As a member of Operation: Support a Cancer Cutie, I have an album full of cuties waiting for their baskets of hope and support.
I am happy to introduce you today to another face behind childhood cancer:
Her father, David Cutbirth, first noticed a a large bump on her cheek on Father’s Day 2012. David was very concerned and took her to the emergency room immediately. He was told it was a subcutaneous infection from an insect bite and to put her on very strong antibiotics.
A week passed and the bump had grown larger. David and his wife Jenni were both uninsured. David had been laid off of his previous job and was out of work for over a year. He had finally started a new job at the beginning of June. However, because he was in the first month of training, he was not eligible for health insurance yet.
Jenni was working, but she could not afford the insurance offered at her job. Therefore, they had to wait a week to be able to afford an MRI with assistance of family.
The MRI results confirmed that the bump was a tumor. The whirlwind began and never stopped from that moment.
The doctor sent them to Texas Children’s Hospital to have a biopsy on the tumor. The biopsy came back that the tumor was cancerous.
They were checked into the hospital and immediately started having tests ran. They stayed in the hospital for 5 days. What was supposed to be one visit to the doctor turned into the worst week of their life.
Raelyn had an adverse reaction to the anesthetic they used on her while doing a bone marrow test. The sedative made her lose her ability to breathe. The whole floor was on Code Red as the oncology team tried to resuscitate her. She was put on breathing tubes and monitored closely for two days before being allowed to go home. This was actually so rare that the incident in itself became a case study.
She was home for two days before she returned last week for her first treatment of chemotherapy. She recently had subsequent chemo treatments.
They are starting on radiation soon as well. The tumor is about 4×4′. It is eroding the bone on her face, and very close to the brain. This makes it Type 3 cancer, intermediate risk. It should be about 11 months of treatment before they think she’ll be in remission.
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It’s something we see every day – children healing faster because they’re surrounded by their families. And while RMHC may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much-needed treatment, we can help lessen the burden for more than seven million families each and every year. Since 1974, our network of local
Chapters have been making children happier and healthier by keeping families together – giving them a place to rest and refresh. A place that feels like home. These programs, tailored to meet the urgent needs of each community, can now be found in 58 countries and regions across the globe.