I am setting up this campaign to support my best friend Briana and her family Thomas, Liliana, and Naomi. A month and a half ago Briana and her husband were racing one of their 9 month old twin daughters, Naomi, to the hospital after her mother noticed nystagmus in her eyes, and some startling changes in her behavior. After a struggle to get a hold of a neurosurgeon to prescribe an MRI and determine the ultimate cause, they were given the devastating news that their beautiful baby girl had a brain tumor the size of a robin’s egg in the middle of her brain where some of the most important structures are. It was wrapped around the main blood vessels in her brain, putting pressure on her optic nerves, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and spine.
They were immediately flown from the hospital in Las Vegas to UCLA Children’s Hospital for surgery the following day. Due the complicated nature of the surgery and Naomi’s age, the doctors were only able to take about half of the tumor out. Naomi recovered from surgery quickly, considering the circumstances, and returned home within a week to her grateful twin, Liliana. A few weeks later, however, the biopsy results and genetic testing determined that the tumor was cancerous.
Naomi has a progenitor (stem) cell tumor known as an optic glioma that will potentially require multiple rounds of chemotherapy due to size, other surgeries in the future depending on the effectiveness of the chemo, any side effects, or brain swelling (they might need to put a shunt in to alleviate fluid pressure), and ultimately radiation. Doctors have informed the Miskey family that this will be a chronic disease that she will in all liklihood be fighting and maintaining for the rest of her life.
Only two days ago, Naomi had a permanent port placed in her chest to make chemo administration and blood draws easier for her. Chemotherapy is set to start next week with a weekly regimen including antibiotics to help her fight the immunodeficient effects of chemo. In addition, she will have an MRI every three months to monitor the tumor. She will have to be put to sleep during these visits. The tumor is still growing. Although there are nasty side effects to chemo such as potential hearing loss, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, anemia etc. it is necessary to start right away and is Naomi's best hope for now due to her extremely young age.
This week more bad news arrived, when the doctors discovered that the tumor is now harming Naomi’s optical nerves. She is losing peripheral vision in her left eye, which is irreversible and could spread to complete blindness if the tumor does not recede. Naomi is a spunky, vibrant, happy, loving, and beautiful baby girl who does not deserve the cancer card she has been dealt. She has extremely loving parents and a twin sister, who need her.
The Miskey family needs our help. Countless copays, hospital fees, specialists visits, extensive procedures, testing, and chemo, drives, flights, hotel fees, care for Liliana during her sister’s treatments, and the regular costs of two growing babies have added immense stress to an already stressful situation. Briana and Thomas are not the kind of people who ask for help. They are strong and driven people who have always earned their successes through hard work and dedication. But cancer is a beast that cannot be defeated by sure will power. They need support from anyone and everyone who is willing to help save their baby girl’s life and ensure that she can live as normally as possible through this long battle. It takes a village to raise twins, and they need a village to support them through this trying time now more than ever.
As I write this, Naomi and Liliana are preparing to celebrate their 1st birthday. I can think of no better gift than the support of people around them. As Naomi’s needs intensify, it would be a tremendous blessing to relieve some of this financial burden from the Miskeys so that they can celebrate the life of their children. It would help them not only provide Naomi with all the love and healing she desperately needs, but her sister Liliana as well. If you are willing and able to donate please use this account to contribute whatever possible. If not, please keep Naomi and her family in your prayers and share this campaign with as many people as you can so that we can all rally to fight for Naomi! Briana, Thomas, or I will try our best to keep you posted as things progress. Thank you for all your love, prayers, and support!
- Justin Patterson
- Carol Steffan
- Uncle John & Aunt Cathy Patterson
- Kevin Abreu
Las Vegas, NV