On October 10, 2018, the Roussell family was rocked with unimaginable news--their son August, not quite 3 years old, had a large cancerous tumor in his chest. What Anita and Alex thought was a simple cold became a battle against t-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.
-August at Disneyland
On Monday, October 8th, Anita and Alex noticed that Auggie had some swelling in his face. While he was getting over a cold at the time, thinking he also might be having an allergic reaction to something, they brought him into his pediatrician. No definitive diagnosis was made, and they were told to keep an eye on the swelling. By the morning of Wednesday, October 10th, in addition to the facial swelling, they noticed that Auggie's jugular veins were bulging. They immediately contacted the pediatrician, who ordered x-rays and bloodwork. The x-rays revealed something abnormal in Auggie's chest. Fearing a heart issue, they were referred to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram. While the echocardiogram confirmed a healthy heart, it also confirmed a large mass in Auggie's chest. They were sent straight to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in a Sacramento area hospital.
After being admitted to PICU, August had a CT scan that revealed that the mass was large (10cm), and that he also had some nodules on his kidneys. A biopsy, initially scheduled for Friday, had to be postponed because doctors were unable to sedate him due to the size of the tumor compromising his airway. Auggie started on a steroid treatment, with the goal of shrinking the tumor enough so he could be sedated for a biopsy.
-August and mommy, 10-13-18
A biopsy on Monday, October 15 revealed that August has T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. This cancer is a rare type of fast-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It starts when white blood cells, called lymphocytes, become abnormal and grow in an uncontrolled way.
The Treatment Plan
August began his path to healing on Wednesday, October 17, when he received his first chemo treatment. An intense treatment regimen is scheduled for the first 4 weeks, where a combination of IV and oral chemotherapuetics will be administered and his blood counts will be closely monitored. After this initial 4 weeks, he will be reevaluated (bone marrow, CT scan, echocardiogram, etc.), and then he will begin the next phase of treatment.
-August, on the day of his 2nd IV chemo treatment
The Family's Fight
Throughout this process, August has kept his spirits high, as only a child can, with his spunky, feisty personality. His resiliency and positive attitude through this ordeal have only strengthened the family's resolve to do everything they can to get him healthy.
-August, smiling through it all ❤️
In total, the oncologist has informed Anita and Alex that they should prepare for at least 5-6 months of chemotherapy treatment to get their Auggie well. In addition to the constant hospital visits for treatment, Auggie will require 24 hour care and monitoring at home, as the chemotherapy treatments take their toll on his body and his immune system.
In order to care for Auggie during this critical time, Anita and Alex will be unable to return to their regular working schedules for the foreseeable future. And as most of you know, they just welcomed baby Emerson into the world a few short months ago. They both took time off of work through the summer to bond with their new son, and neither of them has much, if any, sick/vacation days left.
-Big brother August, baby Emerson, and Cooper
Please consider donating to "August's Fight" in order to help with the financial burdens of battling this horrible cancer. Anita and Alex are determined to do anything and everything they can to get their son healthy. All donations will go directly to them, in order to help offset the costs of medical treatment, travel, lodging, etc. to get their son well.
The entire Rousssell/Leung family has been overwhelmed with the love and support, positive thoughts and prayers that they have received over the last 2 weeks. The hospital visits, phone calls, emails, and texts of support have strengthened them during this ordeal, and they are so grateful to be surrounded by so much love. Thank you for considering a donation to help August and family fight and beat lymphoma!
-The Roussell Family
You can stay updated on August's fight by visiting their CaringBridge webpage here.
- Debra Silvas
- Marjorie Walker
- Timothy Nugent
Organizer and beneficiary
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