Hailey was diagnosed with Leukemia on November 2nd 2017. Hailey is our little songbird… nicknamed “Haileybird.” She is ten years old. In the spring of this year she had a fall on a school skating trip and, later, a weird and unexplained fall in the park. The long, drawn-out recovery brought many tests and questions. We knew it wasn’t quite right that she wasn’t bouncing back as most kids do. A bone density test revealed her bone density was much lower than normal and then a bone marrow biopsy resulted in a Leukemia diagnosis.
Hailey is a joyful child with a huge heart. When she was a toddler, she would say “thanks you” and “good welcome.” We let her keep saying thanks you for a while because who can resist the beauty of that. Hailey loves to sing and is always drawing or making crafts. Since the diagnosis she has found much comfort in singing on the way to appointments and on the way home.
It is a tough go and many days Hailey feels sad to face the treatments she must undergo. I feel very sad for what my little girl must endure. It is an unfair world to have to go through so much, so young. Hailey’s treatment will last two and a half years to ensure that the Leukemia does not come back. It is hard on the body and the spirit. This phase of her treatment involves a weekly spinal tap, up to four days a week of chemotherapy, nightly chemotherapy pills, and blood transfusions when her counts drop too low.
Just when it feels like too much, there seems to be more. The next phase will involve overnight stays at the hospital for short periods of three to four days. Because Leukemia is a tricky and abnormal cell that changes, successful treatment requires a combination of different chemotherapy drugs given at different times and in various doses and durations.
Hailey needs constant, round-the-clock, care and many visits back and forth to the hospital. This means that I have had to step back from my business of 27 years so that I can focus solely on Hailey’s care and healing. Working, while looking after Hailey and her older brother, is just not an option. Unfortunately, while Hailey’s dad is with us for every treatment, he will not be able to help us financially as he has been sick for the past year, spending time in hospital himself. Sadly, the bills keep coming in and expenses are higher than usual. Many of the hospital visits are from morning until evening and, at home, it is a day-by-day, constant worry, checking for fevers and just being there to ensure that Hailey is supported emotionally and physically.
This is the most difficult time we have faced and the intensity is almost unbearable at times. We need help to sustain our family through the treatment. If you have it in your heart to donate even a small amount… any amount, our family will benefit greatly and I will be more at ease to meet the costs of caring for Hailey in the way she needs. In the way that I want to with all my heart. I also ask that you keep Hailey in your heart and pray for her complete recovery and healing.
Hailey is a girl that takes generosity much to heart, always expressing her gratitude when she says “I can’t believe that people care about me so much” and “That’s so nice of her to do that even though she hardly knows me.” She never takes things for granted and she makes sweet little sounds when you cuddle with her. She thinks of others often, never says cruel things to other children, and feels deeply wounded when children in school are insensitive.
Recently, before Hailey’s diagnosis, I was asked who my hero was and I struggled to find what woman or man in history I would classify as my hero. Now I know. Hailey is my hero, for she has faced and continues to face her fears daily. Together, Hailey and I are facing fears and anxiety that, two months ago, we could not fathom having to face. Hailey has grown much since November 2nd. Much more than any ten-year-old should have to grow in such a short time. She is strong and sweet and continues to amaze me with her generous and bright spirit.
Please help me care for Hailey in the way that she most deserves and please know that when the sun shines a little brighter, we will pay forward our blessings by raising money for the Hospital for Sick Children and other families in need.
Much Love and Gratitude… Patricia
Thank you to each and every one of you for your generosity. We are in deep gratitude for receiving help when we need it most.
When I first put up this gofundme page I was afraid to ask for too much. It is now clear that we only have enough funds to keep us going for a couple of months at this point. We try to be frugal in our spending, however, there are many expenses. We would like to get through this year and it continues to be difficult to plan any work that will sustain us.
Although Hailey is in the last two months of intensive treatment, my understanding is that when she moves into the two-year maintenance phase the treatments will not suddenly drop off. They will gradually lessen and it will be some time before I can concentrate on making a living.
Hailey's dad, Kevin, has seen some improvement with his (Aspergillosis) lung issues, but a recent ultrasound and biopsy revealed two cancerous tumours in his thyroid. He is scheduled for a half-thyroid removal surgery on May 4th and sinus surgery in June to clear the Aspergillosis that has collected. Needless to say, life is not normal and we are praying that things will lift soon.
Hailey has responded well to treatment; however, it has been rough. As the treatments progress, they seem to be more difficult to handle. Sometimes the anti nausea medications don't work and we have had several emergency visits, two of them quite scary.
In February Hailey got a serious blood infection and had to have her port removed for risk that it too would become infected. She had a picc line inserted into her arm without general anesthesia: ( What a brave girl. Recently she had a reaction to one of the medications that prevent a lung infection and we had to quickly take her to emergency again because her oxygen levels were dropping. It has been tough for her... for all of us.
In short, I have increased the total funds we need to get us through the year. I have still kept it as modest as possible and I hope to be back on our feet and returning the favour to our community who has been so supportive.
The love, care and generosity brings tears to my eyes and I long to do for others in need. For now, it is my family, my children in need. It pains me to keep asking for help and yet it is all I can do. Please share our information so that we can widen the circle and get through this most difficult time.
With gratitude... Patricia
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