Fighting cancer, like a girl!

Scroll down to see Katies' video!

Meet Katelyn Pauline Murray.

Katie is strong, happy and filled with joy, unfortunately she is also filled with cancer. At the age of two she went from being a super active and outgoing child, to being easily tired and very quiet. While her joy never went away, her life was quickly submerging in pain. She was unable to raise her head off of her chest, was constantly stumbling, and she just wanted to spend all of her time snuggling with mommy.

Our doctor in Louisiana dismissed her symptoms and tried to treat her with only painkillers. On arrival in Texas our new pediatrician immediately did a series of tests because he knew something was not right.

We were sent to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas where they informed us that she had a massive spinal astrocytoma, (cancer). The tumor ran nearly the length of her back, compressing the spinal cord inside the vertebra. It was one of the biggest spinal tumors they had ever seen, the fact that it had grown so far in this tiny girl was unheard of, new studies are being written about her experience.

Immediately everything in our lives changed, we had already moved to Texas for a new job, a new home in a new state, and we were watching over our baby in a hospital 2 hours away.

To put it bluntly, it was a shock. I can honestly say that it was the worst night of my life.

We closed on our new home in Wichita Falls, and immediately left to take our baby in for spinal surgery.

Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next. Members of our LDS ward and community came out to complete the projects that needed to be done on our new home (new to us, but it had been built over 50 years ago, so it needed a coat of paint or two). We received an outpouring of love, support, and prayers from friends, family, and community, for which we will be forever grateful.

Katie’s surgery was a success, most of the tumor was removed, but her legs were briefly paralyzed. She has had to relearn how to walk, but again we have been greatly blessed, through therapy and her own motivation she is back on her feet using a tiny walker and foot braces to get around.

They were unable to remove the entire tumor from her spine, so she is facing 15 months of Chemotherapy. She is beginning to lose her hair but she hasn’t lost her joy. The first thing she said when she woke up from surgery was “My back doesn’t hurt anymore!”

We are not poor, but we are not by any means wealthy either and the medical expenses are beginning to pile up. What started as a trickle that we thought we could manage is starting to overwhelm us.

We need your help, if you can give, anything is appreciated. Daddy works for the Air Force and is enrolled in the civilian leave donation program, contact us if you can donate leave. Thank you for reading our story, we are also accepting prayers and good thoughts.

If you see us around Wichita Falls say hello, Katie can always use a smile.

Thank you!

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Joseph Murray 
Wichita Falls, TX
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