Dollars for Dylan

Hi my name is Dylan and I am 5 years old.   I love to ride my bike, go outside, play video games, and wrestle around with my siblings.  My mom says I am a very active and imaginative child, but I think I am just a normal kid.

Well I was a normal kid until the "gremlin" got into my brain.  If you have a minute I will tell you my story and how you can help me and my family.

It all started on a Monday when I got a headache, and then another on Tuesday, and another on Wednesday.  Now I am a strong kid, but these headaches really hurt.  They even made me cry a few times.  This made my mom worry so she took me to the doctor.  My doctor checked me out and even took my blood (I’m tough I didn’t cry for that part), but the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with me.  Thursday I got another headache, and my mom called the doctor again.  By Friday when I got home from school my head was killing me.  I decided to take a nap and sleep it off.  However when I woke up I was so dizzy I couldn't even walk without running into walls, so my parents took me to the hospital.

At the hospital they took some pictures of my head (CT scan) and that's when they found the "gremlin" (brain tumor) that was eating my brain.  This made my mom very sad and she cried a lot. The doctor said I would have to go for an ambulance ride to another hospital to get it out.  This made me very happy, because I have always wanted to ride in one of those.  Not to be a tattle tail but the driver even turned the lights and sirens on for me.  It was so cool. 

When we got to Children's hospital they took more picture of my brain (MRI).  Then the doctor said I would have to have surgery to get the “gremlin” out.  Over the next few days until surgery I started having lots of problems seeing, walking, and even talking.  I needed my family to help me do everything.

Then surgery day came.  I really don't remember surgery at all.  I guess I slept right through it.  I'm not sure how, but my mom says I did.  I must have been very sleepy.  After surgery when I woke up I thought I would be all better, but I wasn't.   I still couldn't see well or walk, but I did have a really cool scar.  I couldn't wait to show it to my friends.

Over the next three weeks we lived in the hospital and I worked with lots of doctors and therapists to help me to walk and do things on my own again.  I even went trick or treating at the hospital (I got lots of candy).  Finally the doctors said I could go home.  Now I was not my old self yet, but I was getting stronger every day and could even walk around with only a little help and my walker.  I just knew it was not going to be long before I would be walking on my own again and wrestling with my brothers.

When I got home I was just happy to have all of my own stuff and to see my friends.  I think my mom was just happy to sleep in her own bed and go back to work after almost 4 weeks at the hospital.  My doctors said I needed to get a little better before I could go back to school. So I started going to therapy 6 times a week to help me walk and do things on my own again.   You have no idea how frustrating it is to need someone to help you do everything.  I can’t even dress myself or brush my teeth without help anymore.  Everything was going fine I was getting better I barely needed my eye patch to see things, and I even started taking a few steps on my own with no help.  I just knew I would be back to riding my bike and going to school in no time.

Then on Wednesday (not even a full two weeks after I left the hospital) I started having lots of problems.  I couldn't even sit up on my own without falling over (something I had mastered weeks ago), I couldn't stop drooling, and I was having trouble seeing again.  So my mom called the doctor.  The doctor said to bring me in right away so they could see me and take more pictures of my brain.

So after they took pictures of my brain (CT scan) they noticed that my brain was bleeding and the blood was blocking some of the spinal fluid (whatever that is) from leaving my brain.  The doctors said I would need surgery again.  However with it being the day before Thanksgiving we were going to wait until Monday, since I was doing fine.   Thanksgiving came and went while we were in the hospital and I started getting worse.  By Friday night the doctors decided I was getting to sick and they needed to do emergency surgery.  I tried really hard to stay awake for this one, but I guess it was too late, because again I slept right through it.   My mom told me the doctor said I did really well, and they think they got it all out.
So it is two days after my second surgery and I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm really tired but over all I feel good.  That is until I overheard the doctor and mom talking.   He said the after surgery pictures (the MRI they took 24 hours after surgery) showed the bleeding in my brain was back.  My mom started to cry and this made me sad.   I don't like it when she cries.  She and the doctor talked a while and said lots of big words I didn’t understand, but I did understand some parts like the part that they don't know what is wrong with me or why it keeps happening.  I understood the part the doctor said I most likely will have to have another surgery this week.  However the part that upsets me the most is when he said he is not sure when I will get to go home, but it won't be for a long time.  I don't think he understands that Christmas is coming and I'm not sure Santa will find me here.

After the doctor left I was listening to my mom talk and tell my grandma and family the bad news.  I can tell she is really sad and scared.  She told my grandma she is worried about what is going to happen to me.  Then she started talking about bills and Christmas, and how was she going to pay for everything now that she will be taking an unknown amount of time off work and will have more medical bill than before.

I heard about this site from the TV and I thought it was the perfect way to help my family and take some of the stress off my mom.  I have put her through a lot in the last 6 weeks.   I am asking for any help you can give to my family to help pay for my medical bills and other expenses.  I know my mom would really appreciate it and, I would be forever thankful.
 Thank you for reading my story and donating.


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Jessica Kaufman 
Saint Charles, MO
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