On May 19th, sweet, cheerful, strong Calla, 9 years old, was taken to the Emergency Room after several days of migraines and flu-like symptoms. Initial tests revealed multiple tumors were growing in many areas of her brain and she was immediately admitted to Norton Children’s Hospital. After more tests and much waiting, Calla’s family chose to have her transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for further treatment, while her big brother Ezra, little sister Lilah and dog Judah went to stay with family in central Illinois. A biopsy of the masses in Calla’s brain revealed that the tumors were an aggressive mutation of a rare tumor type, though the exact pathology could not be specified. On the morning of June 2, Calla was very difficult to awaken, prompting a new scan that revealed further growth in all tumors and placing Calla back in the PICU. The decision was made to start chemotherapy immediately, even before a comprehensive care plan could be mapped, in hopes of reversing the growth of the aggressive cancer. Even in this state, Calla had a brief moment of wakefulness where she squeezed her parents’ hands, reached for hugs and then navigated her mom’s phone to play a special song for them (You can watch it here ) and flashed her signature heart sign before falling back to sleep. Calla’s medical team is conferring with other top neuro-oncology experts and meeting to formulate the best treatment path for her.
We, friends of the Woods family, are asking for your help to ease their financial burden. Calla’s dad, Ben, is a College Age Pastor at Northside Christian Church and was in Romania leading a group young adults in working with the Roma Gypsy population through FMN Ministries, when he learned of Calla’s condition. He immediately booked a flight back to the States to be with his family. Crystal, Calla’s mom, has a thriving cake pop business, but she is unable to continue that work as she and Ben remain with Calla day and night. Along with the medical bills and loss of income, they also face expenses of living for an indefinite period of time hours from home. Our desire is for them to be able to focus on their family. We also want to give you a way to help this precious family, as hundreds of people have already asked what they can do.
Calla has always been full of life and joy. She enjoys school, cheerleading, church, volunteering at the food pantry, and being with her friends and family. Determined to take her own trip to Romania to work with FMN Ministries, she started her own business, selling slime online to raise funds. Calla is a leader both at school and at church, and even in her current mission field at the hospital, her buoyant spirit and friendly personality shines through. She is tackling each scan, medication, examination, surgery, symptom and moment with grace and courage. She’s an amazing kid and she knows she is loved by Jesus and by so many, many others who have rallied around her.
Calla’s family have asked for prayers for healing and restoration for their daughter. You can follow along with their journey at www.facebook.com/teamwoodsupdates for specific ways to pray, praise and fight alongside Calla.
Please help with finances as you are able and pray for complete healing for Calla. #TeamWoods #prayforCalla