Help Heal Slater from Neuroblastoma

$57,975 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 618 people in 11 months
Created March 27, 2018
28692644_1539742543868302_r.jpegWhat started out as bringing their four-year-old son, Slater, to the ER for leg pain, quickly turned into his parent's worst fear, a Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer diagnosis.  In less than 48 hours of his diagnosis, the Bushman Family was relocated to St. Jude Children's Hospital to begin immediate treatment.  Due to Slater's age and this form of cancer, he is considered high risk.  Treatment is expected to last approximately 18 months or longer.   Slater's parents had no time to prepare for such an unexpected ordeal and their primary focus is solely on the wellbeing of Slater and his six-year-old brother, Sawyer.

This GoFundMe account has been set-up to assist the family with the mounting medical costs, tutoring for both children and the loss of income since they have had to completely leave their life and relocate to another state to obtain the best care they could for their son.   No contribution is too small. If you are unable to contribute financially, please leave inspiring words and well wishes to show you're support for this beautiful family. Overall, nothing is greater than the power of prayer so please include the Bushman family in yours.

Thank you.
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January has been a really hard month for the Bushman family, not only Slater started his immunotherapy, but his maternal grandmother passed away on January 3rd. Slater has one more guardian angel to help him heal. Please say a prayer for the family.

January 18, 2019
Words by Shari (Slater's mom)

I’m so sorry for not updating sooner - my (Shari) mother’s passing has kept me offline a bit these past weeks. To briefly update, Slater has been (and is still) admitted in-patient at St. Jude. He is undergoing a form of chemotherapy called immunotherapy, which consists of antibody therapy, along with other treatments including IL-2 infused 24 hrs a day every day via IV for a couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, he has been spiking fevers, likely due to the IL-2, but they must take every precaution because as all children with the Big “C”, he is immunosuppressed, and even more so as he is still not that far from his bone marrow transplant a couple of months ago in October.

My husband (Shane) has been the most amazing dad, taking care of Slater and big brother alone in St Jude, while I was back in my hometown at my mother’s hospital bedside for her final days, and thereafter (and still!) with funeral arrangements, and tending to my dad and their home, which in itself was a mini-hospital for my mom’s ailment of PLS/ALS. I still haven’t told the boys yet about their beloved grandmother, they can’t handle any more news of her (or anyone else’s) passing..

Slater’s chemistry showed he was low on certain levels, phosphorus etc... So he had gotten a bolus to help with the deficiencies. Hopefully his fevers will subside soon, and no cultures grow indicating bacterial infection, (they just took more blood now to check again, have been doing so daily). Also, we are hoping his blood counts stop dropping, or he will be needing yet another blood transfusion. He’s had 33 blood transfusions so far, we’re hoping he won’t need another...

Thank you all for continuing along with us on Slater’s journey. He has a new guardian angel in my beloved mother to help him heal. ❤️ and of course, all the love and support and prayers of you all. Come on our sweet Slater, you can do this......!!! We won’t let you fall. We’ve got you, love. All of us. We got you. ❤️❤️❤️
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Update (December 17, 2018)

Words by Shari. (Slater's mom)
Slater began Phase III. I won’t lie, it was hard seeing him start immunotherapy treatment again: His pain was pretty high.

He had a morphine boost before immunotherapy begin, it was on a continuous morphine drip during and until about 2 hrs after it end, AND had a pain pump button he could press for immediate morphine infusion bursts. That button was pressed 8 times. His voice quivered the entire time, and his whole body was shaking.. he was coughing a lot, his breathing was labored at times, so he had two doses of albuterol treatments (we call them the “cloud medicine” so he can breathe better).

He had tachycardia so his heart rate was super elevated, at times 180 bpm resting in bed, but that seem to be his norm during antibody/immunotherapy treatment. The first day of immunotherapy is always the hardest. Yet, still, he took the antibody infusion over the minimum time of 4 hours LIKE A CHAMPION He was back to daily injections afterwards and yet with those, he does not complain. He knows he has to do them, and faces his fears. He never ceases to amaze us, he is such a miracle.

Considering everything, we feel so very blessed.
All we want for Christmas are our boys.
Never take them for granted, tomorrow is never guaranteed, as we crushingly know all too well this past week.

Thank you to my sweet friends. Love and blessings to everyone, we are so lucky to have a community as you all ❤️❤️❤️
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I apologize for not updating the news on Slater on the last 2 months, I am posting 3 updates in a row, so please bear with me.

Words from Shari (December 9, 2018)

Today marks 250 days here at St Jude, and 69 days post-transplant. Slater is still immunocompromised, as he needs to be at least 100 days out from bone marrow/stem cell transplant to better recover his immune system. 250 days... and another 240+ days to go!
He finally completed Radiation Therapy! My love.. The hardest part of radiation was that he had to go under anesthesia every single day. He hated the "sleepy medicine" so much, it gave him so much anxiety, and even vomited right before sedation from the anxiety and nervousness he had. We counted down the number of days he had to have "sleep medicine", but I forgot to factor one additional last one for one of his scans (bone marrow biopsy), and had to break the news to him that "Mommy forgot one more..." after we had already celebrated no more sleepy medicine for a while.

One of his scans did have two things/issues show up that wasn't there before in his abdomen (esophagus, down to his stomach, and intestines), likely as a result of the chemotherapy. I'm not focusing on the negative of it, but it's something we hope will heal over time and/or with medicine.

There are 6 risks of side effects with radiation therapy, but those risks would have been even more, and greater, had we gone with the conventional Photon Radiation Therapy. Instead, he was given Proton Radiation, a new revolutionary kind of radiation, and St Jude has the ONLY Proton Radiation Therapy machine specifically and only fit for children, in the country! We opted to see the Proton Radiation control room, where we saw Slater on the monitor undergoing proton radiation therapy. I'll share the information on proton vs photon in an article link from St Jude when they built the new facility, entirely by donations.

Thank you all for your love and support, and all your prayers. Slater, and all the children and families of St Jude, are in such need of your prayers and kind words, getting us through these tumultuous days.
Please, If you can, say a prayer for the families who've lost their children this week, especially our beloved Dai Dai. (He had the same disease as Slater, and he arrived at St Jude just about the same time and are on the same protocol with the same doctors. Treatment affects everyone so differently, and Dai Dai's body did not respond to the treatment) We're still crushed to the core.

Also, say a prayer for the staff, nurses, and doctors of St Jude. What they go through every day to help heal sick children with the worst of diseases.... there are no words to describe what kind of beautiful saints they all are. They could have worked anywhere but they all CHOSE to work right here, in the trenches. God bless them, and keep them in your hearts.
Love to you all, xoxoxo
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Update from Slater’s mom, Shari.
...and we are back tonight in the medicine room . Slater isn’t doing very well with radiation, days 2-4 have been harder and harder. Today is day 4 of radiation, and tonight he vomited 8 times over several hours after the treatment, so we had to bring him back in. He is in a lot of back pain and stomach pain. They are radiating his abdomen going in behind his back. Since he is being sedated daily for radiation he cannot eat 8 hours prior, and altogether is about 12 hrs a day without his feeds — and we are beginning to see him losing weight again especially since the vomiting is now out of control. We will now have to get him hooked up to fluids again, so he will be tethered with both feeding tube in his tummy and fluids in his IV. This is going to be a very hard month of treatment. On the bright side, it is the holiday season and he saw snow yesterday, and though we are missing our Thanksgiving housing dinner tonight with St Jude family friends, we are thankful we are all together no matter where we are. All the beautiful lights and decorations are making this experience as warm and cheery as possible. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Please pray our little guy gets through radiation therapy this month easier than what he is experiencing these first days
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$57,975 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 618 people in 11 months
Created March 27, 2018
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