|Kaylee in May 2011|
|Kaylee in May 2011|
Read below for their story...
On March 2, 2011, the Rios family admitted their 2 year old daughter, Kaylee, to oncology at their local Children's Hospital. The next day little Kaylee went into surgery to biopsy a tumor the size of a fist between her kidney and liver. Later that same day the family had a preliminary diagnosis of Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. 5 days later, Kaylee started her first round of chemo.
On Monday, April 18, 2011, dad wrote this about Kaylee's condition...
"So who’s ready for the best news yet?! Scan results came back today. Kaylee is not only fighting cancer… she is kicking its ASS!!! Since she was diagnosed last month and having sucked up 2 of 6 rounds of Chemotherapy, she has managed to get it out of her bone marrow, shrink the tumor to less than half from 7cm to 3cm, and ditched it from most of her bones. Scans still show a little remainder around her eyes and the top of her skull. Like I said… KICKING ITS ASS!!! Definitely a milestone… a ten milestone. She must have picked up on our happy vibe, because she has been off the chain today. Running around with all this energy and jumping and playing around like I’ve never seen her. I think her new haircut makes her a little faster too. But with that being said, she still has a long way to go and the toughest obstacles have yet to be hurdled. She still has to complete the remainder of her treatment even if it is gone before then. This 3rd round, that starts tonight, will be grueling on her little body. 3 days of high dose nasty stuff that will probably knock her on her little butt. And then of course the stem cell transplant and surgery to remove the tumor. But she is remarkable and resilient. Definitely my hero… can’t wait to see her beat this completely!!! Thanks everyone for so much support... don't know how we would do it without you. Keep praying, we have faith!"
June 24, 2011: Today was PINK for Kaylee day! Today, Kaylee had surgery to remove what was left of the tumor. Here's the update that was given by dad...
"Spoke with the surgeon, and the tumor is gone as well as the adrenal gland and some surrounding nodes. He said the tumor appeared pretty much dead. They will send it to pathology to section them to see if anything is still alive and maybe where it originated. Now the long recovery begins. She'll have a feeding tube and a catheter until her stomach, organs, and bladder "wake up" again. They are still waiting for her to wake up, and then we will be able to see her. Can't wait!"
Go HERE to see Kaylee's scrapbook and see participants in Pink Day!
Why my investment in this family?? The answer is not a simple one. I've struggled daily to figure out how to say what I feel about this little girl and this entire situation. I've never met her, her sister (Rylee), or her mother (Darlene). I have met her dad (Ryan) just a time or 2 while he was stationed in the US Coast Guard with my husband during our tour in Mobile, AL (2005-2009). The day my husband asked if I remembered him and told me the story, I was just heartbroken. Maybe because they were a Coast Guard family. Maybe because we too have 2 little girls about the same age as the 2 Rios girls. I just don't know. Our youngest is less than a month younger than Kaylee. Regardless, it hit me hard that in a snap, life as we know could change. Just that quickly! I look at the photos of Kaylee almost daily. There aren't many of her where she doesn't have a huge smile on her face. That in itself, is inspiring! I think about what these parents endure on a daily basis and I wonder to myself 'where do they find the strength'? Then you have big sister Rylee, who just turned 4 this month. How does one handle seeing her sister endure the pain and treatment that this little one has to endure? Amazing! That's my word to describe them all. I will continue to 'stalk' little Kaylee during her battle to beat this horrible disease. And, I will continue to do what I can to encourage the family to journey on with strength and faith.
July 22, 2011 Kaylee update via Facebook
"So we had a sitdown this morning with the doctor who went over all of the ‘what to expects’ for Kaylee’s Stem Cell Transplant in a couple weeks. She will have a thorough exam and scans done next week to search for, if any, remaining cancer. Now despite the intensity of her previous rounds of Chemo, it’s nothing compared to what she’s about to go through. She will be placed in hospital isolation for a month. During which she will begin the most grueling, intense high dose Chemo rounds that will put the others to shame. I knew in the back of my mind that it was going to be hard, but to hear the doctor use terms like “hamburger meat” to describe what the inside of Kaylee’s mouth, esophagus, and GI Tract will look like as a result of the Chemo. This little girl will experience for at least 2 weeks, the agony that only you and I can never imagine before she even begins to come back to normal. Her immune system will be so completely wiped out that the common cold can kill her. Not to mention if her body rejects her own cells. Only a list of 5 people, including us, will be able to see her during that time. Rylee will miss her best friend for a whole month because she’s not allowed to go into the transplant unit…
For today we got to bring her back home. She is doing great. More than ever, our little girl will need every one of her supporters to help pull her through this. She’ll need it…"
This update comes on August 29, 2011
|Flower Colors for The Kaylee Hat|