Kyla's Fight With Leukemia
On December 8th the Yorkey family's whole life was turned upside down. Shelby brought 2 1/2 year old Kyla in to the doctor for what she thought was just a cold. Kyla had a bad cough and fever, and started to look really pale with low energy. At first the doctor thought the same thing, but at the last minute she decided to do a quick blood draw since Kyla was so pale. After the draw the doctor came back and told Shelby that Kyla's red blood count was extremely low (below blood transfusion level, which it NOT GOOD!). Because Leukemia was the first thing that came to the doctor's mind, Kyla was rushed to UC Davis Children's Hospital that night.
Once she arrived at UC Davis, Kyla received 3 blood transfusions and had bone marrow drawn to determine if she actually did have Leukemia. The tests confirmed that it was in fact "ALL" (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) and they began treatment. She underwent surgery and a port was inserted in to her chest where she now receives blood transfusions, chemo, and has blood drawn. Since then she has also undergone LP (Lumbar Puncture) procedures to test her spinal fluid and to begin chemo through her central nervous system.
Kyla just began phase 1 of her 2 1/2 year chemo treatment plan, and is currently required to stay in, or within blocks of the hospital in case of any complications. Her parents, Scott and Shelby, have had to rent a home near the hospital and Scott is communting to and from work, several hours away. Kyla is unable to have visitors because her immune system is so compromised, and she will be receiving weekly chemo treatments for the next several months. She is not permitted by her doctors to return home for the forseeable future, so this is going to be a very long road for her and her family. It is devastating to see such a bright and cheerful little girl dealing with an illness that she doesn't understand.
Though there is no way to estimate the extent of Kyla's medical expenses, as you can imagine, they are going to be immense. The average cost of childhood "ALL" treatment alone can range from $55,000-$160,000 according to the US National Library of Medicine article found here. From hospital stays, to procedures and tests, to a rental home near the hospital, this is going to be a hardship no parent can ever plan for.
Shelby and I have been friends for 20 years. Seeing her and her family going through this hardship has been incredibly difficult, and has inspired me to do whatever I can for them. Any amount of help is greatly appreciated, as our goal is to take some of the burden off of the family so they can focus their energy on helping Kyla fight this huge battle.
I will make sure to update this campaign as I receive current information from Shelby so we can all stand with Kyla and keep her #KylaStrong
Thank you from the depths of my soul. You have no idea how much your help will mean to me and to the Yorkeys!
If you would like to contact me directly regarding other ways to help, feel free to email me at the email address provided above.
At 2am this Tuesday morning we ended up in the Truckee ER as Kyla spiked a fever. Her Hemonc (Hematology and Oncology) team wanted her transported down to UC Davis Hospital by ambulance asap since her ANC count was extremely low. We have been at the UC Davis Hospital since Tuesday morning and we are just waiting for Kyla’s ANC count to rise before we can be released. Kyla is getting lots of rest as we are in isolation in this little hospital room but hopefully we will be making the drive back home tomorrow afternoon (Saturday). Fingers crossed!
We really cannot say enough how grateful we are for everyone who has provided us with support and kind words. This is our “new normal” but as strong as we try to be on a daily basis there are moments of complete weakness that sneak in. When in those little dark moments, we just think about our amazing support system and all of the people cheering Kyla on and it makes the light shine in again. Thank you everyone for all of your love and support for Kyla and for our family!
I received this update from Shelby two days ago (see below). Since then, Kyla was transported by ambulance back to UC Davis for monitoring because her heart rate and fever were elevated and were not going down. She is currently awaiting the results of some blood tests to see what plan of action they should take next.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!
Kyla just started her third chemo treatment cycle last week. If Kyla's weekly blood results look good enough each week and her immune system is strong enough, she will receive two different chemo treatments every 10 days for the 2 month cycle. We will be driving down to UC Davis for her chemo treatments and half way through her cycle she will have an LP procedure.
Even through all that Kyla's little body is handling, Scott and I have often thought wow are the doctors right!? Is our precious little girl really sick? Most days she sure doesn't act like it while she runs circles around us and tires us out like before. And then yesterday morning Kyla woke up with a little cough. And that turned into a yucky cough. And then a fever that kept climbing, rapidly. After a middle of the night ER visit, blood draw, chest and throat X-rays and other pokes we found out that Kyla has croup and pneumonia. In a matter of hours reality of her fragile state hit us hard again straight in the gut, and heart. We have been almost overly cautious since her diagnosis. We have kept Kyla away from crowds (and most people really) and we sanitize like crazy. So how did she get so sick when we were being so careful!? Seeing her in pain and fighting so hard to overcome this bump in the road makes us realize even more just how precious life really is. Since Kyla has so much fight in her we know she will pull through this and be even stronger than before. #KylaStrong!
I received an update from Shelby yesterday and I'm so excited to share that we got a little bit of good news, finally! See below!
We received great news at our clinic check up with Kyla's Hemonc doctor yesterday. The chemo treatments are working and the Leukemia cells are dying. Kyla is considered to be standard risk so everything is going as well as possible. The doctors gave us the ok to go home finally. Yay!!! We arrived home earlier today for the first time since I took Kyla to her pediatrician in Truckee 5 weeks ago. It feels so amazing to be home. I haven't seen Kyla this happy in months! And she stood up for the first time today all by herself and she is walking without help so she is very proud about that! :) We are on a week break from chemo and the steroid treatments are done so Kyla finally feels well enough to play with Kenzie and to play with her toys. It's beyond heart warming to see our little girl so happy again.
Kyla's next treatment cycle starts on Tuesday and lasts 28 days. We will head down to UC Davis Children's Hospital on Mondays for blood draws and stay over night for her early LP procedures on Tuesdays. We will also be giving her a daily oral chemo medicine at home during the next cycle which causes nausea, weakness, and tiredness. The doctor said that Kyla will probably loose a lot of weight from not wanting to eat but we hope she will stay strong enough and we will breeze through the month with no set backs.
For the next 8ish months we still have to be careful that Kyla does not get a cold or infection so we are very limited in what we can do and where we can go but we will make it fun no matter where we are! For the time being we are just loving being home. Tahoe is healing in itself!
Thank you all for your continued support! Every single donation is appreciated beyond measure. Please keep the prayers and good vibes coming, and continue to share sweet Kyla's story.
I want to give you all an update on Kyla, but first I want to thank everyone for their generosity, well wishes, and kind words. I am overwhelmed with joy seeing the support for sweet Kyla and her family. Shelby and Scott are speechless and so thankful for each and every one of you. Every donation and every share of this link helps relieve just a little more stress. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your help!
Below is an update I received from Shelby yesterday (1/11):
Tomorrow morning (1/12) Kyla goes in for her LP and Bone Marrow Aspiration procedure. The results, which we won't know for a few days, determine if Kyla is standard or high risk. We will not know how the next year will go until we get the results back but if she is standard risk then it sounds like we will be coming down every 9 days for blood draw and chemo on the 10th day. That will go on for 54 days I believe. But really just waiting on results. Hopefully we will know on Friday. Currently, we just ended first round of chemo and continuing to go into infusion room at cancer center for blood draws.
I will update you all on the results of these tests when they come in. Until then we continue to send good vibes to sweet Kyla and help her stay #KylaStrong
Scott and I have been wanting to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for a while now but we have been completely lost for words so I am sorry this is coming so late. The love and support that all of you have given is indescribable and very moving. Saying "thank you" is nowhere close to expressing how we really feel but thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! And thank you Kali and D for setting this up. You are our family and we will love you forever! Kyla is currently in the operating room here at UC Davis Children's Hospital for her LP and Bone Marrow Aspiration procedure. We will keep you updated on her progress. We are very hopeful for positive results and a healthy future!