A note from Pete and Charlotte-
In May 2017, our 9 year old son, Vail was diagnosed with a brain tumor which caused pressure to build in his brain. After undergoing a procedure to relieve the pressure- we were optimistic that the tumor was benign and slow growing. However, in mid-July 2017, a follow up MRI revealed the tumor has doubled in size. We were referred to Seattle Children’s Hospital for specialized care with their pediatric brain tumor team.
A needle biopsy was completed at the end of July 2017 at Seattle Children’s Hospital and we learned the tumor was a malignant germinoma in the third ventricle of his brain. Vail will need chemotherapy for the next three months under the care of the team at Seattle Children’s Hospital. After successful chemotherapy, Vail will receive proton beam radiation for a month in order to completely reduce and treat the tumor in December 2017.
We are very optimistic about his prognosis and the care we have received. Our insurance should cover most of the medical treatments in Seattle. However, Vail and Charlotte will live in Seattle to complete the treatments. We are on the waiting list for the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, which is not covered by insurance for the treatment period. Fortunately, the Ronald McDonald House provides meals during the week for the patients and families on site. Families are responsible for meals on weekends.
As tough as it will be- Pete and Selah will be heading back to Alaska soon, to get back to work and school. Pete/Selah and Katie hope to travel back down to Seattle a few times to support Vail through his treatments.
We appreciate all the messages of love, prayers and support from so many of you. Many of you have asked how you can help us. We greatly appreciate any financial help with the following:
Housing costs- $5,500 (including hotel while waiting to get into Ronald McDonald House + Ronald McDonald House)
Travel costs + Unexpected Expenses--$5,000 (Pete and/or Katie hopes to fly back once per month to assist Charlotte with Vail’s care) We anticipate there will be other care related costs which will come up.
Food costs- $2,000 (The Ronald McDonald House provides meals Monday-Thursday only)
Total costs- $10,700
This is a fight for Vail’s life. Cancer is an expensive disease. Any assistance you can give us will help us support Vail through this challenging trial. He has been a beacon of positivity, thoughtfulness and hope for our family during the last few months. Please help us carry him through what we anticipate could be the most difficult and scary time of his life. Your help will help Vail win.
Any questions are welcome. We will post updates on Vail’s progress as often as possible.
Please pass on our message and share and share again!
- Heather Floyd Ben Hanson
- Kiernan Escott
- Walpole (NH) Fire Department
- Nikiski Firefighters Association
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