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  • Why We Do the Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon :: Because of Children Like Easton

    Posted by Paul Heling

    Easton was found to suffer from retinoblastoma in February 2011

    SEE:  Dan Stone and Charli McKenzie Tour the Hospital >>

    DONATE:  Y100 Country Cares for Kids Radiothon - Feb. 14 and 15 >>


    When Easton was just 6 weeks old, his mother noticed an odd glare in her baby boy’s eyes when the light hit them just right. Concerned, she took Easton to the pediatrician, who immediately referred them to an ophthalmologist.

    There, tests revealed that Easton had a mass behind his eyes and one of his retinas was detached. The doctor believed that Easton suffered from retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. Arrangements were made immediately for Easton and his parents to travel to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that very night. 

    At St. Jude, doctors confirmed that Easton suffered from bilateral retinoblastoma, and had tumors present in both of his eyes. He underwent six months of chemotherapy, as well as laser treatments and cryotherapy to control tumor growth, which he continues today.

    Easton’s mom recalls feeling relief the first night they arrived at St. Jude.

    “The moment we got here, I felt everything was going to be okay,” she said. “St. Jude gives me hope. I’m so grateful for the care we’re receiving.”

    St. Jude not only provides treatment at no cost to the family, they also provide transportation, food and housing during treatment. No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

    Easton returns to St. Jude every four weeks for continuing laser therapy and cryotherapy. Despite everything he’s been through, he’s a happy little boy who loves to play outside.

    “I’m forever grateful to St. Jude,” said Easton’s mother. “Everyone here is family, and they care about us, they care about Easton.”

  • Why We Do the Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon :: Because of Children Like Leah

    Posted by Paul Heling

    Leah was found to suffer from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in February 2010

    PICTURES:  Dan & Charli tour St. Jude Children's Research Hospital >>

    DETAILS:   Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon Feb 14 & 15 >>


    Leah, who was born with Down syndrome, stands behind a doorway and peers around it mischievously. Her blonde hair is held back by barrettes, and her smile is wide. She is playing hide-and-seek with her older brother, Luke. When he catches her looking around the doorway, Leah collapses into a fit of giggles at being ‘caught,’ then scampers away to hide once more.

    This scene, with Leah and her brother laughing together, is a common one in Leah’s home, one her parents feared they’d never see when Leah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in February 2010.

    In early 2010, Leah’s mouth began to hurt. At first, her mom thought the pain was due to teething. But when Leah started to run a fever and didn’t want to walk, her parents called their pediatrician. Tests soon revealed Leah suffered from ALL, the most common form of childhood cancer. “Our world just fell apart,” said Leah’s mom. Her family was quickly referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Leah began a two-and-a-half-year chemotherapy treatment protocol.

    The hospital's groundbreaking development of combination therapy for children with ALL revolutionized leukemia therapy worldwide and increased the survival rate from 4 percent when St. Jude opened in 1962 to 94 percent today.

    Leah’s treatment has sometimes been difficult, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing the things little girls her age love to do, like play with her baby dolls or go to the playground, or, when a rousing game of hide-and-seek is through, reach her arms up to her beloved brother so he can give her a hug.

  • Why We Do the Y100 Country Cares For St. Jude Kids Radiothon :: Because of Children Like Alexis

    Posted by Paul Heling

    Alexis was found to suffer from neuroblastoma in April 2008

    See inside the hospital with Dan Stone & Charli McKenzie >>

    Learn how you can help during the Y100 Radiothon >>

     

    Alexis colors quietly alongside her little sister, listening patiently as her sister chatters on about her drawing. Her sister loves to talk, but Alexis is shy. Their mom loves these moments, watching the girls play together. "They're like best friends," she said. "Alexis is a good big sister. She's very patient."

    Alexis’ calm demeanor belies that fact that she has been battling neuroblastoma for more than half of her life.

    Alexis was just 2 years old when she first walked through the doors of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Treatment for neuroblastoma is complicated. Alexis has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, a bone marrow transplant and multiple surgeries. Her cancer has come back twice, and each time, St. Jude has been there for her family.

    When Alexis first arrived at St. Jude, her family didn’t know that St. Jude would not only cover the costs of Alexis' treatment, but also housing, food and travel. "St. Jude took our worry away," said her mom. "Then, we were able to focus on the most important thing—her treatment."

    Alexis' family is grateful for St. Jude donors. "There’s just not enough you can say to someone who gives without ever seeing St. Jude," said her mom. "Their generosity is overwhelming."

    Today, Alexis is home and doing well. She loves board games, drawing and playing with her little sister. Alexis returns to St. Jude for regular checkups.

     

    LEARN JOSHUA'S STORY >>

     

     

  • Why We Do the Y100 Country Cares For St. Jude Kids Radiothon :: Because of Stories Like Joshua's

    Posted by Paul Heling

    Joshua was found to suffer from medulloblastoma in May 2011.

     See Dan Stone and Charli McKenzie tour the hospital >>

    Get details on the 2013 Y100 St. Jude Radiothon >>


    Joshua is an active, outdoorsy kid. He loves hiking and fishing and has an awesome rock collection. But a month before Joshua turned 8 years old, he started getting headaches almost every afternoon. At first doctors thought it might be allergies or eye strain. His parents even got Joshua glasses. But the headaches only got worse. That's when tests revealed a large mass in Joshua's brain.

    "It was as if my heart stopped," said Joshua's mother. "It was devastating."

    The tumor was removed at a local hospital and identified as medulloblastoma. Knowing that Joshua would need more treatment, his family turned to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude offers medulloblastoma treatment with high success rates on a schedule that's more compressed than that of other hospitals. Soon after, Joshua's St. Jude journey began.

    At St. Jude, Joshua's treatment for medulloblastoma lasted six months. Because of the location of his tumor, he had to have 14 radiation treatments on his brain and spine, and then 17 more just on his brain, for a total of 31 treatments. He also received four rounds of chemotherapy.

    "Everybody at St. Jude was just wonderful," said Joshua's mom. "They always had answers to our questions, there was never an unknown. And when you're going through something like that, that means the world." Joshua is now done with treatment and returns to St. Jude every three months for scans.

    Joshua spends as much time outdoors as possible. He and his family recently returned from a trip to Alaska, where Joshua panned for gold and took a helicopter ride with his dad over Alaska's Denali National Park. Joshua's most recent set of scans were clear.

  • Why We Do the Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon :: Because of Stories Like Dawson's

    Posted by Paul Heling

    Dawson was found to suffer from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April 2011.

    Tour St. Jude in Pictures with Dan & Charli >>

    Get Details on the Y100 St. Jude Radiothon >>


    Dawson is a comedian in training. He's the middle child and loves to make his family laugh. He tells knock-knock jokes and likes Jim Carrey. But in April 2011, things turned serious for Dawson and his family.

    Dawson was an active child who liked to hike with his parents and siblings. But one day, he said he was too tired to join the others. Within days, he developed a fever he couldn't shake. Soon his abdomen and lymph nodes swelled. Blood work at the doctor revealed an abnormality. Hours later, Dawson's family learned he suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer.

    "My life crashed down upon me," said Dawson's mother.

    Dawson traveled by ambulance to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As he settled into the hospital, his doctor made a special trip on his day off to explain Dawson's treatment to his family. "The moment I met his doctor, I felt confident that Dawson was going to beat this," Dawson's mom said.

    Dawson began a St. Jude protocol of phased chemotherapy that will last two-and-a-half years. His cancer was soon in remission.

    "I decided we would try to make our time at St. Jude like an adventure," Dawson's mom said. "We would be happy and find the happiness every day. It feels strange to tell you that we’ve had a wonderful time at St. Jude, but that's the truth. Dawson is happy here."

    Dawson has a year left of treatment. He's able to receive much of it at the St. Jude affiliate near his family's home. He's in first grade and very outgoing and bright. Dawson likes playing video games and riding his bike. And he likes to try out jokes.

    "Why didn't the chicken jump off the diving board?" he asks. A moment later, in a fit of laughter, he supplies the answer: "Because he's too chicken!"

  • Green Bay Represented on Danny's Wall at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Posted by Paul Heling

    St. Jude founder Danny Thomas touched an amazing amount of lives... and still does.  Some of the many tributes when he passed included editorial cartoons that appeared in newspapers around the country.  This one was from the now defunct Green Bay News-Chronicle and hangs at the hospital.

    The Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon is coming.  Get Details >>


  • Why We Do the Radiothon :: Meet Aidan - January's St. Jude Patient of the Month

    Posted by Paul Heling

     


    NAME: Aidan


    DIAGNOSIS: Aidan was found to suffer from pilocytic astrocytoma in December 2010

    Aidan is a blur of motion. One moment he’s standing at the giant chalkboard in his playroom, drawing circles and squares. The next he’s crouched down in front of his train table, then he’s out the backdoor racing toward the swing set.


    ____________________

    Pictures:  Charli McKenzie & Dan Stone Tour St. Jude Children's Research Hospital>>

    ___________________

    In early 2010, Aidan seemed to stop developing as quickly as his siblings. His parents had difficulty understanding him and his balance was off. That June, Aidan was found to suffer from neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerves.

    Aidan’s parents barely had time to process that news when, six months later, scans revealed a tumor growing in Aidan’s right optic nerve. He was immediately sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where further tests revealed a second tumor in Aidan’s left optic nerve. The tumors were identified as pilocytic astrocytomas.

    At St. Jude, Aidan underwent chemotherapy for 18 months. Because of the location of the tumors, they are inoperable. Doctors know they will begin to grow eventually, and when they do, Aidan will again undergo chemotherapy. “His cancer will never go into remission,” said Aidan’s mother. “He’ll have chemotherapy on and off for the rest of his life.”

    Despite this daunting outlook, Aidan’s family has bright hopes for his future. “He’s a happy child, he’s in school and doing well,” said Aidan’s mom. “With everything he’s been through, he’s taught us to just be happy every day.”

    Aidan’s parents are grateful for the people who help support St. Jude. “We never have to worry about a bill. When you have a child who is going to have a lifetime of treatment, this means so much,” Aidan’s mom said.

    Aidan returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. He loves to see his doctors and nurses, and he especially loves playing with the trains in the playrooms.

    YOU CAN SUPPORT THE MISSION - THE Y100 COUNTRY CARES FOR ST. JUDE KIDS RADIOTHON IS COMING FEBRUARY 14TH AND 15TH>>

     

     

  • What Does "V" Stand For at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital?

    Posted by Paul Heling

     

    As seen on the Alphabet Wall at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is a collection of thoughts and poems by patients and families... one for each letter of the alphabet.  On this panel "V" stands for vomet, a real part of life for these kids.


    Charli McKenzie and Dan Stone toured the hospital last week and caught this picture.  You can directly help by becoming a Partner in Hope during our Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon February 14th and 15 >>

     

  • What Does "C" Stand For at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital?

    Posted by Paul Heling

    There is an Alphabet Wall at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital -- a collection of thoughts and poems by patients and families of patients, one for each letter of the alphabet.  On this panel "C" stands for cancer and ends with this thought:

    "We're not going to let us defeat us, WE WILL SURVIVE!!!"

    Charli McKenzie and Dan Stone just toured the hospital last week and caught this picture.  You can directly help by becoming a Partner in Hope during our Y100 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon February 14th and 15 >>