September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 11, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Anna Lee Weber. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Anna Lee’s Fund.
Anna Lee Weber’s Story:
On October 12th 2006 I heard words I never expected to hear about my child. Anna Lee had been having headaches and asking for Tylenol and Motrin by name at only three years old. We went to the pediatrician and talked with her about some dark spots on Anna Lee’s back and turns out we needed to see a geneticist to find out if she had a genetic disorder. Getting an appointment would take months. The reason for this appointment was to find out if she had Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Two months was to long to wait so I melted down on my pediatrician and she was able to get her in to see an ophthalmologist to start checking things off the list that the geneticist would order. One week later we had on appointment in Atlanta to see Dr. Weeks. In my mind we were just checking one test off of our list. After examining Anna Lee she told me that she had an optic pathway glioma (brain tumor) on her left eye. Those words went in one ear and out the other. She repeated those words and all I could do was cry. I got it together enough to call my husband and tell him. The next day was Friday the 13th and Anna Lee was scheduled for an MRI to confirm the findings. The MRI showed tumors on both eyes and into the chiasm of the brain on the left side. Words can not describe the feeling of shock one feels when they are looking at their own child’s MRI films and seeing the tumors. No one can prepare you for that in your lifetime. The weekend was that of shock and devastation due to the unknown journey we were about to take. With an older son at home and a new baby, we had them to worry about too. We met with Dr. Claire Mazewski on Monday to go over the plan and sign papers giving consent to give our baby girl a poison to try and save her vision and her life. On Wednesday, the 18th of October, Dr. Bleacher placed Anna Lee’s port and she received her first round of chemotherapy. The days ahead were going to be tough as we watched our girl waste away, turn pale and begin to loose her hair.
Anna Lee’s chemo consisted of Vincristine and Carboplatnime. Her regimen was 64 treatments total. She had chemo for ten straight weeks once a week and then she would have four weeks on and two weeks off. We thought that we were having a vacation on the two weeks off. We truly wished for one for her. As crazy as it sounds Aflac, chemo treatments and MRI’s became our life. We went to Atlanta every Friday for the next year and a half of our life, with MRI’s every three months to monitor the progress along the way. Fortunately, Anna Lee did have shrinkage, and we lived waiting for the next test or chemo. We spent some time in the ER or hospital with high fevers and dehydration, but are fortunate compared to some.
Anna Lee has taught us so much about life and about how to truly live it. Cancer is a terrible word, but it is what you make of it. For our family it gave us courage to speak out for those who are no longer able to speak out for themselves. Cancer also helped us to have more compassion for others. It also helped us to make better choices for our family in all that we do.
On December 2008 Anna Lee had her port removed. For us that was our Christmas present. She is now in first grade and is doing great. She is scheduled for her next MRI in October and we pray for more good news. We are so thankful to have such a great support from friends and family. Most of all God is the one we thank for loving us so much that he held our hands and carried us through on this journey we have traveled. One day Anna Lee will share her amazing testimony with others and change their life in some way.
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Anna Lee’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.