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Malcolm's Medical Fund

$25,450 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 286 people in 3 months
Created November 26, 2018
In early October, our 6 year old niece, Malcolm started feeling extra snuggley with her mom, Katie and started falling asleep well before bedtime. Over the next couple weeks she grew more and more fatigued, complaining of headaches and nausea. Mac’s lack of energy is very uncharacteristic and Katie worked through the month documenting the symptoms and communicating with her pediatrician to try to figure out the cause. In November, Katie and Malcolm’s dad, Brent became increasingly concerned as Malcolm started feeling worse and worse.  She had an MRI which showed a tumor encased by a large cyst on her pituitary gland. She was flown to Colorado Children’s Hospital for brain surgery. She was diagnosed with Craniopharyngioma which impacts 1 out of 1 million people. The surgeons were able to drain the cyst and take a biopsy of the tumor, but full eradicating of the tumor will take at least 6 weeks of radiation therapy in Denver.

While we are overflowing with gratitude that the tumor was contained, it is  hard to know how to navigate our feelings about her difficult road to recovery moving forward & all of the unknowns without seeming like we are taking all the good news for granted. She developed chemical meningitis after the surgery, which is extremely painful for her. She also suffered a small stroke on her brain stem causing her to need a variety of rehabilitation. The goal now is to get her strong enough to undergo radiation.

We set up a Go Fund me account in case there are those of you who want to pitch in to help provide some financial support for Katie & Brent because medical care is so expensive and will be ongoing. Katie and Brent started their own business this year and this self employed family could really use a boost especially after the medical flight & in the face of relocating to Denver for 6 weeks of radiation.

Malcolm is so much more than this health condition. She brings the fun in every scenario. She writes in a gratitude journal at night. She loves to label and organize things. She actually watches entire football games and knows the teams and players. She has the talking voice of a comedian and the singing voice of an angel. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving & she thrives when planning surprises and making up new traditions. 

Mac and her family have had some big wins, but we won’t be able to take a deep breath for months…more accurately, years. Until then, please keep sharing your love with them in any form that you choose. They will feel it no matter how you do it & there are not words to thank you all enough. 

Love Mac's Aunts,
Lindy Nielsen & Jackie Minick (Katie's sisters)
Crystal Hansen (Brent's sister)
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We wanted to let everyone know that we arrived safely back to Billings and have spent the past couple days unpacking and getting settled back into a new version of normal for our family. The cold weather and snow was a bit of a shock to us, but has been a hidden blessing, allowing us to hunker down in our very missed house.
Thank you all so much for your support and continued prayers! We have never felt so grateful to be part of this community as we have in the past three months. We can’t say enough about how loved we feel!
We will travel back to Denver the first week of April for her first set of follow-up scans and labs. We are hoping for an uneventful 5 weeks until then...
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Throughout the last 6 weeks, Mac has chosen to listen to music during radiation each day. Every morning she sits on the floor with both of our phones, Alexa, iTunes music… Anything she can get her hands on, and picks out her songs. Then she writes them on a card for her DJs (radiation techs). It’s been a ritual throughout our family, all over the country, to stop and listen to her playlist (and focus on positivity, prayer, and hope) while she is in treatment.

Because today is her last official day, we wanted to invite all of you to join us! Whether you choose to rock out to Mac’s jams or not, thank you so much for your support during this stage of her treatment. We know there are still difficult days ahead, as we move into the next steps of this process, but we are happy to be able to celebrate this victory with her today. We can’t wait to watch her continued healing and success unfold!
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On this day when love is at the forefront of our minds, I keep thinking of the first thing Mac said when she woke up from her biggest surgery, in what I can only
imagine was unbearable pain...”Mac, what do you need from us?”....”just love.”

She has 5 treatments left and we still need your LOVE. Today was really difficult. Radiation is such a complicated thing. On one hand it is the hero and on the other hand it is the enemy. Even though it feels like she can’t catch a break, we know she has everything under control somehow.
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Mac is halfway finished with radiation! She has been coping with her symptoms like a champion and still had her wit and sense of humor today, as she handed out celebratory kazoos to the doctors and nurses.
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$25,450 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 286 people in 3 months
Created November 26, 2018
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