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Help cure Andrew's Leukemia

$38,427 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 368 people in 5 months
Created April 2, 2018
My name is Suzanne Tieder and I'm the proud aunt and godmother to Andrew Trouts - my loving, joyful three year old nephew. I'm here to ask you for your prayers and help as Andrew begins his brave journey to fight and BEAT Burkitt's Leukemia. 

Just three weeks ago, Melissa and Chris took Andrew to their pediatrician to diagnose and treat a lump on the side of his face. After two rounds of antibiotics and several stumped doctors, Andrew was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Days later, a battery of tests confirmed that he has stage four blood cancer.  Andrew received the first of many upcoming chemo treatments on Friday, March 30. Because the cancer is aggressive, doctors have put him on a chemo treatment plan that will last six to eight months, with most of his  time being spent at CHOP. We are optimistic that at the end of Andrew's journey, he will stand tall, proud, victorious and ready to continue his life as a survivor. 

In order for Melissa and Chris to provide the full time care and love so critical to Andrew's healing process, they need to work reduced hours, thus immediately foregoing their full time salaries for the duration of Andrew's treatment and recovery. To help them cover the lost wages and Andrew's increasing costs of medical care, I am kindly asking for your generosity. 

Every thought, prayer, positive vibe, and contribution will help Andrew stay strong and WIN. On behalf of the Trouts, Branyans, Tieders, and Andrew's extended family, I sincerely thank you for your show of support and standing by Melissa, Chris and Andrew's brothers, Conner (eight) and William (five) during this trying time. As they say, it takes a village, and in this case, #TeamAndrew

I'll be updating Andrew's gofundme page regularly so we can all keep track of his progress and cheer him on together. If there is a private message you would like me to send to Melissa, Chris, or Andrew, please feel free to do so by connecting with me here. 

Much love and thanks,

Suzanne

Andrew just turned three April 1! He's planning his second helping of birthday cake...

Andrew was SO exicted to see his brothers, Conner (left) & William (right)! 

Andrew and his Mr. Potato head crew. :) 
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Dear Andrew's Army,

On Thursday, we received an update on Andrew that flooded my eyes with happy tears. Melissa and Chris have said it best, so I wanted to share the news directly from them to you. As you may imagine, these past six months have been especially trying for Andrew, Melissa and Chris. Their hearts are full from your ongoing prayers, love and support. On their behalf, thank you for being the BEST army Andrew could ever ask for!

From Melissa & Chris:
We are beyond excited to provide everyone with a GREAT update on Andrew’s battle with Burkitt’s Leukemia. Since his initial diagnosis and the initiation of chemotherapy on March 30th of this year Andrew has successfully completed four cycles of chemotherapy, overcoming much adversity along the way including a lung infection, staph infection, and a frightening episode of septic shock.

Today we returned to CHOP to begin the second phase of his treatment plan. However this week marks a significant milestone - the completion of the induction and consolidation chemotherapy phases that are intended to destroy the cancer in his body. If successful, completion of these steps prepare him for the next chemotherapy phase that will hopefully rid him of any remnant of the disease that could be lingering in his body - ultimately to cure him.

On Wednesday Andrew underwent extensive testing at CHOP to measure the success of the first phases of treatment. I’m ecstatic to report that today we received notice that the tests and imaging showed complete resolution of the cancerous masses in his body and bone marrow, and no further evidence of metabolically active disease i.e. no evidence of cancer! This is the BEST news we could receive from the oncologists. We remain hopeful we are closer to curing Andrew based on these excellent results. His little body has responded the best it could from these BIG miracle drugs. We also feel prayers and positive thoughts have been a huge part of his healing process so please keep them coming!!!

His remaining chemo plan remains unchanged since this is an extremely aggressive blood cancer. The team wants to continue the full-on attack of any remaining undetected microscopic cancer cells. We still have a long way to go to reach the finish line but the path just got a lot brighter!

Thank you all for your continued support. Go Andrew! Go Andrew’s Army!
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Septic Shock >>> Shocking Comeback!
By Andrew’s Mother (Melissa)

Andrew’s momentous climb has increased in difficulty. Early Saturday morning Andrew struggled to overcome an alarmingly quick and ferocious blood infection (staph). The doctors think the bacteria may have directly entered his blood stream and thus systemically when his chest port was reaccessed on Friday for a blood transfusion. His body went into septic shock a few hours later. Consequently, he had heart failure along with some other complications. We credit his survival to the outstanding ICU and oncology professionals at CHOP. There is no doubt their quick thinking and astounding knowledge saved his life early Saturday morning.

I can’t help but also attribute his survival to his noticeable will to fight! He is a feisty one indeed! The medical team described this health event as getting extraordinarily sick extraordinarily fast. Yet, he surprised them with a relatively smooth road to recovery thus far. He is now off the ventilator and most stabilizing heart medications. This is a marked improvement from the variety of life support measurements he was receiving throughout the weekend.

I’d like to share, in my opinion, one of the finest before and after shots I’ve come across in life. I promise - even better than what you’ve seen in tabloids or talk shows! Below: Andrew in critical condition and Andrew on the mend six days post septic shock. I know you will join me in celebrating Andrew’s latest three year old cancer patient achievement. We are so proud of you Andrew!

While this is yet another setback, Chris and I have to continue to be thankful he is here to continue the long term fight - let’s get back to beating this leukemia. There is no doubt in our minds, especially after witnessing firsthand a literal and true fight for his life in the ICU, that he is one hardcore toddler when it comes to the topic of cancer and his health.

Clearly (very), he will not let leukemia or a staph infection get in the way of shenanigans with his band of brothers, frog spotting at the local parks, eating unnecessary amounts of chocolate with his Mommy, and speeding down our brick path on his red hot four wheeler. Get out of the way, cancer! While he does not yet have his license officially, Andrew is the driver here!

As his parents, we are equally determined to get to that summit that we visualize and talk about everyday! We still can’t wait to enjoy the view with him!!! Andrew is going to be one rugged, resilient, and well equipped lifetime explorer when this climb (or perhaps long detour on his four wheeler) is DONE!
Andrew on life support - He will not give up without a fight!
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Hello Andrew’s army,

I wanted to share an update on our fierce warrior, Andrew. I’m happy to report that after a month of being in the hospital, where he successfully completed his first round of chemo, all while fighting a chest infection, Andrew was finally well enough to go home. He really enjoyed the comforts of home, time with his brothers and even the local park! After recharging, he began his second round of chemo last week. He did really great, and we thought he was going to return back home to recover, but unfortunately he caught an aggressive blood infection. So, he’s back in ICU where the doctors are ensuring he’s getting treated with the best care possible and resting up lots, while his white blood cells increase and he fights to recovery once again. He’s been brave and so far, in good spirits. But, Andrew could really use the extra prayers and thoughts as he continues to gather his strength and overcome this more recent challenge. With his ever loving army behind him, we know he can do it!!

Thank you for your continued love, care and prayers. It’s so incredibly powerful and giving Melissa, Chris, Andrew and the entire family the hope and support they need as they continue to be by Andrew’s side.

Thank you, Andrew’s Army!!

Suzanne
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Hello Andrew's army,

Andrew is back on the oncology floor, still battling a chest infection, but finally fever free! Once the antibiotics do their job, and the infection clears, he'll receive his second round of chemo. Here's a few of pictures from this week.

Melissa spent the last 5 days with Andrew, and she wrote a very touching tribute that I wanted to share. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers. Andrew is fighting hard thanks to his army!!

Hairless Hero

One of many tributes to my youngest son Andrew Trouts

Written by Melissa Trouts (mother of Andrew)

On Sunday morning, I returned to CHOP to switch duties with Chris. I immediately noticed the beginning signs of the inevitable hair loss. It’s a part of Andrew I didn’t want to let go of - he’s three. But just as with everything related to parenting a child with cancer, I have to choose my attitude. And I have to choose it for Andrew and his two brothers. No part of this is easy, but I have to keep finding ways to stay positive. I also yearn to learn as MUCH as I can during this process to help Andrew, my family, and myself.

As I comb away all those beautiful brown and red tinted strands, it turns out I am offering some relaxation time for this young fighter. He often points to the comb in the bin asking for more. Luckily he doesn’t comprehend the task at hand. Instead he often closes his eyes and just lets his body refresh while I comb and comb. That brings me peace as his mother and reminds me to keep trying to find any good that can come out of such an unfortunate crisis for a child. With each strand that he loses, I keep the faith that another beautiful brownish red strand will takes its place after the battle is won.

It is also during this time I pause to be THANKFUL for the powerful medicine my son has access to so he can conquer this illness. Obviously this particular side effect stinks from an emotional standpoint, but this too goes with the fight for countless cancer patients. So with that, I will take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the medical professionals and dedicated researchers who work tirelessly to help develop and provide this artillery of miraculous medicine that is giving Andrew and others young, old, and in between a CHANCE. This is an opportunity not all cancer patients have had in the past. How lucky we are to accept this modern medicine into Andrew’s little body along with world class medical expertise from CHOP.

As I comb away, I also think about those in Andrew’s family who fought their own cancer battles with extreme courage, grit, and grace who can give him light during some dark and scary days ahead. They are pillars of strength to hold him up with battle scars and war stories from fighting in the muddy trenches themselves. They too got dirty and kicked around by the immense power of cancer. But they brushed themselves off time and time again during the barrage of cancer’s physical and emotional wounds to the human body. Alas, they got back up during the course of their personal war to keep on fighting.

These courageous cancer fighters are his loyal soldiers who will pick him up when he is beaten down on the front line. They lovingly whisper or perhaps when needed firmly cheer together...”Rise up soldier and carry on! We are with you every tough step of the way on this battlefield. Let’s wave YOUR future victory flag together with pride.” His cancer army includes Andrew’s grandmother Leona Branyan (two time cancer survivor), Great Grandmother Eleanor Osuch, Great Grandmother Dorothy Branyan, Great Aunt Eleanor Leimkuhler, Great Grandfather Leon Osuch, Great Grandfather Al Breiner, and Great Grandmother Irene Breiner. Yet another reminder that Andrew is NEVER alone and is surrounded by many loved ones both in heavenly spirit and by his side on his earthly journey.

Andrew is my little cancer warrior that, without choice or any fault of his own, is now part of this army. He must fight, and he is must fight HARD. Because of this and so many other reasons, he is my hero. Soon, he will be my little hairless hero. But it’s okay - he doesn’t need hair to be an adorable little boy, and he certainly doesn’t need hair to be a hero.
Andrew with Papa Fred
Andrew LOVES making bracelets!
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$38,427 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 368 people in 5 months
Created April 2, 2018
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