My brother, Justin, and his wife Heather, have recently been dealt a difficult hand in life. They have been notified that their 3 year old daughter, Arya, has been diagnosed with stage 3 Hepatoblastoma. This is a very rare liver cancer most often identified in infants to 3 years old.
This all started with a fever that she could not shake. They visited their doctor twice before heading home to the Kenai Peninsula to celebrate Christmas with the family. They received a phone call on Saturday, December 23rd from their doctor requesting they return to Anchorage for further testing. They had visited the emergency room twice before she was admitted to Providence Children’s Hospital on Monday, December 26th. She also spent a week in Providence PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).
Arya underwent several tests to rule many things out. The doctors had a pretty good idea, but needed a biopsy to confirm, so she underwent surgery to obtain a sample. During the procedure she lost a lot of blood and had to start receiving transfusions. She has not been able to eat food orally, so they had to insert a feeding tube. They need to get her body ready for the next step, chemotherapy, but have experiencing daily setbacks.
They need to shrink the tumor before they can surgically remove the right half of her liver. Her chemotherapy started today and she is expected to receive 2 rounds prior to surgery. About a week after the surgery, provided all goes well, she is scheduled to receive another 4-6 rounds of chemotherapy and an undetermined amount of physical therapy.
In addition to this stressful situation, they are expecting their second child and Justin cannot return to work. So, this is not as simple as picking up and leaving their area for treatment. All of Heather’s doctors and both their families are located here. Justin was scheduled to return to work this week and had to put that off, obviously. So, no work equates to no money coming in. This is a good family in need of some good news and help right now.
We are reaching out on their behalf and appreciate any amount you are able to donate to assist in the overwhelming battle before them. Please keep them in your prayers and thoughts and help us spread the word.
- Dana Taiclet
- Emilie Grimes
- Timmy Smithwick
- Emilie Grimes