Hooked On Berkley Damhof

$14,456 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 145 people in 57 months
After trying for weeks to discover why their three-year-old daughter Berkley felt unwell, Duane and Kandace Damhof were directed to appointments at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. On Tuesday, August 12, Berkley seemed simply an achy, unenergetic child. By Wednesday, August 13, they learned that Berkley was battling stage four neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops in infants and children, sometimes even before birth. By Saturday, August 16, Berkley was receiving chemo through a port in her chest. That’s a head-spinning week.
Each day brings challenges to Duane, Kandace, Berkley, and her one-year old sister, Remi. Duane and Kandace must monitor Berkley’s blood counts as her resistance to infection and colds and flu have been compromised through her chemotherapy treatments (a fever recently sent them on an early morning return trip to Children’s). Chemo has also diminished Berkley’s appetite, initiated hair loss, and necessitated in-home medical attention. They must be ready for the unexpected demands of each day.
Duane and Kandace have received generosity from co-workers as well as a home improvement surprise, meals, and childcare help for Remi from family and friends. These acts of kindness have allowed Duane and Kandace to spend as much time as possible with Berkley as she fights her cancer. Thanks to those of you who have offered prayers and kindnesses to the Damhof family; your help has been much appreciated.
As travel expenses and medical bills pile up, one more thing we can do is lift some financial burden from these two great parents. Let’s Go Fund Berkley and show cancer what small town family, neighbors, and friends can do to take on neuroblastoma!
Find more about Berkley at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/berkleydamhof




(Duane Damhof, originally from Willmar, Minnesota, is the son of Phil and Jan Damhof. His siblings are Kathy Goldman, Paul Damhof, and John Damhof. He is employed by Bushmills Ethanol. Kandace (Bengtson) Damhof, from Paynesville, Minnesota, is the daughter of Tony and Deb Bengtson. Her siblings are Lacey Bengtson and Tawny Press. She is employed by Patrick Flanders Realty, Inc.)
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We are still are battling this monster called cancer. Berkley has done a lot this last 6 months. With doing another round of MIBG, Chemo and antibody therapy. After her 2nd Round of MIBG therapy we did scans and again she had little to no change and is just holding steady. With what happen out in NY we had to take a different path due to the organ damage she sustained from the cardiac arrest after her 11hr surgery to remove her tumor. If she wouldn't have had that damage we would've moved on to stem cell transplant. That too is a very harsh and tough chemo that pretty much kills all the cells in your body. They then give back stem cells that they harvested from Berkley earlier back to her to build all her cells back up. Talking to the Drs. Berkley's body just wouldn't be able to handle that strong of chemo treatment. Her Drs. then came up with a new plan for Berkley. With Berkley having good strong counts she ended up doing another round of chemo before she would start her Antibody therapy. So it would be another week in the hospital for chemo and then home again. Few days after she was home she would spike another fever and another trip to the St. Cloud ER and then down to Childrens hospital where she would get blood and platelets to help get her counts come back up. Berkley was then able to go back home and they would do labs twice a week to watch her counts. After about two weeks she still was not making good progress to get her counts up. So the Drs. then decided to give her a dose of her stem cells back to her to get her counts to come back up. Berkley's counts finally started to come back up and we were able to start on the antibody therapy on Dec 14, 2015. Antibody therapy is a 165 day long therapy with five rounds of therapy in the hospital with a total of 7 weeks in the hospital for treatment. Berkley also continues to do treatment at home in between therapies with getting shots and taking meds. Antibody therapy is not a easy therapy to do either. Some of the side effects are, retain water weight, high and low blood pressure, sever pain, fevers, hives just to name a few of what Berkley had to deal with. She was put on a continuous morphine drip for the pain and lots of other meds to help with the fevers and hives. They also would have a nurse by her bedside watching her for all these reactions. It has been another long five months of therapy and Berkley just finished up her 5th and final round of antibody therapy this week!! We couldn't have done it with out all the support everyone has given us in thoughts, prayers and financial support. Last year was a very big medical expense year with spending a month and half out in NY with Berkley being mostly in the PICU and the a medical flight back home to Childrens and then spending more time in there recovering. Also 6 more rounds of chemo 2 rounds of MIBG and then 5 months antibody therapy. We still have a a lot of medical bills that we are trying to work on and lot of them being from NY. Plus it is a new year again and with that comes a new deductible so we have that on top of everything else. I have gone back to work and Kandace is now home full time with girls and taking care of Berkley. Berkley still is on a continuous feed pump carrying a back pack with a feed pump and a feed bag with liquid feeds. Ever since NY and her surgery her body has not been the same and she just doesn't have that much interest in eating and we also continue to monitor her blood sugars to because of her damaged pancreas. Berkley has one month of meds yet she has to take for antibody and then she will do scans on June 1st and see how this therapy worked. We pray that this worked and we can defeat this monster! We are looking forward to a great summer this year spending time with the girls and friends and family instead of being in a hospital room. We ask that you continue to support us and pray for our family and we truly appreciate everything you have done for us! God Bless you,
Thanks the Damhof's
Duane, Kandace, Berkley, and Remington
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A lot has happened over the past year for Berkley. She did five rounds of chemo and they where hopping that would've shrank the tumor to do surgery and remove it. But after doing scans in early December last year they showed the tumor was still the same size. It was rapped around her Inferior vena cava and descending aorta and a lot of main viens going to her kidneys and a lot of her other organs and intertwined with her spine. There Dr talked to a lot of surgeons to see if they would take it out but no one in MN would because it was such a high risk surgery. So they sent the case out to New York city to a very well known surgeon who performs these type of high risk surgeries. He took Berkley's case on and Duane, Kandace and Berkley flew out the first week in January. They met with the Surgeon and talked about the surgery and Berkley was scheduled for Jan 8th to have her tumor removed. It was a very long and intense day on the 8th and after 11hrs of surgery Berkley was out of surgery and into the ICU. They had removed all the tumor!!! They also decided to take her breathing tube out and she was doing fine with out it. Then next 48hrs post surgery are the most critical and the toughest to get through. Berkley had a tough night with low oxygen numbers and not cooperating with putting on a high flow nasal cannula on. So the next morning the Drs came in and saw that and decided to incubate her again to help Berkley get her O2 numbers back up. As they where doing that Berkley heart went into a rapid heart beat and then stopped beating for seven whole minutes. They shocked her twice and her heart started back up on the second try. That was truly a very painful morning for the Damhof's. The Drs then moved Berkley over across the street to a bigger hospital into the PICU department there Berkley would remain incubated for three weeks. As her body healed and recovered from surgery and the cardiac arrest the Drs learned that her little body took a pretty big hit and damaged quite a few of her organs. Kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas and her stomach all where damaged from the cardiac arrest. As she started to slowly heal they then removed her off her ventilator and Berkley then went back across the street to where she had surgery to finish her recovery and go back home. With a few more bumps in the road and not looking like they where ever going to make it back home they requested a medical flight back home to the hospital they knew and the Drs and nurses Berkley loved. So after just about spending a month and half out in New York city Berkley was on a medical jet back home to childrens hospital were she was greeted with her fav nurses and Drs. and her little sister that she missed so much. While out in NY Berkley also became very depressed from being in that type of environment. So it was very helpful to be home for her and be around family again and try get her mental health back. Berkley would remain in childrens hospital for another month and half recovering and having the Drs figure out what will be the next step to do. The end of March Berkley was able to go home for a while and see more family and friends. Berkley did more scans and they still showed a few cancer spots yet. Berkley then did five more rounds of chemo the next couple of months and spent many weeks sick again from the chemo. Berkley then did more scans and there wasn't much of a change from the previous scans. With only one Kidney working Berkley was only able to do very low dose chemo so therefor the Drs have to be careful with treating her. Berkley's Drs then decided to try MIBG therapy which is a liquid that is very radioactive and is supposed to go after her cancer spots and kills those cells. Berkley did this treatment over at the U of M where she stayed in a lead lined room all by her self for 4 days. The reason for that is that her body was giving off a lot of the radiation that was injected into her. After her radiation level was a safe enough she was able to go home but her little 2yr old sister had to be away for a week until Berkley's numbers dropped more. They waited for six weeks for it to take affect and then Berkley did more scans to compare before and after treatment. With the Damhof's having high hopes there was only little to no change from scans before treatment. Berkley's Dr decided to try and give MIBG therapy one more try and they will soon have scans done on Oct 13th to see those results. There is so much more to Berkley's story like the many late night early morning ER trips and ambulance rides down to the cites when her counts where at zero. Or her being insulin deficient and having to be on a insulin pump and having to be on a 24 hr feed pump because she is not eating anything. Since Berkley and her family started this journey last August they have spent over 7 Months in and out of hospital and will be spending one week per month for the next five months with her next treatment. With all that time comes a lot of medical expense and bills. So please continue to help the Damhof's out and continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to move forward with this battle.
Decorating the christmas tree
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Benefit for Berkley Damhof!
Saturday, Nov. 22, 4 pm-11pm
Paynesville American Legion
Hog Roast Music Chance to win a gun Silent Auction!
Adults $10 12 and under $5 3 and under free
More info on "Hooked on Berkley" Facebook site
Money raised will help the family with medical bills and expenses.
Berkley is the daughter of Duane and Kandace Damhof. Duane Damhof, originally from Willmar, Minnesota, is the son of Phil and Jan Damhof. His siblings are Kathy Goldman, Paul Damhof, and John Damhof. He is employed by Bushmills Ethanol. Kandace Damhof, from Paynesville, Minnesota, is the daughter of Tony and Deb Bengtson. Her siblings are Lacey Bengtson and Tawny Press. She is employed by Patrick Flanders Realty, Inc.
Round 4 of Chemo-- Done!
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Berkley is at Children's for her second round of chemo. Kandace says that Berkley didn't find the game as exciting as her dad, Duane.
Berk and Daddy "watching" football
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Read a Previous Update
Missy Conrad
57 months ago
1
1

Although we've never met, I deeply feel your pain. Our niece was faced with this same diagnosis at age 4 1/2. To this day - (she is two weeks out from turning 13) - she is still NED (no evidence of disease)!!!! My heart aches for you and your family as you face this hurdle. But with God's grace, you will prevail just as our niece has. You will laugh, you will cry and to no secret, you'll wonder why. Keep close to your heart that you will survive... you will 'win'.. There are great physicians, specialists and resources available. We will hold you in our thoughts and our prayers over the days, weeks, and months ahead. God Bless you and He will hold you during this difficult time. xoxo

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Angela Brown
57 months ago
1
1

I am reading your story while waiting in yet another doctor's office for my son. We don't know the struggle and pain of cancer, but we do know pain. There is so much I would like to share with you that may help your daughter. If you would like to talk please find me via Facebook - Angela L Brown (Team Trey) Either way you are in my prayers for a miracle to come your way.

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$14,456 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 145 people in 57 months
Created September 2, 2014
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$50
Tiana Jestus
28 months ago
$500
Anonymous
32 months ago
MC
$50
M a ry Coleman
32 months ago

I'm praying for you.

SQ
$200
SummerTime Quartet
35 months ago

We sang to Berkley at Children's Hospital in early May, and we want to help her and her family in their fight against everything she's up against.

CT
$200
Cliff and Carol Turnbull
35 months ago

What a Sweetie and a Fighter that Berkley is. Two Thumbs Up.

RP
$25
Roxane Pundsack
36 months ago

Good Luck, and prayers to Berkley

MS
$100
Marilyn Serbus
36 months ago
$100
Anonymous
36 months ago
$50
Anonymous
36 months ago
GS
$75
Gary & Lynn Skordahl
37 months ago

Prayers for healing and strength for Berkley. May your family be surrounded by the comfort and support of God, family, and friends. Gary & Lynn Skordahl (Jack Skordahl's grandparents)

Missy Conrad
57 months ago
1
1

Although we've never met, I deeply feel your pain. Our niece was faced with this same diagnosis at age 4 1/2. To this day - (she is two weeks out from turning 13) - she is still NED (no evidence of disease)!!!! My heart aches for you and your family as you face this hurdle. But with God's grace, you will prevail just as our niece has. You will laugh, you will cry and to no secret, you'll wonder why. Keep close to your heart that you will survive... you will 'win'.. There are great physicians, specialists and resources available. We will hold you in our thoughts and our prayers over the days, weeks, and months ahead. God Bless you and He will hold you during this difficult time. xoxo

+ Read More
Angela Brown
57 months ago
1
1

I am reading your story while waiting in yet another doctor's office for my son. We don't know the struggle and pain of cancer, but we do know pain. There is so much I would like to share with you that may help your daughter. If you would like to talk please find me via Facebook - Angela L Brown (Team Trey) Either way you are in my prayers for a miracle to come your way.

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