Isaiah and Shelby

2/12/15 Update
Isaiah was awake and the breathing tube was out yesterday morning. He has spent yesterday and today just resting. He's still in a good amount of pain (to be expected) but he is getting better each day. Audrey even got to see him for a few minutes today!

We are so in awe of how many people have reached out to us with love, support, prayers, donations, etc. through all of this. We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives. Thank you all so much!!!

We are also pretty excited that Audrey and I will be able to attend the fundraiser that some amazing friends of ours have put together for this coming Sunday. (They got some pretty incredible items to auction off!) I am flying home for a few days to tie up some loose ends since the trip down to Seattle was so sudden.

Hopefully by the time I get back here to Seattle, Isaiah will be out of the ICU!!!

2/10/15 Updates
Isaiah is safely back in the ICU. The doctor said he did well and the pump is in. Tonight he will rest and we will get to see him awake tomorrow! :) Thank you all for your continued love, support, and prayers.
Isaiah is officially in the OR now. Should be about 4-6 hours of surgery. Please keep him in your prayers as he takes this huge step toward being healthy and home. It's the beginning of a long road of healing.

Keep all of us in your prayers too as we wait impatiently.
Today is surgery day. Please keep Isaiah and the medical team in your prayers! I will keep everyone updated with how surgery has gone once Isaiah is settled back into his room. Surgery will be this morning... Starting in just a few hours.

2/9/15 Update
Monday didn't quite bring the answers that we'd hoped for... Tomorrow Isaiah will have open heart surgery to receive the LVAD. While we were all very much hoping that his heart had healed enough to simply control everything with medications and not need the pump, we know that Isaiah is getting the care that he needs and this is what has to happen in order to get him healthy and home.

Please keep Isaiah and the medical team here at UWMC in your prayers tomorrow as it will be such a big day.

2/8/15 Update
Thank you so much for your donation. This will truly be so helpful to us during this crazy and scary time. Also, thank you for your prayers... they are SO powerful.

2/6/15 Update
Yesterday, Isaiah was able to get out of his room and hold Audrey for a little while. He is in really good spirits, especially considering all of the information that he has had to take in in just a few days. 

I never could have imagined how amazing it would be to see Isaiah open his eyes and look at me again. I am so glad that he is now awake and can participate in the discussions and decisions for his future. 

As of right now, the left side of Isaiah's heart is not continuing to heal at the rate that it was. Because of this, they are going to give him a few more days of healing before they do another scan of his heart. If by Monday, his heart can handle being without the pump that he is currently on, he will be weaned off of the pump and will manage everything with medications. However, if his heart is not healed up enough, he will go into surgery on Tuesday to receive the LVAD pump. The LVAD will require open heart surgery and will be a big change for him. 

After receiving the LVAD, Isaiah will remain in the hospital for somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks and then will need to live locally in Seattle for up to 3 more months. 

While the doctors seem to think that he will definitely need the pump, they were also certain that his heart wouldn't heal at all and that he wouldn't wake up before this last Tuesday (even though he woke up Sunday). So right now we really need to pray that the left side of his heart continues to heal. If it somehow heals enough before Tuesday, he may be able to get the temporary pump removed and not need another pump put in its place. 

Please keep Isaiah in your prayers while he attempts to rest and heal. He still has a lot of healing to do before we can get him safely home. 

2/3/15 Update
Isaiah is back in his room in the ICU. He is doing well. They did end up placing the temporary pump since his blood pressure was too low for comfort after removing the tandem heart pump. We are hoping that Isaiah will be able to wake up and have the breathing tube removed tomorrow. 

The doctor said that Isaiah did great. At this point we pray that Isaiah's heart continues to heal. In the next week or two we will find out if his heart has healed enough to be removed from all pumps or if he needs to have the long term pump put in. At least Isaiah will be able to be awake, see Audrey, and be apart of the discussion about what will happen next. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers. The rest of Isaiah's organs are all doing very well, we just need the left side of his heart to join the party.

 —  feeling thankful.

2/2/15 Update
Today was a good day... first thing this morning, I was told that not only are Isaiah's liver, lungs, and kidneys looking MUCH better, but his heart is continuing to heal. (His liver numbers were in the 5,000 range less than a week ago and are now in the 80s... they should be around 50)

The doctors had flat out told us that his heart would never heal. They told us that his heart function was as good as it was ever going to get (at less than 10%). Yet it is healing! Power of prayer right there.

Anyway, since his heart is doing well, they have been weaning him off of the current temporary pump and he is tolerating it. They've also reduced his heart medications and his numbers didn't change a bit.

Tomorrow afternoon the doctors will take Isaiah off of the temporary pump and see how he does. This is something that was 100% off of the table only 48 hours ago. Isaiah is continuing to prove the doctors wrong and they are shocked.

If his heart tolerates it, he will be treated with medications and closely watched to make sure his heart continues to heal and function properly. If there is even the slightest hiccup during or after the removal of the pump, they will put in the temporary pump. That will allow his heart another week or 2 to heal and then be removed.

Absolute worst case scenario is now the long term pump. Last we had talked to the doctors, this was Isaiah's only option... and now it's the last option. We are amazed.

We still need some serious prayers for Isaiah, especially tomorrow as it will be a VERY big day, but the prayers thus far have proven to be healing. We were in total shock today when we found out all of this amazing news. We've all seen what God can do but we were just hopeful that the surgery for the long term pump would go well. We never imagined such incredible news would be given to us today.

Isaiah is such an incredible guy and he is one heck of a fighter. I am still in awe of all of the people who have reached out, said a prayer, made a donation, etc. He is clearly a VERY well loved man. We all sure love him but it is wonderful to see so many people rallying around him.

God is doing amazing things in Isaiah's life right now... Please continue to pray. Thank you all so much!

2/1/15 Update

We just received news that Isaiah is showing improvement... Even his heart! Which we never expected. 

They finally said that he gave the responses that they were looking for. Good job proving some of those docs wrong, Isaiah! 

And thank you for all of the prayers that made this possible. He is still definitely critical and this will continue to be a long journey so please don't stop the prayers. 

We are just so thrilled to have some sort of good news! On Super Bowl Sunday of all days.

1/30/15 Update
Today was a day full of waiting. Numerous tests and scans were done today.

At this point we are waiting for Isaiah to wake up from his sedation. If he has done this by Monday night, he will receive surgery for a LVAD on Tuesday, which is essentially an implanted device on his heart to help it pump. This is a long term solution. He could potentially receive a heart transplant once more time has passed since his cancer surgery this past September.

If he has not woken up by Monday night, they will put in a temporary version of the LVAD. This would allow extra time for him to wake up.

The LVAD will likely require about a month in the hospital post op and 3 months living locally in Seattle.

Thankfully, the time he is spending on the tandem heart, is helping the rest of his body to heal, especially his liver.

So for now we wait. We do not know what more God has in store for Isaiah... All that we can do is pray. God has a plan and we must do our best to remain patient in the meantime.

1/29/15 Update
Prayers are desperately needed for Isaiah right now. He had a bad night/morning. Some of the medications, while improving part of his condition, caused his heart to begin beating very rapidly. They shocked his heart to get it going properly again. This happened twice last night at which point he did flatline but was brought back via CPR which the doctor described as "very brief" as far as how much CPR was needed.

A few hours later the doctors called me in to the hospital to discuss a procedure called a tandem heart (not even close to what it sounds like but it was needed). While they were getting this done, his heart decided to go crazy again and needed to be shocked. He did very well and responded properly to the procedure itself.

He is currently being flown to UWMC in Seattle where they will evaluate him and determine the next step. We (family) are on our way to Seattle today and tomorrow to be with him however he is thankfully sedated to keep giving him time to rest and no time to worry.

This is going to be a long process and recovery. We will likely be in Seattle for weeks. We know that UWMC is the best place for him right now and he will be in amazing hands there.

Please continue to keep all of us, particularly Isaiah and his heart, liver, and medical staff in your prayers. He is such a strong man and I know he's just trying to become bionic somehow. Isaiah is an incredible man, husband, and father. I so can't wait to get him healthy and home where he belongs.

We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. You all mean so much to us and the love and support we've received is overwhelming. I love you all.

Keep up the prayers!!!! Thank you so much!

1/28/15 Update
Just spent some time in Isaiah's room... He was responding to the nurses commands to open his eyes, squeeze my hand, and wiggle his toes. He was also asked if he was in any pain and he shook his head "no". Which is very exciting since he's not on any pain meds right now.
We got some more results a few minutes ago. His heart and liver have been failing since being admitted and they've really been watching his liver enzyme numbers because if those numbers don't improve, they will have to intervene. Thankfully, we just got some blood test results and his liver enzyme numbers have improved dramatically. The cardiologist was very excited by the results. The levels are still nowhere near normal but if they continue to trend in the right direction, he will be normal in no time! We have to keep praying that those numbers continue to improve. 

Also, they took him off of sedation this morning and he's been doing well so far. Responded to the nurses earlier when they asked him to squeeze their hand and open his eyes. He's just so tired, he doesn't seem to want to wake up just yet. BUT he's still tolerating it well.

Keep those prayers coming because they are working!
Isaiah's doctors are happy to see some of his numbers improving. He's been taken off of one of his heart medications and he is tolerating it well. While he's still intubated, they have taken him off of the ventilator to see how he's breathing on his own and he's been doing well. His liver is not doing well however and he is still in heart failure. 

There are a lot of steps that can be taken if things do not improve but hopefully none of those options will be necessary. Especially since absolute worst case involves sending him to Seattle again. While he loves Seattle... He would be very unhappy to wake up at University of Washington Medical Center. That is one place he swore he never wanted to see again.

1/27/15 Update
Isaiah update: Everyone is heading home to rest for the night per the doctor's orders. Some of his numbers are showing improvement which they find encouraging however he is still in heart failure. I can't thank you all enough for the prayers and reaching out. It truly means so much to all of us. Prayer can do amazing things and I hope that with tomorrow comes some miraculous news. 

This poor guy's body has been through so much this past year and I had truly hoped that 2015 would be a year of recovery and health... Guess that just has to start in February. Let's get this guy healthy and home ASAP.
Another update. Isaiah is in the ICU and his heart is not doing well. We are waiting for more test results but we don't know much. Please continue prayers as he needs all of the strength he can get.
As quickly as I posted the last update, we have another update. The doctors are moving quickly with him. Apparently Isaiah has deteriorated just since being admitted this morning. They are going to be sedating and intubating him in order to force him to get some rest and breathe properly. While he's in the ICU they will be doing some additional tests to see what exactly is going on with his lungs in addition to the pneumonia.

It is a terrible feeling to get the call with this kind of information, but thankfully Isaiah's parents are with him at the hospital right now. After answering all of the doctor's questions and getting all paperwork filled out, I left the hospital to take care of Audrey. The ER and the ICU are not the best places for a healthy newborn.

Isaiah's body so desperately needs some rest. Hopefully, they will get everything figured out and by the time he wakes up, he will be feeling like a new person.
Wow, serious fail on keeping this page updated. Here we go back to October. We stayed at my parents house for about 2 months while Isaiah continued to heal. There were definitely better days and some REALLY tough days. We were able to move back to our house at the end of November after we had additional railings installed in our staircases. The poor guy has to jump up the stairs on one leg but he has done very well with this.

In December we noticed that he was having more and more difficulty with sleeping and had started to have more difficulty with breathing. After this was clearly not going away on its own, Isaiah mentioned it at one of his doctor appointments. A CT scan of his chest and an ultrasound of his right leg were ordered. They wanted to see what was going on with his lungs and also make sure there were no blood clots.

Unfortunately the tests showed that he did have a few clots in his right leg, for which he was put on blood thinners... not too bad. While his CT scan showed no signs of blood clots in his chest, they did see that he had something going on with his lungs... most likely double pneumonia (according to the radiologist, this is very common in radiation patients and patients who have had such a major surgery and kept very immobile post op).

The one good thing that came out of this appointment was the fact that he was finally cleared to start putting up to 25% of his weight on his right leg. FINALLY!

After his antibiotics had run their course, we noticed that his breathing was not getting any better.

On January 16th, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Audrey, into the world, but Isaiah's condition seemed to only be getting worse. He was insistent that he was fine and tried to keep focus on me and the baby even though I offered to get him admitted and ask to share a room haha. He did finally call his doctor and get an inhaler to hopefully help with his breathing while I was admitted to the hospital, but this brought no change to his breathing.

After a week of continued deterioration, we went back to the doctor with additional symptoms. Not only was he having a very hard time breathing, not sleeping, but he was also coughing like you wouldn't believe and throwing up so often that he was unable to keep down food, water, or even his medications and vitamins. Blood work was done and another CT scan was ordered.

Yesterday we received the results from the CT scan. His lungs are looking worse than before. The doctor consulted with a lung specialist who wanted additional blood tests and to see Isaiah in his office today. Off we went for more blood work in the below zero weather.

All night he was coughing and throwing up. He continued to have difficulty breathing and didn't sleep. This morning we made our way to the hospital instead of waiting for the results from the additional blood tests and the appointment with the specialist. He was in too rough of shape to wait any longer.

Sure enough, he is extremely dehydrated (big surprise) and after looking at some chest X rays, the doctors are thinking it is definitely pneumonia. Unfortunately, he will have to stay in the hospital... they are just waiting to determine if he should be put in a regular room or the ICU.

Thankfully, Isaiah is fully aware that this is the only way that he is going to get better, and he isn't fighting the process. Anyone who knows him knows how much he just looooooves hospitals :/

While we are very happy that he is being taken care of, it is so hard to watch him be in such bad shape that he has to go through another hospital stay.

Hopefully the doctors are able to get him on the perfect combination of medications so that we can get him healthy and out of the hospital as soon as possible.

Please continue to keep Isaiah in your thoughts and prayers... the poor guy most definitely needs it.

10/11/15 Update
We were able to get Isaiah discharged from the hospital on October 1st, after a solid 4 weeks. We dealt with the bumpiest ride to the airport, over an hour flight delay, almost falling down completely while getting on the plane, and over 9 hours sitting up.... But we got him home and it wasn't nearly as bad as we expected.

Over the past week and a half he's done pretty darn well with adjusting to staying at my parents house and how different it is in general to be out of the hospital and not surrounded by doctors and nurses 24/7.

A few days ago his nerve pain started increasing quite a bit and has now been unable to get out of bed in nearly 24 hours due to the severity of the nerve pain. We've been calling around like crazy but of course it's a weekend and nowhere is open. Everywhere that is open doesn't have a copy of his chart and it's not like he can get out of bed, into a car, and to a doctor's office to be seen. I'm definitely feeling quite helpless and I just wish that there was more that I could do to help him.

As of right now I'm just trying to make him as comfortable as possible and I have a ton of calls and messages out, hoping to get him in to see some docs on Monday. We just have to get this nerve pain under control again so that he can continue to heal. No one should ever be in this amount of pain but nerve pain is just a whole other monster than any other sort of pain.

Please continue the prayers as we struggle to get his pain managed. I know that he isn't truly HOME just yet but being in Alaska and being with family feels like a very good step in the right direction.

9/27/15 Update
As of right now, the estimated discharge date is still October 1st. We found out this morning that Isaiah will have to go back into the OR tomorrow morning to fix up part of the incision that isn't healing up quite how they want. Originally they wanted to do that this coming Thursday (even though we are supposed to get him out on Wednesday) and then possibly postpone discharge for a week. Thankfully, we were able to get this done tomorrow instead and this shouldn't alter his discharge date. :)

Only a few days away from getting him out of here. Please continue to keep him in your prayers as there is still a lot of work ahead of him. Hopefully we can keep his pain in check and get him home this coming week. :)

9/22/15 Update
Today is day 5 on the rehab floor and Isaiah is doing well. Unfortunately, they don't have the nerve pain under control just yet so that's been very limiting on how much he can get done in a day. The docs are determined to get that figured out and have been changing up his medications quite a bit. As of right now the anticipated discharge date is October 1st (that is a full month in the hospital).That date is fluid and can definitely change based upon how he is doing.

So far they are very happy with how the incision is healing and how he is doing with rehab. It sounds like he will not be able to put weight on his right leg for awhile yet (possibly months) due to the amount of bone that they had to remove in surgery.

Please keep Isaiah in your prayers as he battles the massive amount of nerve pain in his entire right leg, works on strengthening and gaining back use of his right leg, and as he works to keep his positive attitude as we finish out his 3rd week in the hospital. There is still quite a ways to go before Isaiah is healed and "back to normal" but he is doing really well considering. He is very motivated and determined to get back to 100% as quickly as possible and we couldn't do this without all of the love, prayers, support, and donations that we've been blessed with. Thank you all so much!

9/16/15 Update
We met with the rehab docs today and they are excited to get him onto he rehab floor. They are full right now but hope to have a room available for him as soon as tomorrow.

After the extensive 11+ hour surgery, Isaiah has come a very long way. From no feeling or movement in that right leg to (as of today) feeling in his right leg above the knee and nerve pain with some feeling in his lower leg. New today, he's been getting some serious nerve pain in his foot and toes now as well. All of this is not easy as it is definitely painful.

He's not currently allowed to put any weight on that right leg, but he's been doing amazing in learning how to sit, stand, walk, and move in general. Hopefully, once he's up on the rehab floor, they'll begin to allow some weight bearing on that leg.

Isaiah has been taking everything very well but he's starting to get stir crazy. The sooner we can get him to the rehab floor, the sooner we can get him HOME.

11 hours of surgery, a spinal fusion, tumor removal (tumor the size of a cantaloupe), removal of part of the sacrum (gone forever), removal of most of the right side of the ilium (the big wing part of the pelvis) and a bone graft to fill that space back in, over 100 staples on his back and side, massive screws as big around as your pinky finger, 13 days in the hospital so far... and he's been taking it all so well.

We are still in need of prayers as he will work very hard over the next week or so on the rehab floor to gain as much mobility and function of that leg so that he can go home.

He is adamant that he get as close to 100% by the time our little baby girl makes her arrival in January. :)

Thanks again for all of the love, support, and prayers! We could never thank you all enough.

9/16/14 update

The embolization didn't quite go the way we had thought that it would. It took about 4 hours and he came out of it with quite a bit of pain. Thursday morning we had him taken down to pre-op where we met dozens of doctors and nurses that would be part of his surgery. By 8:30 they took him back into the OR and surgery finally started by 10:15. One of the nurses called me with updates every 2 hours. Thankfully, it was always "It's going well... He's doing great."

8 hours into surgery, the head surgeon called to say that surgery was going well but it was taking longer than they'd expected. After over 11 hours in surgery and over 13 hours in the OR, he was done. I stopped in to see him in the ICU after he was all settled into his room and he didn't look as swollen as I'd expected but he was definitely swollen. He spent the next 2 days in the ICU getting pain under control and starting the healing process. Saturday evening, he was transferred out of the ICU and into his own room on another floor.

Over the past week and a half since he left the ICU he's had his good days and his bad days. We had to work on getting his pain managed, getting him to eat and sleep. Due to the surgery, Isaiah woke up with no feeling or movement in his right leg.

About a week after surgery, he finally started to get some nerve pain which is a great sign that the nerves are healing and waking up. It's been a long and tough process but as of today, he can now feel his leg above the knee, and is slowly gaining more feeling in the lower portion of the leg.

He's not allowed to put any weight on the right leg yet but he's gained back some movement of the leg as well. Right now he's in the process of re-learning how to sit, stand, walk, and move in general.

He's had a great attitude and is very motivated. The 7-10 days in the hospital has long passed. We are now hitting 2 weeks in the hospital. In the next few days he will be transferred to the rehab floor to get him mobile enough in his current state to get him home. They've estimated that he will spend 7-10 days on the rehab floor.

Each day is another day we don't have to re-live. Each day is another day toward a stronger and healthier Isaiah. We are just trying to be patient and trust that everything will work out.

Please keep Isaiah in your prayers as he will be working very hard in rehab to get stronger and get home sooner.


We are in Seattle now. We arrived at UWMC bright and early to get him admitted at 7am. Isaiah will be getting his blood drawn followed by a 2-3 hour embolization procedure. He will have to stay overnight for the big 8+ hour surgery tomorrow.

Please keep Isaiah in your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate all of the support that we can get. This is a big step toward the healing process and getting this whole thing put in the past.


We flew into Seattle Saturday morning, spent some time with family and then off to the hospital on Sunday for an MRI. The appointment wasn't supposed to last long but we ended up being there for 5 hours. My mom and I took Isaiah out for dinner to cheer him up.

Monday morning, we came in for the pre-op appointment. The dr walked in and said "good news, bad news"... Not exactly what we wanted to hear. Good news is that based on the MRI from the day before, there was no significant growth of the tumor which was awesome to hear. The bad news was that the surgery would need to be postponed 2 weeks as one of the doctors involved in the surgery was not going to be available and he was unable to find a replacement.

While incredibly disappointing, we were very happy to hear that this was THE bad news. If that's the worst news we would get, we'll take it. Unfortunately we weren't able to just go home that day, instead we needed to stay in town for the week to get additional appointments out of the way. As the appointments were only one a day, we were able to have a little bit of fun as well. We did A LOT of walking and some fun touristy things. We were also able to spend some time with family that lives in the Seattle area. We even made it to a Seahawks game thanks to a friend of Isaiah's. He was pretty darn happy about that.

Finally we returned home. Unfortunately when we got the call to confirm the surgery date, we were notified that the surgery would have to be postponed an additonal week due to surgeons schedules.

Surgery is now scheduled for September 4th, opening day of football and a home game for the Seahawks... Isaiah is not too thrilled he will be in surgery or at least unconsious for the game haha.

This surgery is going to be even bigger than we had anticipated. Isaiah will need to stay in the ICU for a night or two after surgery for a few reasons. He will be under anesthesia for 8+ hours. Due to the length of the surgery and the fluids given to him during, he will probably be too swollen to have the breathing tube removed right away. That will probably have to wait a day or so. Also, he will be losing his full volume of blood during the surgery (SCARY!) and will receive multiple transfusions. There are certainly other risks and whatnot due to the type of surgery and the extent of the surgery.

Right now we just hope and pray that the surgery goes amazingly, that they are able to remove all of the tumor, and that he has a quick and easy recovery... It'll be at least a 6 month recovery but he's determined to be as close to 100% as possible by the time baby Audrey makes her appearance in January.

Please keep Isaiah in your prayers... There are so many factors at play here and we hope that all goes as well as it can. We are so blessed and we truly appreciate all of the love, prayers, support, and donations. We are so blessed. Thank you.

7/31/14 update:

Here is the story so far... March 2014, Isaiah hurt his back (refused to go to the doctor). Finally in April, the pain wasn't getting better and now his foot was starting to fall asleep for no reason at all so he finally saw a chiropractor. We thought that maybe his back just needed an adjustment. The doctor said he believed that Isaiah had a herniated disk. He received treatment for a week and a half for the herniated disk but it wasn't healing as quickly as the doctor had hoped, so an MRI was ordered.

The MRI found that while he did have a herniated disk in his lower back, there was also a large tumor growing out of his pelvis. That day we met with a neurosurgeon who further reviewed the scans and notified us that we would need to go to Seattle for treatment.

The next step was an appointment with an oncologist and a radiologist here in Alaska. They verified what the neurosurgeon had told us. We would be going to Seattle to meet with doctors at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance through the University of Washington.

Just a few days later (a Wednesday) we received a call from Seattle letting us know that he was scheduled for an appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance on Monday. They were unable to tell us how long we would need to be. So we booked our one way tickets and contacted family in Seattle for a place to stay.

That Monday appointment was a scary one. The first person to walk into the room was an oncologist. He began telling us that from the MRI they believed it was a specific sarcoma that would need heavy duty chemo and radiation for 2 to 3 months followed by surgery. That would mean Isaiah would need to remain in Seattle for those months. This was a scary thing to hear but we knew that we would figure it out and do whatever it takes to get Isaiah healthy.

Over the following days there were a few appointments for additional scans and blood work and finally the biopsy surgery on Thursday. Unfortunately they need a substantial piece of the tumor so he ended up with a 9 inch incision on his back. He was not thrilled to be stuck in the hospital overnight but thankfully, it was only the one night.

Isaiah was in pretty bad shape for awhile after surgery but after 10 days in Seattle, we were ecstatic to get to go home for a few days before we had to return. I know that a few days home probably seems strange but we really needed it for our own sanity. Besides, at this point we didn't have the results of the biopsy and last we'd been told, he could be staying there for a few months for grueling treatment.

We returned to Seattle and the appointment couldn't have gone better. The biopsy showed that the cancerous tumor wasn't as aggressive as they initially thought and since it was not the subtype that they originally thought, Isaiah would not need chemo. HUGE answer to prayers!

Now I wish I could say that's because he didn't need chemo but the truth is, this type of cancer does not respond to chemo and is also not responsive to radiation in that they don't believe it would shrink the tumor. They did end up deciding to do radiation anyway in order to hopefully give them a better buffer zone when they go in to remove the tumor.

They showed us the scans and that tumor has one of those nerve endings in his spine totally smashed flat. That combined with the herniated disk would explain the immense amount of pain that Isaiah has been in.

Our next appointment was with the radiation team and to our surprise, they told us we should go back to Alaska and do his radiation at home. We did not expect that but it was such a blessing. In fact, they told us we'd be stupid to stay in Seattle for radiation. It wasn't necessary.

Back to Alaska we went. Isaiah quickly began his 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. It definitely had an impact on him, as anyone who has done radiation can tell you.

Once his radiation was done we were told he would have about 3-4 weeks to heal. That brings us to where we are now. Monday, August 11th Isaiah will have his pre-op appointment followed by another 2 days of appointments. He will be admitted to the hospital Wednesday evening with surgery early Thursday morning. This will be a tough surgery. They will be doing a spinal fusion for the herniated disk. They will also have to cut a large hole in his pelvis to remove the tumor. They will then take a piece of pelvis from the bone bank and fill that hole, securing the pieces with screws and plates.

Again, we do not know how long we will need to stay in Seattle or what kind of shape Isaiah will be in after surgery. We have been told that his recovery will be about 6 months. However he is determined to be back to normal, or as close as possible, around Christmas time because we found out the day after his biopsy that we are expecting our first child in January! This was just another answer to prayers as we'd endured last year filled with 4 pregnancy losses.

We are so excited to finally have the date set for his surgery and to have this amazing little miracle to keep us distracted along the way.

We have been so incredibly blessed in so many ways by friends, family, co-workers, and even complete strangers. We have truly felt the prayers and believe that is why every time we go back, we get better and better news... A trend that we hope only continues.

Thank you all so much for your continued love, support, and prayers! Please keep them coming. :)


Original post:

Two of the most amazing people are in much need of love and support right now.  This dynamic duo has had some hardships over the past year and now they are faced with this:  Isaiah and Shelby have recently found out that Isaiah has a tumor in his pelvis.  They have been instructed to fly off to Seattle (one way) to get this checked out at the University of Washington on Monday. We don't know how long they will be there and what they have to expect. This page is to help cover anything from plane tickets, expenses while in Seattle, medical bills, you name it.   Any donation is much appreciated!!!

  • Candace Mauldin 
    • $10 
    • 56 mos
  • Sabrina Jurasek 
    • $15 
    • 62 mos
  • John and Flo Rosenberg 
    • $200 
    • 73 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • Michael Beck 
    • $50 
    • 75 mos
See all


Shelby Vreeman 
Eagle River, AK
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