This is my niece, Freya Pederson. She lives in MN with her parents, Jessica and Brian. She will be 3-years-old in November. After several visits to different doctors in an attempt to identify Freya’s change in demeanor, her family learned that she has a brain tumor. This tumor is about the size of a large egg or a small lemon. For a child this small, that’s huge.
Some back story…
A few weeks ago, Freya began to exhibit a decreased appetite, low energy behavior, nausea and complained regularly of headaches. When her parents began to notice that her little girl wasn’t acting like the little girl they knew, they went to see doctor number one.
The town that they live in is rather remote and any doctor is about an hour away. One doctor dismissed her parent’s concerns and sent them home. Another doctor merely treated Freya’s nausea and, again, sent them home. Her parents knew there was something more going on when their 2-year-old child would get up in the morning just to go back to sleep. They knew there was something wrong when she couldn’t even finish a small meal without laying down half-way through. They persisted and went to a couple doctors before being lucky enough to encounter one who felt it was necessary to conduct a scan on Freya. Had they not followed their instincts and insisted on a more thorough examination, the tumor would not have been found.
Freya currently has tubes in her head to drain the spinal fluid that is being blocked and putting additional pressure on her brain. As I type, Freya and her family are awaiting the results of her biopsy. We are currently unsure if this tumor is benign or malignant. Whichever outcome we receive, the cost will be great. We remain optimistic that she is cancer-free. Even if the tumor is benign, she will require surgery or chemo to completely rid her brain of this growth. Surgery itself will not completely resolve the issue. The tumor appears to be formed around an artery in her brain. Even with surgery, chemo may still be necessary to remove all of the tumor.
The toll this has taken on her parents is unimaginable. Her mother, Jessica, and I have been friends for over 10 years. As we got older and found we wanted more things in life, such as families, Jessica confided in me that a family may not be in the cards for her. She was diagnosed with PCOS and has suffered for years with severe pain. Doctors told her that she would NEVER be able to have a child. If she did get pregnant, there was a 50/50 chance her baby would live. She was told that she would never be able to carry to term in the event she did manage to conceive. Yet, here we are. She’s beaten those odds. She has a beautiful, sweet 2-year-old little girl and is expecting her son to join is soon in the coming months. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine what these parents are going through and the weight of all the stress that accompanies a situation such as this. The few times I have spoken to them, they remain calm and optimistic.
As I research more and more, I am also optimistic that we will be able to celebrate many more years with this sweet little baby girl and her brother both. However, I also dread the great financial hardship they will endure. The current medical care alone won’t be all. We know that there will be years of follow-ups and and concern for long-term effects.
I decided to give this a shot to see if there is any way I can get them some help to alleviate some of their troubles. Anything is appreciated. Every little bit helps. If I am allowed, I will post an update on her condition as I become aware.
Thank you all in advance for your generosity.