August's Fight

$27,641 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 223 people in 8 months
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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3 weeks. It's been 3 weeks since we lost Auggie, and our world is forever changed. We are heartbroken. We think of him and miss him every day.

On behalf of our families, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who supported Anita, Alex, and Auggie over the course of his diagnosis and treatment. Thank you for your love, support, words of encouragement, the help with the everyday things, meals, toys, and donations to this campaign. Thank you to those of you who were able to join us as we celebrated his life and said goodbye. Auggie was so loved. Auggie IS so loved.

I'd like to close this post with a bit of what I shared at Auggie's service...

"August is an inspiration. He lived life with love and a joyful spirit, and he brought about kindness, compassion, and empathy. In his short time with us, he taught us to be a handful, to be spunky and feisty, to be tenacious, to be brave and strong, to love and laugh, to never stop chasing. So let’s be like Auggie, and live with love, courage, and an unwavering zest for life."

Thank you again for your love and support. We are forever grateful.

We love you Auggie, and we'll miss you forever.
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Complete service information for August is as follows:

His viewing will be on Monday, June 24 at 4pm at Franklin and Downs Funeral Home, 1050 McHenry Avenue, Modesto.

His Memorial Service will be on Wednesday, June 26 at 11am at Franklin and Downs Funeral Home, 1050 McHenry Avenue, Modesto.

Graveside service to immediately follow at Lakewood Memorial Park, 900 Santa Fe Avenue, Hughson.

Reception to be held following the graveside service at Larsa Banquet Hall, 2107 E. Monte Vista Avenue, Denair.

For those who would like to help, we kindly request that memorial contributions be made to the “August’s Fight” GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses. Thank you.
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It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Roussell and Leung families share this news.

August James Roussell—beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin—passed away on June 19, 2019 from complications arising from cancer treatment.

Forever in our hearts, please join us in honoring Auggie. The viewing and memorial service will be held at Franklin and Downs Funeral Home - McHenry Chapel.

-The viewing will be held on Monday, June 24 at 4pm.

-The memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 26 at 11am, with a graveside service immediately following at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Reception information is forthcoming.

For those who would like to help, we kindly request that memorial contributions be made to the "August's Fight" GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses. Thank you.


Franklin and Downs Funeral Home - McHenry Chapel
1050 McHenry Avenue
Modesto CA 95350
(209) 431-8645

Lakewood Memorial Park
900 Santa Fe Avenue
Hughson CA 95326
(209) 883-0411
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Auggie made it through the last round of chemo pretty well. We were inpatient in the hospital 4 times over the last 8 weeks for him to receive chemotherapy. The side effects were not as bad as we had anticipated which was great. He did still have decreased appetite but he has maintained his weight overall. The hospital stays are hard because you cannot sleep well overnight with vitals being taken, medications being given, blood draws, machines beeping at all hours. So it is great that we are finished with that for now.

We are just over 3 weeks into Auggie's next phase of treatment - Delayed Intensification. This phase is scheduled to last 9 weeks and will cause prolonged periods where he will be neutropenic (low white blood cell count which means high risk for infection). So there is a high chance that there will be delays in his treatment this round and we could end up in the hospital for fevers, etc. just like we were in January when he developed a fever.

Already he has already had some bad side effects from the chemo. His legs were so weak Thursday, April 25, that we ended up in the hospital. Our oncologist recommended he be checked because they were concerned for potential neurotoxicity from his recent lumbar puncture or even the possibility of a stroke from the pegasparaginase chemo he received the previous Thursday. We were admitted and thankfully after his exam the doctors believe his leg weakness is due to the combination of steroids and vincristine chemo that he has received. We were kept overnight to make sure things were stable. Auggie was evaluated by a physical therapist again (3rd time since being diagnosed) and the orthotist came and got Auggie fitted for some leg braces to help with his foot drop and toe walking.

This past week has been rough as well. He was on another week of steroids and they are wreaking havoc on his little brain. He is tired but can't sleep. He is constantly asking for food and cannot control his temper at all. It's really hard to see him like this. He just looks sad.

This week Auggie does not get any chemo! Hopefully the steroids will get out of his system quickly (his last dose was Sunday night) and he can start to feel a little bit better. Next week we recheck Monday morning and if he meets blood count criteria we will be admitted to the hospital for 5 days for chemo. This chemotherapy drug, nelarabine, specifically targets t-cells and has proven to help survival rates of t-cell leukemia patients. Our oncologists recommend its use in Auggie's case since he also has t-cell disease. This drug is given 5 days in a row in the hospital, 6 different times during his treatment.

Thanks for reading this long update. And thank you for continued positive thoughts and prayers.

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$27,641 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 223 people in 8 months
Created October 22, 2018
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