Guys, our friend and loved one needs our help!! I have known Brittany for most of my life and never imagined I'd have to set up something like this. This is the most unthinkable, unfathomable, and heart-wrenching thing I have ever had to do.
If you've met Vivian, you know she is a vivacious, spunky, full-of-life 7-year-old who brightens the room anywhere she goes. This precious girl would move mountains for those she loves and is one of the smartest, toughest little girls around. She loves with her whole heart and truly makes a difference in peoples' lives.
Last week, during vacation, the family noticed Viv looking at things a little differently. Brittany called the pediatrician last Wednesday and got an appointment for last Monday (6/6). They referred Vivi to an Ophthalmologist, which they got in to see Tuesday (6/7) in Maitland. After a few hours and some tests, he ordered an MRI of the brain. Brittany spent a few hours calling around to see who could get Vivian in quickly, and she got an appointment for the next morning. On Wednesday (6/8), Vivian went under anesthesia for an MRI of her brain and orbits, with and without contrast. Around 4 pm, Brittany got a call saying something was found and that it was urgent. She got another call moments after speaking to the Ophthalmologist for an appointment Thursday (6/9) with a Neurosurgeon!
Sadly, on 6/9, as the family was driving to the Neurosurgeon's office, Brittany got a call to switch that appointment to an Oncology doctor. There Vivian was diagnosed with a rare terminal brain cancer. This terminal cancer is known as DIPG, a type of tumor that starts in the brain stem, the part of the brain just above the back of the neck and connected to the spine. It's in the "computer" part of the brain which controls breathing, heart rate, and the nerves and muscles that help us see, hear, walk, talk, and eat. These tumors are called gliomas because they grow from glial cells, a type of supportive cell in the brain. The issue with DIPG is that most of these tumors are not classified by grade because surgery to obtain tissue by biopsy or to remove the tumor is not safe because of the location of the tumor.
** This makes it where she can't undergo any surgical procedures. **
Symptoms usually develop rapidly in the majority of patients because of the fast growth of these tumors. The most common symptoms related to DIPG include the following:
Problems with balance and walking
Problems with the eyes (including double vision, drooping eyelids, uncontrolled eye movements, blurred vision)
Problems with chewing and swallowing
Nausea and vomiting
Morning headache or headache that gets better after the child vomits
Facial weakness or drooping (usually one side)
Unfortunately, the long-term survival rate for DIPG remains very low. At this time, there is no cure for this cancer!
Brittany, Vivian, and the rest of the family were told on Thursday (6/9), less than a week after noticing symptoms and undergoing multiple doctor visits, tests, and MRI scans, that this spunky, beautiful, full-of-life little girl has less than TWO years, if that, to live!
Yesterday (6/10), Vivian was sedated for a CT scan, made her mask (Radiation therapy thermoplastic mask) for her daily use, and had another MRI scan of the brain and spine. Vivian did this MRI without sedation and sat still for over 1.5 hours. She's a true ROCKSTAR! Vivi will start radiation on June 20th, which will be Monday-Friday, for six weeks. She will be sedated each time for this as well. Let's pray she learns to remain calm and still and not continue to need sedation every time.
I ask that you please consider donating to help Vivian live her fullest life which will be cut drastically short. All donations will go directly to Brittany. These donations will help allow Brittany to stay home to ensure Vivian can LIVE the BEST life she can with what remaining time she has. This money will also go towards medical bills, gas, food, and house bills. Anything remaining will allow Vivian to travel or do ANYTHING she wants! Brittany is a teacher in the special education field and she's going to give up that in order to stay home and spend every moment with Viv, as she should! Vivian also has a 9 year old brother, Corbin, who absolutely adores her. These two kids have lost three grandparents in less than 4 years.... all due to cancer! This is just so unfair, unimaginable, and heartbreaking.
Please continue to PRAY. We believe miracles can happen, and trust me, this little spitfire will make a difference in the world if given the chance!!!!
If donating here isn't your thing, Brittany also has a PayPal and Venmo. PayPal you can send as "friends and family" with no fees. Email for PayPal is [email redacted] and her Venmo tag is @Brittany-Sleeth-3.