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August's Fight

$15,220 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 153 people in 7 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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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.

#AuggieStrong
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It's been a while since our last update so here we go...

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 moving onto Auggie's next phase of treatment this week - Delayed Intensification. Our appointment is early Thursday morning and as long as Auggie's blood count meets parameters he will receive 2 IV chemo drugs, a lumbar puncture with intrathecal chemo and he will also start oral steroids at home. This phase is supposed to last 9 weeks but could be longer if there are any delays. From what the oncologists tell us this phase will be hard on Auggie. It 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. Hoping and praying that he makes it through without any complications, but you just never know.

Because of Auggie's diagnosis, T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, he will be on treatment until February 2021! After this next phase, he moves onto Interim Maintenance #2 for approximately 8 weeks and then finally Maintenance (or long term maintenance - LTM). LTM entails oral chemo at home daily, lumbar punctures on day 1 and 30 of his 12 week cycles and every other week clinic visits. His treatment plan is just about 120 weeks long! He will be over 5 years old before we reach the "end" but with cancer you are never really finished - he will still have clinic visits and blood draws for the rest of his life, just not as frequently. It is a long road, but we are finally nearing long term maintenance which is when he can return to "normal" activities like going to school.

One of the toughest parts of this whole diagnosis is that you feel like your kid can't just be a kid. We can't go to the store or a restaurant for fear he picks up an infection. We can't go to the zoo because there could be fungal spores that he could be exposed to. We miss out on birthday parties, holiday get togethers, etc. because there could be sick people around! It is tough to be so isolated from the world. August has, through it all, shown us how tough he is. He is a happy 3 year old (tantrums and all!). He actually will sometimes ask to see his doctors and nurses and ask to go to the hospital because they have an awesome play room! He is hopefully young enough that, when all is said and done, he will not remember most of what he has been through.

We wanted to send sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us. To everyone who has prayed for us, sent food, gift cards/monetary donations, taken care of the yard work, etc. - Thank you! Your love and support help us on a daily basis.
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#AuggieStrong T-Shirt Fundraiser News:

We have a limited number of #AuggieStrong t-shirts in (unisex) sizes small and medium available for immediate pick-up or delivery. If you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt to support Auggie and his family in his fight against lymphoma, please use the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JPJOTwMXqTTkEoTjknad7U_4YAHQA2Pqey8AwLd_uKQ

Thank you so much!
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#AuggieStrong T-shirt fundraiser update...

Our #AuggieStrong t-shirts have arrived!!! If you chose to have your shirt shipped, it will be on its way to you this week. For those of you who are local to the Modesto area, you will be contacted for pick-up options.

Thank you again for your patience! We appreciate your support, and we are looking forrward to seeing you all rockin’ #AuggieStrong!
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$15,220 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 153 people in 7 months
Created October 22, 2018
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