Mai's Cancer Support and Treatment

$4,950 of $10k goal

Raised by 69 people in 29 months
Christina Bird-walker  COLUMBIA, MD
After over 2 years of watching, ultrasounds, and biopsies of a lump in my daughter's thyroid, the mass suddenly doubled in size and required surgical intervention. The pathology report from a partial thyroidectomy revealed the mass to be follicular carcinoma.  Cancer.
     She's 17,  at the beginning of her senior year at Oakland Mills High School. She has started filling out college applications and applications to study abroad programs such as YES and CBYX,  gap year programs where she would be doing another year of high school abroad before starting college.
     After college, she plans to teach English as a second language, preferably overseas. Her passions include teaching (which she currently does by teaching swim lessons, swimming being another of her passions, to children as well as adults,) travel, photography, and music. She began learning piano when she started to read, then transitioned to violin , which she has palyed contiuniously since 3rd grade and has been a member of the upper orchestra in high school for 2 years. Her innate photoraphic talent has lead her to be currently enrolled in Photography II AP.
     Her current insurance coverage runs out October 31st. We will then have to meet the deductible for the new insurace, after which it will only cover up to 80% of medical bills. There will be lots of medical bills.
We were already struggling to make ends meet, and the medical situation makes it virtually impossible for me to work enough to keep us afloat.
     Any help that you could provide would ease financial burden, as well as the emotional toll on me, my husband, our lovely daughter Mai, and her two younger brothers so that we can focus our energies on helping her heal.
     She has a warm heart and a good head on her shoulders. A truly beautiful soul. Her positive outlook continues to shine despite the pokes, prods, needles, and cuts. She is honestly the kind of person who has a positive impact on the world.
     Thank you.
 
 
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Update 5
Posted by Christina Bird-Walker
28 months ago
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The last line of surgical adhesive came off some time during the night while Mai was sleeping. Appointment with the surgeon went well today. The incision looks great considering it was opened twice. He said they sometimes get angry looking when that's done, but her's is still smiling. She can start resuming normal activities and gets to return to school after the Thanksgiving break (at least until it's time for radiation.)
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Update 4
Posted by Christina Bird-Walker
28 months ago
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The Endocrinologist's office went over the protocols with us today for the radiation treatment. They have to order the Thyrogen (ouch, expensive stuff!,) then we'll start the low-iodine diet once it comes in. The foods to avoid will be a bit challenging, but I have time to do a bit more research. She's not happy that chocolate is on the list. We can go ahead with a "normal" Thanksgiving since it's not likely to arrive before then. After 2 weeks on the diet, she'll get the thyroid stimulating hormone injected for two consecutive days followed by the radioactive iodine treatment on the third day. After a few days of isolation, she can start to resume normal activity. She will have to carry some documentation for a bit in case homeland security detectors are set off.
The tutoring starts this week. I hope they can get her caught up quickly. She's anxious to get back to school and her friends. She needs her people. The surgeon has the final say on when that will be. We meet with him tomorrow.
The incision appears to be healing quite well. Since they were able to easily re-open the first cut, she will have only one scar instead of two. Where the surgical adhesive is starting to wear off, it appears to resemble merely a heavy scratch. In time, it is likely to virtually disappear since it lies in alignment with the natural crease of her neck. Yes, we are thankful she has such a skilled surgeon!
Thanks so much to everyone for all the love and support! Keep sending that positive energy her way!!
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Update 3
Posted by Christina Bird-Walker
29 months ago
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They ended up keeping her longer than anticipated due to problems with the blood calcium levels. But, we finally have her home now. Radiation will be necessary, timing and process to be determined. We are exhausted from "sleeping" at the hospital for 2 nights. The surgeon will determine when she can return to school at our follow-up on November 12th. Many thanks and love to all of you!
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Update 2
Posted by Christina Bird-Walker
29 months ago
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There are signs all over in the hospital requesting that if you have recently traveled out of the country and/or come in contact with someone who has and is ill and show any of the symptoms on the list to let someone know right away. We also had to complete a questionnaire and turn it in when we checked in for admitting. We told them, "Nope. No ebola here, just cancer."
'Absolutely no complications during or after the surgery. They are admitting her overnight so they can continually check her calcium levels. The parathyroid glands, which control calcium in the body, reside right next to the thyroid and are sensitive little buggers, so they need to watch carefully to determine if she'll need to take calcium. They gave her a nice quiet room in the corner with a wooded view. I will stay there with her tonight and she should be able to come home tomorrow.
Her spirits and outlook remain positive and the surgeries have had no negative impact on her sense of humor. She sends everyone her love
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$4,950 of $10k goal

Raised by 69 people in 29 months
Created October 23, 2014
Christina Bird-walker  
$50
Anonymous
24 months ago
PF
$100
Parsons Family
25 months ago
$100
Anonymous
26 months ago
RC
$50
Richard Chaney
26 months ago
$250
Anonymous
27 months ago
GF
$30
Gail and John Fine
27 months ago
SL
$80
Stephen Lay
27 months ago
EP
$200
Emily, Renee, Jim, Andrew Paterson
27 months ago
LP
$200
Leah Pekofsky
28 months ago
$500
Anonymous
28 months ago
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