Team Eileen

$49,670 of $10k goal

Raised by 688 people in 15 months
Vanessa Fauteux  STERLING, VA

Eileen is a fun loving, active, passionate and very involved student who is in her third year at Virginia Tech. She is a Psychology major with a Medicine and Society minor, and is planning to attend Physician Assistant graduate school in the near future. Eileen is involved with many organizations including the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, the Pre-Physicians Assistant Club, and the International Service Learning Club. She recently became a Certified Nurses Aid and started working at a nursing home to better prepare for her career in the medical field. She is known and loved for her positivity, strong will, and caring nature. Unfortunately, three weeks ago, life gave us a very humbling turn along Eileen's journey when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma.

In early November 2015, Eileen began experiencing extreme back pain. Two ER visits later the doctors assumed that she had torn a muscle in her back after being diagnosed with bronchitis. She was sent home with heavy pain medications to help her recover; however, the pain continued to worsen. Eileen then began feeling numbness and tingling in her legs and toes and walking became extremely painful and difficult. On November 19th, an MRI revealed a mass on her spine that was compressing nerves, causing the numbness and difficulty walking. She was rushed to Lewis Gale Medical Center in Salem, Virginia to undergo emergency spinal surgery. Doctors found a tumor along four of her vertebrae that was compressing her spinal cord. Three and a half hours later, the tumor was successfully removed (the procedure performed is called a laminectomy with a complete resection). Our family took Eileen home five days post surgery. Two weeks later we were told that the tumor was, in fact, malignant and Eileen was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. This is shocking news that our family is currently still processing.


Ewing's Sarcoma is a very rare bone or soft tissue cancer, predominately diagnosed in children and adolescents. We have learned there are roughly 200-300 new cases of Ewing's Sarcoma diagnosed in the United States each year. There is no direct cause of this cancer, but unfortunately it has a very high risk of spreading (metastasizing) to various parts of the body.  Eileen is still in the process of completing all the necessary body scans to determine whether the cancer has spread.

While the last month has been tremendously difficult for our family, we know the toughest days lie ahead.  Eileen will undergo 9 months of intense chemotherapy and radiation beginning the week after Christmas at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. While completing her chemo regimen, Eileen will also continue physical therapy to strengthen and regain feeling in her legs. Despite receiving invasive back surgery less than one month ago, it is a testament to Eileen’s strength that she is already capable of confidently walking on her own.




While our family is extremely blessed to have health insurance, there are still many out-of-pocket expenses that we have and will incur on Eileen’s long road ahead. For example, Eileen is in the process of freezing her eggs due to the effect of chemo on fertility. Your contributions will help our family cover the many unexpected (and expected) costs that arise, including transportation costs to and from D.C., fertility treatments, physical therapy, and making Eileen more comfortable both in the hospital and at home.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, hugs and well wishes. Your support means more to our family than you know. Happy Holidays.

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Update 4
Posted by Vanessa Fauteux
6 months ago
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After finishing 16 cycles of chemo and 28 treatments of proton beam radiation, Eileen only has 1 round of chemo to go before she is done with her treatment! She has been very busy the past few months completing two online Anatomy courses, celebrating her 21st birthday and preparing to return to Virginia Tech as a part-time student this fall. Despite the circumstances, Eileen has made it a goal to graduate on time in May 2017 and cannot wait to join her friends in Blacksburg.

This long road has taught our family so much, particularly of the profound love and generosity of our community. We are so thankful for each and every person that is reading this update and has supported Eileen and our family through this entire journey. The amount of love we have felt this past year from friends, family and complete strangers has been truly remarkable. To express our sincere gratitude we are hosting a cookout at the Fauteux home on Sunday, September 18th, from 2-6pm. Please, feel free to drop in at any time! Just make sure you come hungry, thirsty, and ready to celebrate the end of Eileen’s treatment and the incredible gift of community.

If you are unsure of our address, please contact fauteux@verizon.net or vfauteux@gmail.com for details.

Sincerely,
Robert, Peggy, Vanessa, Lauren and Nicole
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Update 3
Posted by Vanessa Fauteux
10 months ago
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Eileen has finished all six weeks of her radiation and is home from Baltimore!! The treatment went smoothly and the doctors are very pleased with how her body responded and how her back is healing. She will continue her chemotherapy at Children's National Medical Center in D.C. for the next 14 weeks, but is officially half way through her treatment!

In Baltimore the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults gave Eileen a free gym membership to Under Armor which was great! Eileen continued her physical therapy and attempted several new complex exercises, like boxing.

Unfortunately, the chemo has caused neuropathy in Eileen's feet on top of the nerve damage to her legs from the tumor. So, she continues to stay as active as her body will allow in order to rebuild her muscles and stay strong for the chemo.

This summer Eileen will be taking an online Anatomy and Physiology class through Virginia Tech towards her Psychology major. As soon as she finishes her treatment this Fall, Eileen plans to head straight to Blacksburg to join her friends with high hopes of graduating on time next Spring.

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers. We are SO grateful to be surrounded by such a strong support system.

Sincerely,
Peggy, Robert and the girls
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Update 2
Posted by Vanessa Fauteux
13 months ago
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Good evening TEAM EILEEN!

The Fauteux family is incredibly grateful for your unwavering support over the past three months. Eileen is at the end of her second round of chemo and has responded very well with only a few minor setbacks. Eileen’s oncologist, alongside a panel of other doctors, identified Eileen as an ideal candidate for proton beam radiation. This particular type of radiation was chosen based on its ability to protect her surrounding organs and the location of her tumor. Starting in April the radiation will be administered for five and a half weeks, Monday through Friday, at the University of Maryland (UMD). Eileen’s chemotherapy regimen will continue during these five weeks and administered at UMD.

Eileen has not yet regained full feeling in her legs from the knees down; however, she has made tremendous progress with her physical therapy. Eileen has progressed from walking to lightly jogging and her strength continues to build.

We will post periodic updates on this site, but if you are interested in following her personal blog please visit: https://eileenfauteux.wordpress.com

Sincerely,
Peggy, Robert, Vanessa, Lauren and Nicole
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Update 1
Posted by Vanessa Fauteux
14 months ago
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The Fauteux family wishes everyone visiting this page a very happy and healthy New Year. And what better way to begin the New Year than with good news! We are fortunate to report that all of Eileen's body scans came back clean which strongly indicates that the tumor was localized and the cancer has not spread. Although our family was thrilled to learn this information, Eileen's treatment plan remains unchanged. She will continue to undergo a strenuous and aggressive chemotherapy and radiation regimen for the next nine months. Last week, Eileen underwent her first round of treatment and has responded very well with minimal complications so far. While 2016 poses to be a challenging year, the support you have shown has been tremendously heartwarming and we are stronger because of it.

We are grateful to have you in our lives.

Sincerely,
The Fauteuxs
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Read a Previous Update
Suzanne McLaughlin Stout
10 months ago

Fantastic news! We continue to keep Eileen and the entire Fauteux family in our thoughts and prayers.

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Shaira Ramos
15 months ago

Your story & smile have touched my heart Eileen ♡ I know God will Bless you with a Beautiful life♧!!! I can't donate this exact moment since I don't have a credit card but I also have a Go Fund Me for my daughter Khloë who needs an operation so I'll be getting one soon to help you on your journey back to complete health!!! Keep your Beautiful Soul Bright & Shining on us♡!!!

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$49,670 of $10k goal

Raised by 688 people in 15 months
Created December 14, 2015
CN
$100
Carson Newton
28 days ago
CB
$100
Candace Browne
6 months ago

Cancer affects all of us, whether you are siblings, parents, friends, coworkers, doctors, or patients. I work with Eileen's sister Vanessa and she's been pretty awesome since I met her. Not only has working with her impacted me but hearing of Eileen's journey hit really close to home. Eileen, keep kicking cancer's ass! Both you and your family are in my prayers! :-)

AF
$100
Adam Fizyta
10 months ago
$100
Jayne Cashman
11 months ago
NM
$20
Nadia McQuade
11 months ago
JL
$100
Joan Lastova
12 months ago
GW
$60
Grace Wild
13 months ago

:)

NW
$60
Nate Wild
13 months ago

:)

$100
Anonymous
13 months ago
AH
$50
Ali Hernandez
13 months ago

Hi Eileen, we have never met but I used to hear a lot about you when working with Vanessa. She always spoke so highly of you and all your accomplishments. You are such an inspiration. Keep up the positive attitude and beautiful smile. All my best. Love, Ali, Brad and Eva Hernandez

Suzanne McLaughlin Stout
10 months ago

Fantastic news! We continue to keep Eileen and the entire Fauteux family in our thoughts and prayers.

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Shaira Ramos
15 months ago

Your story & smile have touched my heart Eileen ♡ I know God will Bless you with a Beautiful life♧!!! I can't donate this exact moment since I don't have a credit card but I also have a Go Fund Me for my daughter Khloë who needs an operation so I'll be getting one soon to help you on your journey back to complete health!!! Keep your Beautiful Soul Bright & Shining on us♡!!!

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