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Team Abigail

$4,803 of $18,000 goal

Raised by 98 people in 7 months
Created June 6, 2018
30429514_15283332260_r.jpeg30429514_15283332720_r.jpegEwing Sarcoma Cancer

The story behind the discovery:

About 3 weeks after Abigail had her routine wellness visit she was complaining of back pain. Within a couple hours of hot packs and Tylenol she was still shaking in pain to the point, she threw up.  Alyssa called the after hours nurse who told her to bring Abigail to the ER. The ER doc ran blood work, strep test, flu test, did ultrasound of her bladder and kidneys and had no answer for her pain. He directed her to follow up with her PCP, Whitney Alexander. 

At the follow up her Doctor could not believe how different Abigail was. Abigail couldn’t bend to touch her toes. So with some ibuprofen and about 3 days later they followed up with her again to see if it was better. Also to perform a scoliosis test. At that point her PCP ordered an X-Ray. The x-Ray showed 10% scoliosis. So the plan was to follow up with Dr. Waanders,the pediatric ortho doctor. He noticed how tight Abigail was and recommended 6 weeks of PT before doing any further testing. His concerns were valid and when Abigail went to see him she was having a “good day”

Before the 1st day of PT Abigail threw up 2 times at school with no other symptoms. As silly as Alyssa felt, she brought Abigail to her PCP both times anyways. After the 2nd trip her PCP ordered a MRI. 

Before the MRI and after the 1st PT secession Alyssa drew Abigail’s blood since Abigail was crying out in pain. The results would Finally reveal something was abnormal. Elevated white cell count with no fever. Alyssa drew more blood, some inflammation markers, and those showed swelling. So the day came for the MRI. This test was ordered without contrast and expected to take about an hour. After 4 1/2 hours and contrast to scan the entire spine and brain the MRI, Blood tests, and persistence on Our part showed why Abigail’s back has been hurting so bad. 

10% scoliosis is only the tip of this iceberg.

The MRI concluded a mass on Abigail’s L-1 vertebrae from a “preliminary  diagnosis condition” called Histiocytosis; LCH for short. “Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare cancer that begins in LCH cells. 




To confirm the diagnosis Alyssa took Abigail to Little Rock to have her mass biopsied. The team, first, did a skeletal survey to see if there were any other masses to biopsy in a less invasive areas. That study found no other places so they went ahead and did the biopsy from the mass on L-1 with the interventional radiologist and the assistance of the CT machine.

The results concluded the previous diagnosis of LHC was inaccurate. 

There was a Tumor but would need the neurologist to extract more tissue to determine further. 




Before we went back to Little Rock Abigail was excited to take a bath after a week without one. She felt so good she made it to the last day of school to tell her friends hi and happy summer. 




The day of the 2nd biopsy came and during Abigail’s biopsy there was a tear causing spinal fluid to leak. The tear was not anything the surgical team did. The tumor is sitting on a spot causing nerve pain and weakening the protective sheath which keeps the fluid in.

Dr. Gregory Albert and Dr. Marcus Stevens from the neurology team discussed packing and repairing the tear and how important it was for Abigail to lay completely flat during recovery to avoid headaches, any infections or meningitis. 




We also had the talk about the Discovery of a sarcoma after the previous biopsy.... We didn’t hear that word “sarcoma” We didn’t prepare for that wave of knowledge.

A tumor is either cancerous or not. 

Abigail’s tumor is CANCER.

We have finally said the words out loud. 

The type of cancer is a sarcoma.. The type of sarcoma was determined from the sample taken. 

Dr. Bella-mauve-itch and the hematology team; inclusive of his Fellow Dr. Alvarez, thought this “greedy tumor” is feeding from her muscle or bones. They worked with pathology as quickly as possible to give the Sarcoma a name. 

Alyssa was calling it a “little Bastard” We thanked Dr. Albert for taking some of the Bastard out!




The tumor is the cause of her back pain and prolonging the healing of her L-1 fracture. 

Abigail started Chemo to kill the cancer.

Abigail will more than likely loose her hair. We’ve discussed this reality with her and she’s been in amazing spirits about it.

Abigail needed several tests to get a baseline for her heart function;EKG and echo cardio gram also she had a chest CT with contrast to look over her lungs.

Additionally went to UAMS for a pet-scan. 

It’s like a CT but the solution given would light up any and all cancer cells her body! 

She’s so incredibly brave and she’s still my spunky girl. 




She called the nurse one evening and said...“um hello my name is Abigail Lewis. I have to go Pee. Oh and I need to tell you I must lay completely flat so I need a pee pan please.”




With the knowledge of Cancer and the treatments needing to be done almost 4 hours away we needed to get a game plan. 

The first option was to stay in local hotels since the Ronald McDonald house was full. 

The reality of this didn’t feel very homey.

So the new plan was to set up camp in Maumelle Park. 

Just in time for the hematology department to call with the name of the “Little Bastard”




Abigail has an Ewing sarcoma.




The short answer is. We expect 12 weeks of Chemotherapy. 

We will then do more imaging to determine if we will do surgery, radiation or a combination of the 2 then 22 more weeks of chemo. 




From Abigail’s parents Joshua VanLaningham and Alyssa Lewis:




Over the last few months our daughter Abigail has suffered severe back pain that has slowed her social life to a stop and her energy level. We found ourselves asking why can’t we hold her like we did when she was little making everything better?

Neither of us understood why PT; we hadn’t even figured out what was wrong. As hard as it was to watch; Josh even took video of abigail crying in pain. 

He wanted to make sure the Doctor could see what our daughter had been going through. 

Now we are fighting for the cure!

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated to cover the cost of the camp site, gas, additional medical expenses, and any other expenses to keep Abigail comfortable during travel and treatments. 




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Update 20
Posted by Alyssa Lewis-Bridges
2 months ago
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Today we celebrate the completion of radiation and all the fun Halloween events! Abigail has not been able to do chemo for the past 2 weeks since her counts were too low.
Praying this break is what her body needed to sling shot to the finish line.
She has 11 more rounds of chemo before she can graduate the treatment plan!
I’m super thankful for the continued support from friends and family!
Officially graduated radiation today!!
Halloween celebrations continue
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Update 19
Posted by Alyssa Lewis-Bridges
2 months ago
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If anyone is interested in purchasing a little creation made by Abigail and I to support Willow brook elementary please feel free to check this out and share! The school and the entire community have been very supportive and we want to encourage everyone to pay the good des forward.
Usually the kids make a special keep sake art project while at school. I’m always amazed and surprised to see what she comes up with.

This year we created this special project together. We designed the super mom/ super cancer fighter with the Cricut air 2. Then Abigail painted everything and glued down the ribbons and letters. We love to be crafty together. This special project will be a cherished symbol of strength and courage.
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Update 18
Posted by Alyssa Lewis-Bridges
2 months ago
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This past weekend was absolutely amazing! I was able to carve pumpkins with Abigail, watch a pig race at the pumpkin patch, take tons of photos and make home made tomato soup.

Kendryck also got to visit a pumpkin patch and spend loads of time running through the corn maze!

It’s the beginning of a whole lot of happy! Kiss your babies, hold them longer and squeeze them tighter.

Abigail is braving the storm with grace and strength. She is keeping in great spirits.

She has her very own mail box at the Ronald McDonald house and checks it each and every time she passes it to go up or down from her room.

Please encourage everyone to write her. She loves pictures and writing back.

Thanks so much!
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Update 17
Posted by Alyssa Lewis-Bridges
3 months ago
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It’s been a bit of an adjustment over the past few weeks. Abigail has been doing well with her radiation. She and my mother,Alice are staying at the Ronald McDonald house in Little Rock for the remaining treatments. It was time for me to come back to work. There are no instruction books for how to do cancer parenthood. There have been an army of people wanting to support Our family so I have decided to let them. We are fortunate enough to have my brothers, sisters, my parents, and sisters-in-law in Oklahoma to make sure Kendryck has a safe, structured and loving home in my absence. I’ve thought about having him back home several times. For now I think keeping him in Oklahoma and having him home on weekends will be the best until we are all home together.
Lots of parents don’t talk much about the ups and downs when going through treatments. I pride myself in being very structured and routine. All of that has gone completely out the window as it pertains treatment schedules and any additional needs Abigail has required. From being Air flighted, mucus situs resulting in 3 day admission, needing blood and blood products and all the ups when her counts are good to the very sad lows when her counts are dangerously low.
I feel like after many months setting the foundation with Abigail and her treatment plan it was time for her to sore through the next phase while I regain some sanity and solidify my career. Forwardly thinking I know cancer is going to be temporary and there are way too many things out of my control so I’m trusting the entire process and giving her prognosis to God.
When she beats this our family will be once again united and I’ll do my part now to stay positive and guarantee we have a home to gather back to.
1st couple weeks of radiation
Both Kids Home for the weekend
Surprise painting with a twist
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$4,803 of $18,000 goal

Raised by 98 people in 7 months
Created June 6, 2018
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