At only age 6, Connor was first diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. He missed out on first grade as he suffered through pain, nausea, weakness from chemotherapy, surgery to remove the main tumor, then stem cell transplant. His resilient spirit got him through it. At the tender age of 8, Connor was reliving the agony of months of chemotherapy, sickness, confinement. His remarkable spirit fought hard and again, he beat the cancer. As the next 9 years passed without incident, hope was building. It is extremely rare for a relapse to occur after that many years of being cancer free. Connor took up water polo and it became his passion. He formed many friendships through the sport and school. He was excited to start his senior year and was considering college options. Life was full of promise, as it should be at 17. Tragically, all that was ripped away in August 2017 when it was discovered the cancer had returned. Since then, Connor has been practically living at Children's Hospital of Orange County undergoing 6 rounds of chemo and 20 radiation treatments. Again, suffering through pain, nausea, sleeplessness, limited abilities. Put yourself in Connor's place and imagine the utter devastation he felt when he learned that 8 months of torment yielded little to no reduction in the size of the main tumor. Heartbreak, dejection, despair, frustration...these emotions cycle through Connor's heart and mind.
Equally devastated are Connor's parents, brother, and sister. Suzie (Mom), a 5th grade teacher, and Bill (Dad), a Human Resources Consultant, struggle to maintain a semblance of normalcy for Connor's siblings while keeping up with their jobs and still be there for Connor.
At this point, Connor and family are facing targeted chemo medication at home for 30 days. Then back and forth to San Francisco for injection(s) of a high-dose radioactive isotope that will deliver radiation directly to his tumors. After the 8-12 day treatment, he goes back to CHOC to receive stem cell (which was harvested from his body in Sept. 2017). The radiation will wipe out his immune system so it is crucial that when he comes home to recover, the house must be nearly sterile--no live plants, carpets must be removed, air purifier on at all times, in all rooms, etc.
If you are able to help or know someone who can, please consider making a donation to fill in the gaps that Bill's and Suzie's modest incomes cannot meet. Your funds will go towards:
* Radioactive isotope treatments and hospital expenses not covered by insurance
* Travel/lodging expenses for several trips to UC San Francisco-Benioff Hospital (the only facility offering MIBG/radioactive isotope treatment). Connor cannot fly commercial due to his frail condition and weak immune system. Travel must be via private/chartered flights.
* Cost to retrofit the house--replace carpet with another type of flooring; install air purifiers, etc.
* Replacement of lost income to cover normal household/living expenses (Bill and Suzie will continue to need significant time off from work)
If you're not able to make a monetary donation but can donate flooring material (not carpet), installation time/skills, air purifiers, chartered flights, or related items that can be used towards Connor's treatments and recovery, all would be deeply appreciated. There are only a few weeks before the radioactive isotope treatments begin and the house must be ready for Connor's recovery. Please share his story with everyone you know and make a donation urgently!
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