Griffin Greenwalt's Medical Fund
Griffin Greenwalt is a 3 year boy, full of life, full of spunk and full of funny comments!
On Friday, Feb 8, Griff's mom Jayden (my niece) rushed him to Anne Arundel Medical Center due to an extreme amount of pain that Griff was experiencing in his side. Scans revealed a growth on his kidney the size of an orange, and a devastating diagnosis of Wilms Tumor, which is a type of childhood cancer that starts in the kidneys. Griff was promptly rushed to Johns Hopkins via ambulance (which he thought was super cool!) and underwent a battery of scans, tests and blood work.
On Saturday, Feb 9, Griff underwent a 6 hour surgery to remove the tumor and his entire kidney. Our hopes for the tumor to be contained were dashed with the news that the tumor had burst and the cancer has spread to Griff's abdomen.
The near future for Griff, Jayden and Griff's father Tyler is going to be grueling. Griff will remain at JHU for the next week while he recovers from surgery. He will then begin a treatment plan of daily radiation and chemotherapy for the next 3+ months.
The emotional impact of this is staggering enough, but the economic impact will be an added level of unneeded stress and anxiety for Jayden and Tyler. Because Griff will be unable to return to daycare until he is healthy, someone will need to be with him around the clock and of course, transporting him to and from his radiation and chemotherapy treatments. This means that it's likely Jayden will be unable to return to her job FT, and with that loss of income and the medical costs of all that has happened in the last 48 hours and all that is to come, they will no doubt be under a huge financial burden.
Please help rally around these young parents and provide them support in any way you can – whether it be a financial donation or by simply adding them to your continual prayers. Thank you for your prayers and support!
All in all, Griffin is doing well. His energy level is still pretty high however his hemoglobin is low. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. After a while of laying on his back, it gets hard for him to breathe. We’ve been watching out for chronic bleeding, easy bruising, paleness- signs of anemia. He’s a bit pale. He’ll most likely need a transfusion today. His blood type is A positive (I am looking into how to donate blood directly to him). All other counts are ok. They’ll constantly fluctuate.
He’s had pretty bad diarrhea within the last couple of days, so he’s slightly dehydrated. His poor bum is in pain so we’ve been globbing on ointment daily. It’ll take a couple of weeks for the side effects of Radiation to wear off.
We got to Johns Hopkins this morning around 10:30am and as of 5pm, he was still taking fluids to dilute his urine. By 6:30pm, his hemoglobin was just high enough to receive his first dose of the week, which consists of three drugs (per day). The Doctor told us that kids usually do OK with these 3 drugs however, we received the “every kid is different” spiel. He’ll be taking his Zofran (around the clock) and a steroid to manage his nausea.
Despite everything, he looks forward to coming here because he loves the playrooms! Every room has such a beautiful view. We look out for helicopters during the day and play “I spy” at night before bed. He constantly flirts with the nursing staff! (He’s such a ladies man.) He’s known for wearing “thuper hero” (super hero with a lisp) socks around here. He keeps telling everyone that he’s going to be Spider Man when he grows up.
Our continued thanks and appreciation for the prayers, donations, offers of help and support, and especially all those who participated in last week's Carrabba's fundraiser! We are so grateful!
#GriffMode #TeamGriff #Wilms #WilmsKids
This morning was Griff's LAST radiation treatment! A huge hurdle completed!
He rang the bell before his treatment so he wasn't all groggy and grumpy when he woke up from the sedation. The staff dressed up in super hero capes and made a care package for him since it was his last day. Though Jayden and Tyler are so relieved that Griff has made it this far, they will miss the radiation oncology team at Johns Hopkins!! The team has been phenomenal, and has helped to make the process so much smoother for them all.
On the chemo front, this week is a doozy. Griff will be admitted on Tuesday for 4 days, leaving Saturday morning - just in time for his 4th Birthday!! He will receive 3 drugs every day for 4 days straight. This will be the toughest week yet. He is being admitted due to the extreme toll they expect the meds to have on his little body. He has been losing his hair, and has one small patch of hair left on the top of his head. The rest has fallen out. He will wake up in the morning and the bed will be covered. As Jayden shares..."It's sad, but it's just hair. It'll grow back".
Griff knows that is happening to him. He knows he's balding, but handles it well. He has some new hats and he knows other kids who are sick lose their hair as well, and is reminded of that when they walk into the clinic each week.
A HUGE shout out to everyone who has dropped off meals and restaurant gift cards - they are SO thankful for the help because the last thing they want to do is worry about cooking! From Jayden:
"We've received cards, donations, neighborly hugs whenever they see us outside, and lots of love from everyone! If we aren't at the clinic or at radiation or playing at home - we're sleeping. We're all exhausted and counting down the days to September."
Reminder there is a local fundraiser for Griffin March 6th at participating Carraba’s locations where they will give him a portion of the total check!! Huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of his journey thus far, you have no idea how much your support helps.
One week down, 29 more to go!!
Jayden, Tyler and Griffin arrived at the hospital at 7am on Wednesday morning. They were taken to Radiation Oncology where the medical staff accessed his port by sticking a small needle into his skin. Griff was so scared, but did great. It was a small comfort to them that Jayden knew the anesthesiologist, whose daughter played field hockey for Freedom, the club team that Jayden's sister Kyler coaches. Small world....
They brought him into the radiation room and he sat on Jayden's lap. They played super hero music through the speakers and distracted Griff with a cool spin light (like what you would see at Disney) and let him hold onto his two super hero action figures. They inserted his medicine into the IV line, flushed it and within seconds, his head tipped forward and he was out. Per Jayden: "It never gets easier seeming him like that, it's almost like he's lifeless."
They then took images of his abdominal and chest area to pinpoint EXACTLY where to radiate. He was sedated for 3 hours total - definitely longer than expected. The marks on his belly weren't as accurate because he lost some weight and the swelling from his incision has gone down, so they were trying to get the right imaging to determine the locations to radiate. The measurements are so precise that they were moving him around millimeter by millimeter. While sedated, they also took him to get more CT scans. Those 3 hours felt like 3 days, but they finally made it to the clinic around noon.
At that point, Griff needed 4+ hours of fluid to dilute his urine, so that it would meet certain standards before they could begin chemotherapy. Four rounds of urine tests later, they were able to start the chemo around 6pm. The actual chemo drugs took about an hour and a half total, but the medicine for the side effects took longer.
One drug is to protect his bladder and the other is to protect his heart. Everything was taken via IV since they ended up being admitted to JHU for the night. After a rough night in the hospital, being woken up on a regular basis to check vitals and change his diaper (he's fully potty trained but they have him in a diaper since he can't get to the bathroom quickly) Griff had another round of radiation (with sedation) in the morning and was discharged around 2:30pm yesterday. Griff was doing OK until about 7:30pm last night when he became super nauseous and threw up his dinner, the one meal he was allowed to eat.
At this point, they have 2 days of radiation down (14 more to go) and 1 week of Chemotherapy down, 29 more to go. C'mon September!!!