certainly times that I feel like I can't do it. I would love to have a day without shedding any tears. Sometimes they are tears of hope and love. Other times, they are from fear of the unknown or sadness and anger that your child's life is at risk. But the bright light through all of this is August. I look at him and am amazed at how tough he is. This kid has been through so much but still smiles, laughs and plays.

We will get through this one day at a time. We are #AuggieStrong

p.s. For anyone still interested in a t-shirt supporting Auggie please see the link below.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScJwBU9uvbEV9t2MrM1--80YqU8vTNpm0sNVvK_rZaIGxRHow/viewform
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Update 13
Posted by Anita L. Roussell
19 days ago
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This is our first holiday season as a cancer family. Battling cancer makes all holidays/celebrations/events more special but also more difficult. More special because you cherish each moment together that much more, but more difficult because your child is still fighting cancer and there are restrictions with activities that you can participate in.

August had a great Christmas! He is old enough to really love everything about the holidays. We baked cookies for Santa and left carrots for the reindeer. We drove down Christmas Tree Lane 3 times and saw the Christmas train on Oxford Ct. He received many gifts from our wonderful family and friends. And, his classmates from Turlock Christian made him more get well cards that really brightened his day! Auggie was really excited to introduce his baby brother Emerson to his very first Christmas!

We were lucky to spend Christmas at home and not the hospital. Auggie's ANC was at 0 last Wednesday, Dec 19, so we were very cautious with him and we were pretty much home bound as we are in the middle of cold and flu season. If he had a fever it would be off to the hospital and we don't want more hospital visits than we have to! Because his ANC was 0 his chemotherapy treatments were delayed. The oncologists said that this is a relatively normal occurrence at this point in the intensification (consolidation) phase due to the strength and how many drugs he has been given. We rechecked this Wednesday, Dec 26, and while his counts had improved they were still not high enough for chemo. So we are once again delayed! Our next appointment is on Monday and hopefully his counts will be good and we can continue through this phase of treatment.

Thank you for continuing to support us through Auggie's battle against lymphoma. We hope everyone had a great Christmas!

#AuggieStrong #BeStrongLikeAugust
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Update 12
Posted by Anita L. Roussell
1 month ago
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We learned 2 months ago today that August had cancer. 2 months... I'm at a loss as to how to describe what Auggie and our family has been through since Wednesday, October 10, 2018. So much has happened in such a short amount of time, but it still feels like we've been in this nightmare for an eternity.

Looking back you realize what a warrior Auggie is as in 2 months he has endured:
17 days in the hospital
3 CT scans
1 PET scan
2 echocardiograms
8 procedures requiring anesthesia
4 peripheral IV Catheters (plus way too many pokes trying to get those catheters in place)
1 tumor biopsy
1 femoral line placement
1 broviac port placement
3 bone marrows
6 lumbar punctures (4 of which included chemotherapy injections into his spinal fluid)
28 days of prednisone
21 IV chemotherapy injections
14 days of oral chemotherapy (puraxin)
15 clinic visits
2 blood transfusions
Countless chest xrays and many other injectable and oral medications to prevent nausea and infections

We are only 3 weeks into the consolidation phase and the physical side effects of chemo are starting to show more prominently. Auggies hair is falling out, he looks more pale, and his appetite is decreased. But even with all of this we see our little boy still being a little boy! Playing with his cars and monster trucks, watching videos, having tantrums when he doesn't get his way! Typical three year old stuff!

But then you hear him say " we have to go to the hospital now" or "I want to get better so I can go back to school and Disneyland" and it breaks your heart that a 3 year old child can't have a "normal" childhood. He is a cancer kid and we are a cancer fighting family.

What we are going through is nothing that I would want any other family to go through, but the sad reality is that 43 kids were diagnosed with cancer today. 43 more families have had their lives turned upside down. 43 little warriors are just starting their fight. Hug those close to you tonight and, as always, thanks for the continued support
#AuggieStrong #BeStrongLikeAugust
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$14,225 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 146 people in 2 months
Created October 22, 2018
Jenie Leung Chang
on behalf of Anita L. Roussell
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