Many of you have been following along with Eliza's health journey on CaringBridge, but I will give a quick recap here:
Jeanne and Erik have been meeting with their pediatrician for going on 2 months to understand why Eliza was not gaining weight. They were exploring lots of possibilities -- reflux, swallowing issues, etc. Finally, the week of Thanksgiving, their pediatrician asked that they go check into Children's Mercy for observation and to get some answers more quickly than she could yield on an outpatient basis.
And boy was it quick.
Within 12 hours of getting to Children's Mercy, the doctors had found a mass in Eliza's kidney. After much testing, CT scans and thorough examination, the doctors inferred that the mass was likely cancerous and Eliza's right kidney needed to be removed.
Eliza had her right kidney removed the week after Thanksgiving (December 3) and her recovery has been AMAZING! Babies are so resilient! Although we knew the surgery was successful, the waiting game began for the pathology on the tumor. We all hoped and prayed that the surgery would be curative and Eliza could skip chemotherapy; unfortunately, that is not the case. Eliza will begin chemotherapy tomorrow, Friday, December 18, and she will receive weekly treatments for 19 weeks.
So here comes the tricky business. Jeanne and Erik both work full time and have good health insurance - thankfully! Unfortunately, Jeanne has exhausted her FMLA for the year (she returned back from maternity leave in October) and she has very few options with work other than leave without pay. Additionally, the Hanseys are going to be maxing out Eliza's deductible, as well as their out of pocket max, in December... only to turn around to likely max it out quickly in 2021 due to the cost of the chemotherapy treatment.
Jeanne and Erik have been hesitant to ask for help in this way and so many of you have offered. Any money that is raised here will help them focus on Eliza's healing without worrying about smaller paychecks and piling up medical bills. They have started a separate bank account specifically for medical bills, using donations that they have received; these dollars will be deposited there.
Thanks to each of you who have already brought a meal, sent a gift card, offered your prayers and just sent general love their way. They feel it all. We are all ready for this next chapter; Jeanne, Erik and Eliza are stronger because of the beautiful village that they are a part of.
With all my love and warm wishes,
- Jean Burns
Organizer and beneficiary
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