My niece, Ansley Ellen Honeycutt is a spunky, fun-loving & adventurous 4-year-old who provides much love to all who she meets and steals the hearts of all who she encounters. However, this past Tuesday, Ansley’s world changed and now many of the hearts she’s touched are hurting as she needs our love and support to fight a battle no one thought she would have to fight at her tender age.
July 7th, Ansley Ellen was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer that affects “one in a million” children under the age of 3, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s website. She was originally diagnosed with a mass on her liver while at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. A CT Scan showed the mass to be approximately 2 1/4” wide by nearly 4” long. Ansley was then transported in the early hours of Wednesday morning to UNC Children’s Hospital at Chapel Hill for more specialized testing. After extensive bloodwork, multiple x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs, Ansley’s doctors were able to report that she in fact had 3 tumors versus the 1 large tumor seen on the original CT Scan.
Upon further review of all her test results to date, doctors determined the size of Ansley’s 3 tumors: 2.6 cm, 4.5 cm, and 9.6 cm (approximately 1 to 4 inches). Additionally, these tumors occupy three of the four quadrants in her right liver lobe. Based on these results, her Tumor Board has recommended surgery. Ansley has been scheduled for Hepatic Trisegmentectomy Surgery for this coming Tuesday, July 14th. Her team of doctors are confident they can remove the entire right lobe of her liver that contains her tumors along with her gallbladder. Ansley will most likely follow surgery with several rounds of chemotherapy to further reduce the possibility of recurrence.
Additionally, COVID has impacted Ansley’s support system, especially with her parents, Tara & Calvin Honeycutt. Unfortunately, during this unique time, only 1 parent can be with Ansley while she is in the hospital. Tara and Calvin have already had to endure communicating via FaceTime with hospital staff regarding diagnosis, surgery recommendations and post-op treatment options as well as trying to support each other through this difficult time with their child. Taking a leave of absence from work, the Honeycutts have temporarily relocated their family from Wilmington, NC to Pittsboro in order to be closer to their daughter during her stay at UNC Children's Hospital at Chapel Hill. In addition to tending to the needs of Ansley, they also are caring for their 5 year old daughter Addyson who is staying with nearby family during this time.
Ansley is a strong and vibrant little girl facing challenging obstacles with this rare disease. If you feel led to support this child and her family, we ask first for prayers. As believers in Christ, our family has a strong faith and we know prayer for Ansley, her family and her medical team is crucial to her success with both surgery and recovery. However, as a family, we also recognize the financial obligations, even with medical insurance, which lay ahead for Ansley and her immediate family. The rarer the diagnosis, the larger this financial responsibility. Therefore, if your heart leads you to support them financially, no donation is too small. Ansley’s journey is just beginning. Help us to help her with the opportunity to make sure her life’s journey continues, that she gets well and is back with her family & community soon.
Blessings and Peace to you and thank you in advance for your help.
Aunt to Ansley Ellen
Organizer/Fundraiser On behalf of the Honeycutt family