Alec was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma Bone Cancer in his right arm May 2015. Before cancer he loved to play sports. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and was looking forward to playing his first year of football the upcoming fall. After his diagnosis that all came to a complete halt. He spent the next 9 months back and forth to the hospital receiving chemotherapy. 32 rounds . On average 20 days a month in the hospital. He underwent a 12 hour surgery to remove the tumor and save his arm. He now has a cadaver bone along with lots of nuts and bolts in place of his humerus. He just had clean scans last week. No evidence of the disease is what they say. They don't call it remission for his type. It's so aggressive and reoccurs often. He has scans again in 3 months to make sure still no signs of it. Between completing chemo on Feb 22 of this year and getting his all clear scans his heart suddenly failed without warning Easter Sunday. He was having trouble breathing we thought he had pneumonia and upon first glance at the ER they did as well until his blood pressure started to drop and they couldn't get it stabilized. After his heart stopping for 2-3 minutes while being placed on a ventilator he was also placed on a machine to run his heart. He was heavily sedated basically medically induced coma for 33 days. 53 days in the hospital. He now has a device implanted to help his heart pump, called an LVAD . He is ineligible for a heart transplant at this time. He has to be 2 years tumor free first. He will have the LVAD device until either his heart improves or he is eligible for transplant. We are praying for a full recovery. He also had a brain bleed and a stroke caused by all the devices he had to be on to keep his heart working through this process. He is now relearning to walk and use his left hand and arm. He lost all left side function. Right now we have only been home from our unexpected 53 days in hospital and learning how to manage his device at home. He is doing well but has a long way to go.
Battle for Ella: A Party with a Purpose (April 2016)
Gabriella Ryan McNeil is an 11 year old girl who has been diagnosed with a malignant Stage III Germ Cell Yolk Sac Tumor. Ella had surgery a few days after her diagnosis to remove an approximate 5lb mass, her right ovary & a fallopian tube, as well as almost 2 liters of fluid off her lungs. At Stage III, the doctors said it was a very aggressive and rare type of cancer – only 2% of children are diagnosed. Ella spotted a sign on an office door outside of the BMT center (Bone Marrow Transplant) about a few hours after getting the news and it stated, “Just go with the flow” with some fish swimming around. That has been her motto since day one. She somehow has handled almost every path of this journey with strength and courage. As of right now, they are just keeping faith as they have announced Ella is now CANCER FREE.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Ella was all about school, friends & sports. She was a multi-sport athlete playing Volleyball, Basketball & Softball. She had also just been given an offer for a spot on a local Club Volleyball Team! She loves reading and had just made the "A" Honor Roll for her first quarter of middle school. She was also so excited to enjoy the different team opportunities as a part of the Spirit Committee! Ella loves and lives for sports and cheers on her favorite teams: the Royals, Chiefs, OSU Cowboys, Arkansas Razorbacks and Golden State Warriors.
Brett Haubrich is a 12 year old boy who loves to play baseball and football. He enjoys watching his favorite player baseball player Matt Holliday play on his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. When its football season he watches the Packers and has always been a Brett Favre fan. He has 3 siblings. An older sister who is 13 named Olivia, a younger brother Andrew who is 9 and a younger sister Ella who is 4. In his free time, along with playing sports, he likes to play pinball and arcade games. Some of his favorite foods consist of crab legs, ribs, and mangoes!
In June 2014 Brett was diagnosed with a Anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3 tumor in the thalamus part of the brain. He had surgery to repair the hydrocephalus, and thankfully he did not need a shunt. He was able to get the tumor biopsied which was a blessing since it is very hard to get too. They are unable to do a standard operation to remove it so it is considered 'inoperable'. The only option for him was radiation and chemotherapy. He did 7 weeks of proton radiation at St. Louis Children's hospital from July to Sept last year along with daily temador chemo. In October, he started chemotherapy 5 days a month. The tumor seemed to have shrunk and no longer present. Hoping he would be in remission, a month later a scan had shown the tumor and returned. In January 2016, Brett began a clinic trial in hopes to once again defeat his battle with cancer. Please continue to keep his family and him in your prayers daily.
Brett is a described as a very sweet and loving boy. He recently received his wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation, and he chose to be a priest for a day! Out of all the things Brett could have chosen he picked such a beautiful and meaningful wish. He is a very special boy so please take a moment to read this article about him and his wish. http://stlouisreview.com/brettswish
Tony Peters (HHW Trivia Event - 2015)
Tony is a seven year old boy that was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on June 22, 2015. He will be receiving treatment for his cancer over the next three to four years. In January, Tony has started his maintenance therapy which entails s dose of chemo monthly. This is a big step for Tony and even better he was was able to return back to school. Tony is proving that he can beat his battle with cancer. Please continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
His favorite activities are hunting and fishing with his parents, gardening with his grandparents, building legos with his friends and singing. He is saving his money to buy a fishing boat.
Tony is a country boy that loves being outside. He loves biscuits and gravy, candy, and the popsicles at the hospital. He has a cat named Socks and a goldfish named Goldie that he won at the fair three years ago. He is hoping to add a dog to the mix as soon as his parents say yes! Tony is an only child but is surrounded with cousins that adore him.
He can be described as fragile as a flower but as happy as is the day is long! He is innocent but oddly mature for his age. He is a reminder to live in the moment and he demands everyone he knows all to do just that. His laughter will thrust you into being happy even when you feel like being sad. His giving heart will remind you that giving is better then receiving.
Jack Pimmel (HHW Trivia Night - 2014)
Jack Pimmel was born on June 13, 2014 and is the son to Joe and Kelly. On July 3 after taking him to the pediatrician with concern for his distended abdomen, they received the devastating news from the doctors. The test results had diagnosed their sweet baby boy with Infant Leukemia at only 2 weeks old. Jack fought hard but sadly his little body could not take anymore, and with my deepest sympathy he passed away on July 29 at only 6 weeks old.
Infant Leukemia (AML-M7) is only diagnosed in 150-160 infants a year in the US, additionally AML-M7 is extremely rare in infants with the number of documented cases ever worldwide being in the 100s or 1000s. The overall cure rate for infant leukemia is approximately 40-50% overall, but Jack's type had even lower cure rates being 10-20% with chemo, 30-40% with a bone marrow transplant.
Jack's mother states, "Jack was our sweet, beautiful baby boy. He was quite stoic, but with an angry leprechaun face to let us know when he was displeased. He loved to hold hands all the time."
Julia Drummond (HHW Trivia Night - 2014)
Julia (Jubi) Drummond was born on January 21, 2011. This beautiful little girl is 3.5 years old and was diagnosed this summer with ALL (Acute Lymphatic Leukemia) which involves the Central Nervous System. She has begun chemotherapy to start her fight against cancer. Julia's parents are Steven and Liz Drummond, and she also has two siblings Zachary and Erin. According to her mom, regardless of all her little girl has been going through, Julia's spirit remains high. These kids who get the toughest battles can absolutely amaze you by their strength and determination.
Triston Walls (HHW trivia night 2013):
Last update on Triston provided by his mother Carrie: "Right now he is doing good. After we were denied the lung transplant, while we were seeing if any other hospital would list him, I was talking with a Mom in one of my support groups who told me about a medication they tried and it helped her daughter double her time between Cardiac Caths (which is what we were needing to happen, since he was only making it 6-8 weeks between his). So after convincing the Cardiologist that this new medication was worth a shot, he prescribed it after his October 1st Cath. Since then he has NOT NEEDED A CATH! We're finishing our 19th week! Physically he's getting stronger. He can now sit up unassisted as well as get into a sitting position from laying down. He's also very close to crawling. One thing they are concerned with is his receptive speech. They are thinking he is either Autistic or has a Sensory Disorder. But they are slow to make a diagnosis because of all he's been through. It could still be just a way of coping with it all. (Plus a diagnosis could hinder his need for a lung transplant if/when he needs one in the future).He will need another Cath(s) and more than likely another open heart surgery and eventually the lung transplant, but for right now we are counting our blessings and savoring these good days."
Hannah's Helping Ways would like to thank everyone who came out to support Triston Walls and our cause. Triston is doing wonderful and continuing to hit milestones everyday. His mother is so inspiring and is the epitome of strength and determination. Please take the time to go to their Facebook page Prayers for Triston and follow their story.
Riley May Larson (HHW trivia night 2012): Riley was born on July 28, 2012 in Iowa. We do not know this family personally but I met her mother through a support site called LiveR on Facebook. Riley was also born with the same rare and life-threatening liver disease as Hannah called Biliary Atresia. Riley had endured 3 liver transplants to attempt to win her fight against liver disease but her tiny body could not withstand the impact such big surgeries can have on such small children. She lost her fight to this awful disease but gained her angel wings on June 16, 2012. Riley is one of the reasons this non-for-profit organization was created. She is a beautiful little girl and her mother carries herself with such strength and class after all they have been through. Her story touched many hearts and still does to this day.