In July 2015, 5 year old Tyler had been experiencing intermittent stomach pains and loss of appetite, but we didn't think much of it since he frequently experienced stomach pains and has never been that interested in food. The night of Saturday 8/1, he had intense stomach pains throughout the night and didn't sleep well, so we took him to the ER on Sunday morning to get checked out. After an ultrasound, he then had a CT scan that revealed a large mass in his abdomen, we were immediately transferred to Kaiser Santa Clara to meet with a pediatric oncologist. Further tests that week revealed that he had Stage IV high risk Neuroblastoma with a 7.7 x13 x 11cm tumor in his abdomen wrapped around his aorta and major vessels and 6cm tumor in his chest above his left lung and extending into lymph nodes. We immediately began treatment.
To say that our lives and our families lives changed on that first week of August is an understatement, when we were told that he had cancer and 50% long term survival rate, our world crashed and hearts broke. Everything that was the norm disappeared and we have been fighting this battle every day since. As of March 2016, he has gone through 7 rounds of chemotherapy, unexpected hospitalizations due to neutropenic fever, too many blood and platelet transfusions to count, a major surgery to remove the metastasized tumor in his chest and he has more treatments to come. We are very thankful that chemotherapy has worked and shrank the tumors and the first surgery of the chest tumor was successful, but he has been through the “easy” part of his treatment protocol. His resection (surgery) of the primary tumor in his abdomen, an intense 12hr long surgery, will be in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering. After this second surgery, he will have chemotherapy and/or stem cell transplant, external radiation, and immunotherapy, and possibly more. He will be in treatment for the entire year of 2016. Even after he is done with his treatments, there can potentially be long term side effects that are unknown; after all to fight the cancer, the chemo is poisoning his system and fighting the poison/cancer his body is creating with chemo poison.
We need all of the love, prayers and support we can get and appreciate our wide community of family, friends and strangers. It is what sustains us and has helped heal our broken hearts since the diagnosis, but Tyler is still fighting for his life every day, every step of treatment brings new and unexpected challenges. Tyler is a fraternal twin and trying to keep Alex’s life normal, along with work and frequent appointments (sometimes every day of the week or 2-3 times per week), we are all under intense emotional and financial pressures in this cancer battle. Thank you for your support and being part of our team to battle against Neuroblastoma!
For more updates, please visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tylerdecourcey or https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamtylerakataijie/
Some of you have reached out to ask us how you can help us financially and many have already generously gifted money, gift certificates or covered significant expenses for us. We truly appreciate these inquiries but until now have not really had a concrete need. Tyler's second surgery and our second undetermined duration of stay in NYC mark a critical challenge that we are about face and the realization that we are only half way through treatment. This upcoming trip will have again significant out of pocket expenses that are not covered by insurance. After surgery, Tyler still has many more months of treatments and Sylvia's family leave is being supplemented only by her very generous coworkers that have donated their vacation time to her. We are looking to raise $25,000 to help offset NYC costs, medical expenses, and loss of wages for 2016.
If you would like to give, please use our "GoFundMe" site here: https://www.gofundme.com/teamtylerakataijie , or you can reach out directly to Dave Selinger (Use the "Contact us" in the GoFundMe) with a check to avoid the 8% fees. Please do NOT feel any pressure to provide financial assistance as we appreciate and can use any and all forms of support. Another way of supporting our family is taking part of our tshirt fundraiser, you can purchase a shirt here: https://www.booster.com/teamtylerakataijie
Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. Thank you for the postcards and gifts that make Tyler and Alex feel special. We feel your prayers, love, and support with us daily in this crucial battle against Tyler’s Neuroblastoma.
Thank you to the Tylerstrong army around the world,
-Mike, Sylvia, Tyler, and Alex DeCourcey
Thank you to those who have already generous gifted us money, gift certificates and covered major expenses: Shelia Chao, Carolyn Wu, Maria and Rob Rojanasathit, Nam and Mike Khaw, UCSF Office of Medical Education, richrelevance, Robert Farina, Christy Boscardin, Helen Lee, Suzette and David Shoulders, Grace Lo, Sylvia Lo, Paula Lo, Sarah Gobuty, Allison and Peter Yen, Jane Analla, Bryan and Molly Analla, Doug and Rachelle Analla, Gordon and Jenny Analla, Jim DeCourcey, Carolyn Wheatley, Tina and Creighton Pang, Stan and Susan Yu, Mel Nakapa'ahu, Mary and John Montalbano, Natalie Montalbano and Bert Arnold, Carolyn and Bill Kohn, Carol Chang, Ed and Celestia Ho, Christina and Randy Fish, the DeGroot family, Julie Moniz, Christine Lee and Todd Pray, Aswan Morgan, David and Cynthia Selinger, Oscar and Tessie Wu, Maureen Fish, Yanhia and Jeff Margolis.
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