My name is Heather Cain and I am a close friend of Kelly’s. Her son, Trey, is a 12 year old boy that is currently in-patient at UVA and has recently been diagnosed with Burkitt's leukemia, stage IV. He is currently undergoing chemo treatments. He's had several blood transfusions and regular lumbar punctures in order to get chemo into his spine. Doctors have said this is a very aggressive cancer and is very receptive to chemo. However, he has a long road ahead of him. I have set up this page in hopes of helping ease some of the financial toll that an illness of this magnitude can place on a family. Kelly is a very private person and would never ask for help from anyone, but I know that they need all the support they can get right now, not just financially, but emotionally as well. Trey’s parents are divorced which makes the balancing act of caring for a sick child, with another son at home and the need for Kelly to remain off of work to care for him a bit tricky. I am asking everyone to help in some sort of way. If you can make a financial donation, that is wonderful, please keep in mind that no amount is too small, if you can’t then there are a couple of things that you can do; you can share this link with family and friends and of course continue to pray. P.U.S.H – pray until something happens! Let us all come together and support this amazing family! God bless you all!
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." ~ Helen Keller
I asked Kelly if she would put into her words what was going on as I feel it is important for others to hear it directly from the source, hesitant… again, private not wanting to ask for help, but she obliged my request.
“My son was a very active, healthy and typical 12 year old who was growing like a weed. So, when he complained of knee pain during basketball season, I assumed it was growing pains on top of running so hard up and down the court. After a few weeks, that pain seemed to subside and then he started complaining of mouth discomfort. I thought the teeth pain and the red dots that resembled a rash on is body were a result of his 12 year old molars trying to come in. I waited a week to see if the teeth would break through. When it became difficult for him to eat, we went to the dentist. He was diagnosed with TMJ. I bought him a mouth guard and off to Florida for spring break we went! It is a long drive from Virginia, so he spent a lot of time sleeping on the way down. While in FL, he still had trouble eating and was very tired. I assumed puberty was the cause since he was sleeping so much and his voice was changing a little bit, too. I am convinced what saved his life was baseball practice the Saturday after we got home from vacation. If he hadn't exerted himself to the point of chest pains and shortness of breath, he would have never ended up in the emergency room. I was thinking mono, but the test was negative and was told to take him to UVA hospital in Charlottesville right away! I knew then what they were going to find. I reviewed all his symptoms in my head during the hour drive and struggled between paying attention to driving and not taking my eyes off of him in the seat beside me, asleep yet again. His bones, all the pain he had been experiencing had been in his bones! It didn't take long for them to find his enlarged spleen and liver. I was told the red spots were an indication of having low platelets. When the oncologist asked me politely to take a step outside of the room with her, I knew my suspicions were right. She looked at me so calmly and told me this was childhood cancer. She said the "C" word! I went back into the room, trying to control my tears, and Trey looked at me after I told him and he said, "It's treatable," so innocently. My tears were from shock, fear, and knowing the horrible things he was going to have to endure to fight this. Through sonograms, CT scans, bone marrow tests, and spinal taps, they were able to make a diagnosis. It had progressed passed lymphoma to Burkitt's leukemia, stage IV. This is a very aggressive cancer and is usually only found once it reaches the later stages because of its rapid growth. It is a tumor that doubles in as little as 24 hours. While we were all still in shock, they admitted him and had to get him prepared to start treatment right away. I try not to think about what would have happened if he not had baseball practice and hadn't over exerted himself. What if I had just let him lounge around the house a few more days? He was diagnosed unofficially April 2, and it was officially given a name on April 3. We are into week 2 of chemo. Trey has been an absolute trooper. The treatment is very aggressive, just like the cancer, and involves regular lumbar punctures because that is the only way to get chemo into the spine. He has handled all the procedures, needles, and nausea with grace. He amazes me every day. I watch the amount of nurses and doctors working to save his life and it amazes me. I watch as he has had numerous blood transfusions and think about the people out there who are also saving his life that we will never meet, and it amazes me. The word cancer has now become part of our lives which I would have never imagined. Our lives will forever be changed, and I can only hope that this journey takes him to a place in his life where he uses this experience to help others.”
- Julie Linn Webb
- Sandra Martin
- Kathryn Shorma