Big Hearts, Little Hands

Big Hearts, Little Hands

From Dean McDaris

We are raising money for the families of children fighting severe illnesses in North Georgia and Alabama. With your donation, you will be an integral part of supporting the fights of 3 very brave and strong children. ...

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Stella is 4 years old and was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2017. Last year, she endured several rounds of chemo to move forward towards remission. Doctors discovered that the cancer had returned and was now in her bone marrow. She underwent more chemo in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. She received the marrow transplant from her 8 year old brother, who was a 100% donor match. Although being in remission, the medical bills continue to rise. She will still have follow up appointments with doctors and the hospitals, expensive tests, ect. to make sure this disease doesn’t rear its ugly head again! We know that Stella is, and will continue to be, a fighter and we want to sincerely thank every person who continues to help us and her in her fight against AML.

You can follow Stella’s journey here:

Paisley Sumner is 5 years old from Rockmart, GA. Paisley was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which is a rare congenital heart defect (CHD). With this CHD, the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped hindering its ability to pump oxygenated blood back out into the body. There is no known cure for this heart defect but there is a series of 3 surgeries that help to re-route the blood flow and mend the heart function temporarily. Paisley had her first surgery (the Norwood) when she was six days old and was in the hospital for 1-month due to numerous complications including a GI bleed, a shunt clot (which caused her to code), and feeding difficulties. Between her first and second surgery, Paisley was in and out of the hospital due to feeding intolerance and a weak immune system. At five and a half months old, she began to show a different breathing pattern and was life-flighted to the hospital where it was revealed that her aorta had narrowed causing other difficulties for her already weakened heart. Her second open heart surgery (the Glenn) occurred a couple weeks later and Paisley was in recovery for another month. Her body functioned better after this surgery but she still had difficulty with feeding resulting in an NG tube until she was 11 months old, reduced oxygen saturations causing respiratory concerns, and severely decreased muscle tone with subsequent physical delays. Paisley has received physical therapy services and intermittent occupational therapy services her entire life. She wears ankle-foot orthotics to help compensate for her hypermobility and weak muscle tone. Paisley is followed by a wonderful cardiologist at Sibley Heart Center where she gets routine visits, EKGs, and echocardiograms. She is on daily medicines to help her heart and GI concerns. Her immune system continues to be weakened and her body has to fight extremely hard when she does become sick, often resulting in hospitalization. Since her second surgery, Paisley’s oxygen and activity levels have slowlydecreased with the most significant decline taking place in the last 6 months. Whereas most people function with oxygen saturations around 98-100%, Paisley is currently functioning at 76-79%. Her lips and fingers turn blue, her skin pale, and her breathing very labored with the slightest bit of activity. These are all signs that her body is in need of her third surgery (the Fontan) which she will have sometime this summer. This surgery will hopefully help her body to grow into her teenage and possibly even adult years. However, with this surgery also come lots of risks for her future as well, including risks for damaging other organs, especially the kidneys and lungs. And as this is not a cure, a heart transplant is always a possibility. We know that our little heart warrior is a fighter and we want to sincerely thank every person who continues to help us cheer her on in her fight against CHD!

You can follow Paisley on her journey here:

Noah Leigh Barnett is a wild, rambunctious 5 year old boy. He is also completely blind in his left eye resulting from a tumor that started growing when he was only 2 years old. In October of 2016 they noticed a spot in the iris of his left eye. What started out as a small speck grew into a tumor that collapsed his lens, detached his retina, taking over his iris, and diminished the possibility that he will ever be able to see out of his eye again. He has had a full leukemia workup, went through a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration, MRIs, CT Scans, X-rays, multiple invasive eye surgeries, and several blood work tests. He has seen an ocular oncologist from the first stages of the mass until now, several specialists, and a world renowned doctor in Philadelphia. None of which have been able to diagnose Noah. The only thing that they can all agree on is that Noah will lose his eye. They continue to hold off on the procedure as long as they can but it is inevitable that Noah will have to undergo Enucleation surgery (the removal of the eye). With him only being 5 years old his socket will continue to grow which means that Noah will have to have several prosthetics throughout the course of his life. They are currently awaiting their next appointment which will be in May to see if he's reached a point to where they feel he's ready for the enucleation surgery. In the event that he's ready, they will be scheduling his surgery! What happens after surgery is still very much up in the air as they're still unsure of what caused the tumor to appear. Once they've removed his eye they'll be able to test the matter in the mass to determine if it's something that may be capable of appearing somewhere else in his body. Everything with Noah is unsure, everything besides the fact that he is absolutely incredible! We're thankful for everyone that continues to think of Noah and to help us with our fight!

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