Ashton's Osteosarcoma battle


As you know, our family's life took a sudden change in course over summer of 2011. Our sweet Ashton went from a happy child, full of life and fun to being disabled, on crutches and in a wheelchair. It started in September as an alleged "sprained knee" and over the following 6 weeks, a tumor was discovered, then we ran all over the bay area. An X-Ray. An MRI. A surgical biopsy. A 2nd surgical biospy. Lots of waiting and wondering. Then, just when we thought the waiting would crush us, the dreaded phone call came. It was a warm October evening and a call came just around 9:00pm. It was the Ortho-Surgeon - "Ashton has Cancer. Bone Cancer."

Now, I don't know a soul who is not afraid of the "C" word. But let me tell you, you NEVER expect it to come in connection with your own child. Your 8 year old child. It is devastating, and practically crippling. It feels like your life and everything in it has frozen and you don't know what to do, how to act or even how to live.

As of now, October is almost over and he has already made it thru his first chemo treatment. His second is scheduled for 11/4/11, as long as his blood counts are high enough. The plan right now, is 10 weeks of miserable chemo, followed by surgery. The surgery will consist of removing the tumor (just below his knee) and the chunk of bone that it is in. Then they will replace with metal. The chemo will then go thru fall of 2012.  

The outlook seems good so far, however, Osteosarcoma is a RARE and AGGRESSIVE cancer. It can metastasize in trace amounts and hit vital organs. There is 65% overall survivability rate, but his is expected to be much higher, as they believe they caught it early enough. Scary either way. 

We are trying to raise money and asking for donations to help us with the "Gift of time". In researching online, we found the Szott Foundation that is based out of MN. They raise money for families of kids with cancer and the funds are for "The Gift of Time". This is what we are asking for, the gift of time. Time with Ashton to help him get thru this and to be there with him, for him. Time that we cannot afford to miss from work. We have missed a lot of work so far but Ashton is our first priority.  It is very important for Ashton to have mom or dad home with him throughout this and in the hospital for the chemo treatments and for everything else. Based on we know now, we estimate additional expenses related to the illness not covered by insurance would run, at the minimum, between $30K to 36K.

We are asking people to donate any amount they can afford, big or small. Also, if you work for a company or know someone who works for a company that would be willing to donate to help a child with cancer, please please pass this along. Also, anyone who has any ideas for fundraising, please contact us. We are not fully operating right now and are working with very little energy. 

Thank you for your donations, time, prayers and good thoughts. We look forward to this all being a bad memory, and Ashton up and running and playing again. 

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Matt Carter 
Organizer
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