As our hearts still hurt for the Family, I learned about another Family that is going through the same type of cancer experience, with their 11 month old baby.
Meet Aaron and Carina, parents of Baby Penelope, Penny for short.
Stemming from a bump on the head, like many kids get, Penny's parents noticed a few days later that her eyes had turned black, scared as you can imagine, they took her to the E.R, after many tests, and pokes and tears with fears from Penny, they learned that Penny has Neuroblastoma.
After an MRI, Doctors learned that she has Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
The tumor started in her adrenal gland and spread to her spine, it is the height of 3 vertebrae and is surrounding her spine 360 degrees.
Not bad enough yet thought the cancer monster, and through her spine the cancer entered her blood stream and then spread to the bones in her skull, as well as her Liver.
On 3/1 Penelope underwent a bone marrow test. They extracted bone marrow from her pelvis in two locations. Once the results came in on 3/2, we were informed that the cancer had also spread to her bone marrow.
"After all of that excitement, we once again noticed that Penelope wasn’t using her legs at all. Even when she was upset – she’d flail her arms, but the legs didn’t move at all. We notified the doctors of this – then everything went haywire. Within 5 minutes we had the head oncologist, neurologist and anesthesiologist were all in the room poking and prodding her. Shortly thereafter, they confirmed that Penelope had lost sensation and use of her legs – pretty much from the knee down wasn’t working.Thanks to everyone blogging and "twittering" and "facebooking" Pennies for Penny got media attention, her story was on San Diego News on Channel 6.
We knew ahead of time that she had tumors inside of her spinal cord, but all had been well so they hadn’t done any surgery – just started chemo to try and shrink the tumors. But, now it was serious. If they didn’t get the tumors off of her nerves she could lose the use of her legs permanently! Now – Carina and I are FREAKING OUT!! Not only does she have life threatening cancer, but even if she beats it there’s a chance that she’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life! At this point in time Carina and I are just hanging on by a thread. I’m two seconds away from just falling apart altogether and Carina looks like she’s already there. My Mom was here – so she helped me shake it off and get focused on what we had to do next, then I helped Carina to do the same so we could get Penelope through this.
It’s been only 20 minutes since the doctors confirmed her loss of leg function,
The surgeon informed us that they were going to aggressively attack the tumor in her spine. This was far from the original plan, but it HAD to happen. He said it would take between 2 1/2 to 4 hours for the surgery. They did a laminectomy on 2 1/2 of her vertebrate so that they could access the tumor within her spine and remove as much of it as they could. With any luck, this would help to restore the function in her legs."
Here is a piece of a post Aaron put on his blog, these parents are going through so much, and also make sure that they keep everyone in touch, and respond to comments ;)...
thank you again to everyone for your overwhelming support and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE spread the word about Penelope and this site. We received a bill for 1 CT scan yesterday – it was the CT scan done when she first went into the ER. They charged the insurance company $10,900 for the scan – of which I get to pay 40%. Since then she’s had 2 MRI’s, a bone scan, two nuclear medicine scans, a bone marrow biopsy, two surgeries, 7 rounds of anesthesia, daily X-rays, 1 cycle of chemotherapy, countless meetings/reviews with Dr’s, and 12 days inpatient. On top of that we were informed that once we’re released she needs daily GCS-F shots. A 10 day treatment of these shots costs $1,500. So, we’d need two 10 day cycles per month, since she’ll get chemo every three weeks and be inpatient 3-5 days after. Of course, this medication is NOT covered by our insurance.
So – add Pennies4penny on your Facebook and your twitter – tell your friends, neighbors, people at the grocery store – anyone you can. The biggest gift you could give Penelope is spreading the word of her condition.
Thanks again everyone, talk to you all soon.
To help raise funds for Penny's medical bills, there will be an online auction that will be held next Friday, March 19th beginning at 6am PST. As importantly as we need you to share the news of the auction, we need you to show up and BID. We have some really awesome donations gathered with more to come.
- Family 4 pack of passes to Legoland CA
- Build a Bear prize pack
- Beautiful pendant from The Pretty Peacock .
- Haircut GC’s to Pigtails & Crewcuts in Chula Vista, CA (courtesy of www.sandiegobargainmama.com)
- A $250.00 GC to aden + anais.
- Creative Memories PicFolio Quick Kit (courtesy of www.SuzyQHomemaker.com)
- A Creativity for Kids prize pack
- A croqueted baby blanket made by Becky Kremkau
- A Skitter Toy
- A (not even released to the public yet) TuTu from Three Peas Co.
- Three prize packs from SprigToys.com
- Dinner for 4 at the Mediterranean Room in La Valencia Hotel.
- Coupons for 1.5 hours of bowling, shoe rentals and snacks for six at Kearny Mesa Bowl.
The auction will run through the weekend and close Sunday March 21st at 9pm PST.
If you tweet about Pennies 4 Penny, please use hashtag #pennies4penny
You can follow Pennies 4 Penny at @pennies4penny
The blog Pennies 4 Penny link is here
If you want to "sport" this awesome button is support of "pennies4penny" grab it and the site ;)