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Jeayda's Brain Tumor

$8,890 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 149 people in 15 months
Created October 30, 2017
Jeayda is a beautiful vivacious 6 year old . She loves coloring, dance class and singing. She also likes quiet time. Like any six year old she is very opinioniated. She knows bible versus, sings about the lord, loves hugs and kisses and jokes. 

Jeayda also loves spending time with her family. She is Jennifer's only daugther and the first female grandchild on her mom's side holding a special place.

On Jeayda's 6th birthday(October 25th, 2017), when her only thought should have been of starting first grade and enjoying her birthday, Jeayda was dignosed with a brain tumor(Craniopharymigioma).

So how did this happen? Jeayda is actually my friend Jennifer's daughter.  They are from my hometown the island of ST. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. After Hurricane's Irma and Maria hit the island Jeayda fell sick.

Jeayda already had asthma but this was worse. She had been taken to a pediatrican because she was having headaches, backaches, stomach pains and vomiting. The Roy Lester Schneider Hospital had been demolished by the hurricanes and Jennifer was told she needed to take Jeayda to the states as there were no facilites to treat her.

Jennifer and Jeayda's dad Kimo packed Jeayda up and on October 18th and took her to Miami where the doctor visits started. They started at the nuerologist and the pediatrician offices on the same day. The nuerologist was not sure what was wrong, planned to do an MRI and referred them over to an opthamologist.

Jennifer, Jeayda and Kimo

This is when the bad news started. They found Jeayda could only see blurred images a few inches in her right eye. They said she had a papilledema which is basically the swelling of the optic nerve. They were not sure what was causing it and said Jeayda needed to get an MRI. I had texted Jennifer right after this to ask her something and she told me she was in Miami and taking Jeayda to doctors and she had to take Jeayda for an MRI and she would let me know what happened. I didn't know how serious it was but knew that at even an hour away I was the closest thing to family she had around as her sister was much further away. So I waited.

On Ocotober 25th, Jeayda's 6th birthday, she had her MRI and was admitted into the hospital with a brain tumor(Craniopharymigioma). That night I got a message from Jennifer telling me they found a brain tumor and Jeayda had been admitted to the hospital. What do you say to a mother that just found out her 6 year old has a brain tumor. What can I do for you was all I could think of and her response of course was nothing.

Jeayda in her hospital bed

Over the next few days I visited and the doctors went over treatment options.  In todays world this may seem like a pretty straight foward procedure through the nose to the brain and attack the tumor but Jeayda had not yet formed the openings to the brain allowing this. The next step would be "Do we cut into the brain of a 6 year old ?" They looked at the scans of the tumor and saw that it was attached to the pituitary gland. They realized that there were to many possible side effects especially when besides her symptoms and her eye she was healthy and growing.

As they decided on treatment Jennifer and I talked about insurance. Did she have it yes? Was it going to cover everthing no. Miami is out of network and the hospital in St. Thomas was destroyed so no matter where the surgery was it was going to be out of network which meant a large unavoidable out of pocket cost.

Jennifer and Kimo went from loosing their home to the hurricanes, to finding out their only daughter had a brain tumor at 6, to needing to cover the out of network insurance cost and then plan for flying back and forth to the states for follow-ups because ST. Thomas doesn't have the facilities.

Whoever said when it rains it pours was telling the truth.

I mentioned the GoFund me to Jennifer but she initially said no. She did not want to share Jeayda's story with the world. Some famiy members spoke to her and she relented after a few days. We still did not know what the doctors were deciding.

On Sunday October 29th the doctors showed up with a plan. The would insert a permanent cathether into Jeayda's head in order to relieve the pressure and hopefully stop her symptom's. It would take a few months to see if she got her vision back and she would need to go through 6 weeks of proton radiation to shrink the tumor. Surgery would be the next morning.

Jeayda waiting to be taken to surgery on 10/30/2017

After the proton radiation treatment is completed Jeayda will spend the next 10 years being rescanned to insure the tumor was not growing back. This means on top of the cost already being incurred there will be continual travel cost and out of network insurance cost and that is hoping it does not grow back and need additonal treatments. The doctors actually recommended moving to Florida for continual treatment.

What am I hoping to do with this GoFund Me page. I am hoping to provide some financial relief for Jennifer.

The money will go towards:
-Out of pocket insurance cost
-Proceedures not covered by insurance
-Follow up treatments
-Travel cost associated with Jeayda's treatment
-If there is additonal money, to help financially cover monthly bills and day to day cost while Jennifer is not working and taking care of Jeayda.

The Money will go directly to Jeayda's mom Jennifer (Gardner) Smith.  

If you prefer paypal: http://paypal.me/TeamJeayda

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Jeayda is doing good! He tumor has begun to shrink! We are currently doing tests to figure out where her rapid weight gain and other issue is coming from. Thank You for your continuous support!
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We have another MRI and Eye exam coming up. Her vision isn’t improving and they don’t sound like they expect it too :( He last MRI showed extra fluid and growth. They had to do a fluid pull. She is being monitored closely praying for a positive change on the next check. If the tumor and cysts don’t start decreasing and dying off over a period of time there is a possible discussion of having another surgery. So far she is doing good at home. She has random body pains and headaches and I try to give her something to ease the pain and have her rest. Like always thank you for your support!
#TeamJeayda
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They gave Jeayda a month off to see how the treatment has worked. She has had several appointments in between. So far for the month she has had small headaches, a few odd pains, some hair loss and very tired but she has remained strong. Tomorrow she has an MRI to see how the tumor and everything else looks. Cross our fingers for positivity!!
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Jeayda has complete proton beam therapy and is onto the next step
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$8,890 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 149 people in 15 months
Created October 30, 2017
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