Makayla's Battle with Cancer

$90,188 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1,068 people in 11 months

On February 23rd, Diana and Jonathan took Makayla to the doctor’s office after she spent the night throwing up. While they were there, they had a bump looked at from a fall she had earlier in the year. The doctors took an initial scan and discovered it was a tumor, the size of a baseball. A biopsy was performed the next morning.

After a week of tests, Makayla was diagnosed with high-risk, Stage IV Neuroblastoma. It’s devastating news that no parents want to hear, especially in their 16-month-old daughter. It came as a shock since Makayla has never shown any signs of discomfort or pain; she's been a happy child playing, laughing and growing.

Unfortunately, additional tumors were found in her cheek, kidney, spinal cord, and it has spread to 80% of her bone marrow.

Due to the size of the tumor which started near her kidney, she had a nephrostomy put in to drain the urine since it was pressing up against her kidney.  A port has been inserted into her chest as well so that she can receive her chemotherapy treatments. Makayla has already received her first round of chemo and the doctors are hoping chemotherapy will shrink the tumors so that no major surgery is needed.

After two weeks at the hospital, Makayla was finally able to go home and see her big brother Jayden. Both Diana and Jonathan are taking periods of unpaid leave for the foreseeable future to take care of their family.

Makayla will have to undergo at least 18 months of chemo and spend more overnights at the hospital. The family has a long road ahead of them and we’re hoping the funds will help alleviate some of the expenses that come with caring for a child with cancer.

Please keep Makayla, Diana, Jonathan, and Jayden in your thoughts.








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It's been one year since Makayla was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer and our lives changed forever.
For awhile her treatment was working and we thought she was cancer free. We started thinking about her finishing up her treatment and being able to lead a normal life again. Unfortunately, what we feared the most has happened, Makayla's cancer has returned. The MIBG scan picked up active cancer cells in the primary spot near her kidney. It has been a hard week for all of us. We went to the Children's hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to get a second opinion on her next steps. They decided that the MIBG radiation therapy would be the best for her. She will be starting the treatment next week. We have entered her into a study and she was selected to do the therapy with chemotherapy. The chemo is supposed to make the radiation stronger. During her time in the therapy she will be infused with radiation for two hours. She will also be taking a oral chemo for about 15 days. While she is doing the MIBG radiation we can not be close to her and she will be in a lead shield. Only one person is allowed in with her at a time. This will be hard because Makayla is used to being close to us. This might even be more difficult for her than the radiation therapy. They will give her a variation of drugs to keep her calm and loopy. She will be in there for a few days because we have to wait for the radiation to leave her body. When she is at a safe level of radiation she will be discharged. From there we will wait for 6-7 weeks until she is scanned again to see the results. We are praying that this therapy will destroy the tumor completely.

Please pray for Makayla. She has been so strong through it all and we pray that she will continue to be strong and keeps bouncing back and smiling. We thank you all for your continued support.
Makayla in the (CHOP) playroom
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As all of you know, 2017 was a year of heartbreak, fear and sadness. However, the year ended with so much happiness with her being in remission and her brother being born. Makayla has been through so much this past year and its not over yet. Her month long stay in the hospital for the bone marrow transplant was not an easy time for her or the family. The separation was hard as well as seeing Makayla in so much pain. She developed sores in her mouth and down her throat which resulted in her getting a feeding tube through her nose. This caused her to vomit several times a day as well as all the mucus she developed because it hurt for her to swallow. The only positive about the feeding tube was that we were able to put her medication through it, but that also caused her pain as they pushed them through. She was in the hospital and missed her brother's first Thanksgiving. She was such a trooper though. During her bone marrow transplant she was given intense chemotherapy to wipe out her bone marrow to ensure that they were able to kill all of the cancer in her bones. She was then given back her own bone marrow and from there it was a waiting game of when her body was going to accept the bone marrow back. The hospital was so kind and got her a kitchen set, baby doll and other toys to keep her busy since she was not allowed to leave the room in fear that she be surrounded by outside germs. Anyone who entered the room had to wear a mask and gloves and everything had to be wiped down because she had no bone marrow which meant her body would not be able to fight anything. After 3.5 weeks of being in the hospital her body started to respond to her bone marrow and she slowly starting becoming herself again. When she returned home, she surprised her brother at school and they were so happy to see each other. We were all happy to have our family back together again. The morning after she got home, she smiled and said, "I'm home."

Makayla is currently going through her 12 cycles of radiation. They are radiating the primary spot by her kidney as well as her cheek and head because the tumors are still there eventhough they are MIBG negative (cancer free). They are worried there may be some possible cancer cells lingering that they cannot see. This of course comes with many side effects such as the bones will stop/or slowly grow. The radiation is causing a lot of nausea (vomiting) and headaches. She started radiation the day after Christmas and is planning to be done soon! Every radiation comes with her being put to sleep which means that she has to stop eating and drinking at a certain time. This has been a little challenging since she wakes up to drink water in the middle of the night. She also has to wake up every morning at 6 am because she is the first one of the day and it has been extremely cold. She gets ready with no complaints and waves bye as she leaves. We are counting the days till she is done.

The next step is antibodies again. She has 6 cycles that are supposed to start after radiation. This is going to require stays in the hospital again. This is the longest she has been home since her diagnoses and she is so happy. She is going to have a complete scan and bone marrow aspiration done next week to see her progress. We are praying for good news.

Her journey is still continuing and we appreciate all the continued support as we go through this. Again, no words can describe how grateful we are for all of you. Just your prayers alone mean so much to us. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers as her scans and several tests are coming up. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Christmas eve with her brothers
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Makayla received her results from the latest MIBG scan.  She is now in remission.  We are so happy about the results.  Makayla will be having one more round of antibodies and chemo this coming Monday and will be in the hospital for the week.  After that, we are waiting to be scheduled for her bone marrow transplant where she will be in the hospital for about 1 month.  Then she will be doing radiation and antibodies again to help her stay in remission. We are so thankful for everyone's support in helping her reach this point and through her continuing treatment.
Pumpkin picking
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Happy Birthday to our brave Makayla!!! You have been through so much this year with your chemo, surgery, countless sedations for the minor procedures, multiple meds 3x per day, blood and platelet transfusions, shots after each chemo cycle, 2x per week checkups, weeks in the hospital, trips to the ER, waking up at 5:30am everyday for oral chemo during the antibodies, and having your morphined upped due to the pain and fevers during the antibodies. We are amazed by how well you are handling everything and still manage to keep smiling.

On September 17, the day before her week long chemo and antibodies treatment she welcomed her baby brother Tyler. She got to see him for a few hours at the hospital. Now we are waiting for her to get her MIBG scan later this week. Unfortunately, since she will be radioactive she won't be able to stay at home with her brothers. We love you baby girl, keep fighting.
Happy 2nd birthday Makayla!
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Read a Previous Update
Lori Roberts Wansor
11 months ago
3
3

A family friend, 16 at the time had a very very rare form of cancer. He had chemo for two years. He is now 21, in remission and healthy. Please take this story as proof that it can and will work out. Prayers help. Treatment helps. She can beat it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

+ Read More
Jasmine Kuan
9 months ago
1
1

I am rooting for you Makayla! Jan family, i am sending you love and positive vibes into the universe. My prayers are with you.

+ Read More
Sydney Salvador
10 months ago
1
1

I couldn't even finish reading this I started crying.

+ Read More
Joe Mendoza
11 months ago

Best of luck Makayla! I wish you the best.. =)

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Elizabeth OuYang
8 days ago

Hang in there. Makayla's story has made me stronger (I am in my fifties). Her brave and continuing struggle reminds me not to bicker about small potatoes, the picture is much bigger. Makayla's family, please take good care of yourself so you can be there for Makayla. I am praying really hard for her. Makayla and her family are fighters.

+ Read More
Joe Mendoza
4 months ago

Happy Birthday Makayla!! Stay strong! =)

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Helene D'Alessandro
5 months ago

My prayers and thoughts are with you!

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Lisa Manting
6 months ago

You have a strong kid there. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

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Meryl Gellerman Ingino
6 months ago

Our prayers are with Makayla and the family !!!! Glad to hear surgery went well!! God Bless beautiful Makayla

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Ronnie Goldstein Caccio
6 months ago

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I'm sure will make a speedy recovery

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Melissa Mhuan Lai
6 months ago

To Jonanthan and Diana, I wish the best for ur little princess. For such a young age, she has to go through so much...my heart are with you. Sending u lots of luck and love ur way. Speedy recovery for little brave girl, hope she will go home soon..,will continue praying for her.

+ Read More
Lisa Manting
6 months ago

Sending healing thoughts your way. Glad to hear the surgery was a success.

+ Read More
Vivian Tong
7 months ago

She still has a big beautiful smile on... strong girl! Sending my love and support ♥

+ Read More
YK
Yoonji Kim
9 months ago

Thank you for the updates on our dear Makayla!

+ Read More
Joe Blosser
9 months ago

Jonathan Jan, please add me on Facebook, I would like to discuss something with you in regards to your campaign etc.

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Peggy Buetow
10 months ago

Has your doctor suggested using the new baby's cord blood as part of Makayla's treatment? I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

+ Read More
Meryl Gellerman Ingino
11 months ago

Please know we are praying for a miracle for Makayla !!!!!!

+ Read More

$90,188 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1,068 people in 11 months
Created March 13, 2017
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Lori Roberts Wansor
11 months ago
3
3

A family friend, 16 at the time had a very very rare form of cancer. He had chemo for two years. He is now 21, in remission and healthy. Please take this story as proof that it can and will work out. Prayers help. Treatment helps. She can beat it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

+ Read More
Jasmine Kuan
9 months ago
1
1

I am rooting for you Makayla! Jan family, i am sending you love and positive vibes into the universe. My prayers are with you.

+ Read More
Sydney Salvador
10 months ago
1
1

I couldn't even finish reading this I started crying.

+ Read More
Joe Mendoza
11 months ago

Best of luck Makayla! I wish you the best.. =)

+ Read More
Elizabeth OuYang
8 days ago

Hang in there. Makayla's story has made me stronger (I am in my fifties). Her brave and continuing struggle reminds me not to bicker about small potatoes, the picture is much bigger. Makayla's family, please take good care of yourself so you can be there for Makayla. I am praying really hard for her. Makayla and her family are fighters.

+ Read More
Joe Mendoza
4 months ago

Happy Birthday Makayla!! Stay strong! =)

+ Read More
Helene D'Alessandro
5 months ago

My prayers and thoughts are with you!

+ Read More
Lisa Manting
6 months ago

You have a strong kid there. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

+ Read More
Meryl Gellerman Ingino
6 months ago

Our prayers are with Makayla and the family !!!! Glad to hear surgery went well!! God Bless beautiful Makayla

+ Read More
Ronnie Goldstein Caccio
6 months ago

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I'm sure will make a speedy recovery

+ Read More
Melissa Mhuan Lai
6 months ago

To Jonanthan and Diana, I wish the best for ur little princess. For such a young age, she has to go through so much...my heart are with you. Sending u lots of luck and love ur way. Speedy recovery for little brave girl, hope she will go home soon..,will continue praying for her.

+ Read More
Lisa Manting
6 months ago

Sending healing thoughts your way. Glad to hear the surgery was a success.

+ Read More
Vivian Tong
7 months ago

She still has a big beautiful smile on... strong girl! Sending my love and support ♥

+ Read More
YK
Yoonji Kim
9 months ago

Thank you for the updates on our dear Makayla!

+ Read More
Joe Blosser
9 months ago

Jonathan Jan, please add me on Facebook, I would like to discuss something with you in regards to your campaign etc.

+ Read More
Peggy Buetow
10 months ago

Has your doctor suggested using the new baby's cord blood as part of Makayla's treatment? I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

+ Read More
Meryl Gellerman Ingino
11 months ago

Please know we are praying for a miracle for Makayla !!!!!!

+ Read More
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