Love for Layla

On August 7, 2014 The Hillis Family was shocked to learn that their beautiful 2 year old daughter, Layla, had a large tumor growing in her spine.  A week later, on August 14th, Layla endured a 7-hour surgery at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to remove the mass.  The location and size of her tumor made the surgery long and difficult.  Thankfully her surgeon was able to almost fully extract the tumor from her spine.  

Unfortunately, she experienced a complication during the final moments of surgery that resulted in weakness on the left side of her body.  In the days following surgery she experienced nerve pain and was able to move her left arm and leg very little.  Layla will be working with physical and occupational therapy teams to help her regain strength and movement.  She is making progress every day!

After an agonizing 2-week wait for the final results of the pathology reports on Layla's tumor, Lauren and Scott received the news on September 3rd that Layla's tumor was categorized as a Ependymona Anaplastic, a rare form of grade 3 cancer.   

At this point Layla's treatment plan calls for 6 weeks of daily (5 days per week) radiation therapy at Froedtert Hospital.  The type of cancer she has does not respond well to chemotherapy, but her radiation treatments will be pinpointed to the exact spot where her tumor grew.  She will be sedated for each of her treatments.  Layla will also continue with her physical and occupational therapy to help her regain her movement.

This is a journey that few of us will ever face and we can only imagine what this has been like for the Hillis Family.  They have shown tremendous courage, strength, and faith in the past month and continue to be fortified by the outpouring of love and support they are receiving from near and far. 

There are many who have asked what can be done, what's needed the most, and how they can help.  Medical bills, lost wages, and traveling costs will pile up quickly for Lauren and Scott.  Let's surround this family with love, prayers.....and some cash to lighten their burden just a little.

Thank you so much for your generosity and support.  We look forward to a day very soon when Layla is restored to full health!


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Summer Sorenson Anderson 
Racine, WI
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