Cassidy's Chemo Companion

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Cassidy has had a setback. At this point the grading of her brain tumor is far more ambiguous, with doctors now saying it has "anaplastic" (cancerous) features. The biopsies have been sent to John Hopkins for further testing, because the grading of the tumor varies between 1 and 3 (out of three), which is why the original results (which only detected the Grade 1) seemed promising. Mixed grading is rare, but then again, so is this amazing girl. This tumor will NOT stop her, but it will mean we need to raise more money, as she is going to require more care.

Cassidy's treatment will now include some combination of chemotherapy and proton therapy, and her medical service dog (which will be a poodle) is going to require more extensive training, including learning to smell for malignancy. This will significantly increase the likelihood that the dog will help doctors intervene immediately, should her condition worsen, or should the tumor begin growing again after treatment. The additionally intensive away-from-home training will increase the cost, in addition to the increased treatment cost. 

Cassidy is brave, and kind, and hilarious, and filled with all the good the world can be. But she shouldn't have to do this alone. Please help this amazing girl continue to do amazing things.


(Original Post): Cassidy Stocker is a bright, brilliant, and brave 12-year-old, currently fighting a brain tumor called a Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Although it is mercifully a benign tumor, it must still be treated as cancerous because of its precarious location. The tumor is located on her hypothalamus, making it inoperable and only treatable with chemotherapy. Cassidy will require a minimum of 12 months of chemotherapy to be delivered through a port in her chest, which I think we can all agree is too much to ask a 12-year-old to handle alone.

And that's where her companion comes in…

So many people have asked how they can help. The Stockers have help with many of their meals, so they don’t need a meal train. Because of the pandemic, they can’t have people helping in the house. But a companion for Cassidy? That’s a gift she could use and will never, ever forget.

This GoFundMe is raising money for the purchase, training, and maintenance of a medical service dog (as well as for other chemotherapy expenses). They anticipate that the dog ($3000 or so) will require ten months of in-home training ($500 per month) and four months of intensive training outside of the home ($2500 per month). During training, and afterwards of course, the dog will be able to go with Cassidy to her chemo infusions, providing specialized comfort to help her manage the anxiety and panic attacks caused by both the tumor's infiltration of the hypothalamus, and sickness of unknown origin for the last 28 months. Outside of infusions, the dog will be trained to assist Cassidy with managing the other side effects that come from receiving chemotherapy.

Every donation will help this precious Hufflepuff achieve her goal of defeating the tumor she has so aptly named "Voldemort." Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you, for every dime!

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Organizer and beneficiary

Dominique Barritt-McBride
Orlando, FL
Shannon Stocker

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