Dear Family and Friends,
My sweet niece, Willow was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on September 8th, 2017. The day before, in preparation for Hurricane Irma, her pediatrician's office called to re-schedule Willow's 3 yr old check up. Jen was worried about Willow being pale and insisted on bringing Willow in the next day. When the pediatrician noticed a bruise on Willow's leg- she was sent to the local ER. Doctors there sent Willow by ambulance to All Children's where she was immediately admitted and a diagnosis was made. Unfortunately all of this happened while their family was preparing for Irma. Shawn and Eden (Willow's 4 yr old sister) returned home to prepare their home. On Sunday, September 10th, Willow celebrated her 3rd birthday at All Children's. The nurses' and specialists pulled off a wonderful celebration to lift the family's spirits. THANK YOU.
Willow has had 3 hospital visits since her diagnosis and initial visit. This last one was a long one - 21 days in the hospital that included 2 lumbar punctures,;1 bone marrow draw; 1 surgery; 3 anesthesias; 3 Cat Scans; 4 ultrasounds; 2 EKGs; one TE heart test; 20+ blood draws; 4 chemos;3 antibiotics; 2 antifungals; a sinus endoscopy; and what seemed like a never ending fever.
She is finally home now but her immune system is weak.
The results of her bone marrow test came back with great news -No leukemia cells found. She is in remission! But the family still has such a long road ahead. There is a lot of work keeping her in remission because of the nature of leukemia. Leukemia is a blood cancer starting in the bone marrow. Simply put, it would be impossible to test all of Willow's bone marrow and blood at once. If there is just a couple cancer cells out of billions floating around somewhere in her body, her cancer would come right back and more aggressive than before without further treatment.
They are still on the same 2 1/2 year protocol as before. She will continue to have aggressive chemo and continue the rest of the meds that she is on so that her bone marrow can keep producing more healthy cells. There will still be countless clinic visits, blood draws, spinal taps, unexpected hospital stays for any illnesses and fevers. I know that they are in the best hands at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
I am asking for your help so that Shawn and Jen can take the time they need to be by Willow's side at the hospital during this phase (along with Eden). I can only imagine how frightened/confused their children are during all of this. While I can't do much to ease their emotional struggles, I can do this in hopes to ease some of their financial ones. The money in this account will be transferred to Willow's parent's so that they can handle all of the unexpected costs that come with having to battle this terrible disease. These funds will support the family so they do not need to worry about taking time off of work, transportations costs, out of pocket medical costs, costs to make treatment more comfortable for Willow and childcare costs for Eden. For updates about her story please follow her facebook page: Willow's Fight with Leukemia
Please keep Willow and her family in your thoughts and prayers. She is a trooper and will fight this.
The Stine Family
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