We are honored to share these All-Star stories with you!
"With incredible kindness Pinky Swear responded with a generous donation that helped to keep our home and prevented us from incurring additional debt. We felt such immense relief, it was like coming up for air after being knocked down by a wave in the ocean. We will never be able to completely repay the kindness that has been shown to our family by Pinky Swear, but from the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you and vow to pay it forward forever.”
For the first seven or eight months, Terrance and Terrayah were back and forth to the hospital almost every day. There were constant tests and procedures, and sadly the tumor was growing fast. There was never any set schedule, but a 20-minute drive each way clocked the miles up on Terrance’s car, and there were frequent visits to the gas station.
Then, late in 2020, Robert’s doctors decided to give him a chemo treatment meant for adults. He was the first child in the USA to take this medicine and, to his family’s amazement, he did a complete 360. He improved in three days, was out of the ICU, and his host versus graft disease was gone.
Once she was done with treatment, Maiya’s appointments went on another 1 ½ years. The family was going back and forth sometimes several times a week, driving 45 mins to an hour each way. There were labs and physical therapy; it was one test after another. Life was still far from normal.
Kylie had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and started on five rounds of chemotherapy. For the first round, they spent about one month in the hospital. Then, they got to go home in between rounds of chemo forever watchful of Kylie’s immune system, which meant that she was susceptible to infection at any time.
Just four months after Allison’s diagnosis, Karen’s mom diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2019, and she passed away only one month later. She was living in California, so Karen so trying to travel back and forth from Chicago at the same time as Allison was sick and her husband was in El Salvador.
The tumor ruptured, and that is why his temperature had spiked back on New Year’s Eve; his tumor had been ruptured for nine days inside his little body. The surgery team spent the first two hours cleaning just his spleen because the rupture and inflammation had caused havoc on his insides.
During this stay, Amelia had her first surgery and was diagnosed on Saturday prior to her discharge with a stage IV germ cell tumor (yolk-sac tumor). It had spread to her liver and possibly her lungs, but her chest x-ray was unclear. Amelia underwent four rounds of chemo, each round lasting approximately five days to seven days total.
In January 2020, Kaleb was diagnosed with AML Leukemia (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia). This is a rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It was found relatively early and was still showing up only in his bone marrow and not in his blood stream yet. This type of cancer is quite rare and even more so in someone of his age.
Olivia was admitted to the hospital 7 additional times, but 4 were just for high dose chemotherapy. For each of those chemo admissions, she would stay a week. She was turning 9 on October 20th and was given the choice between spending her birthday or Halloween in hospital. She chose her birthday, what a choice for a 9-year to have to make!