Sunday, July 24, 2011

When Death Comes For Your Child

Yup, the title caught me too. My friend Aaron keeps a blog on The Daddy Files and recently wrote about a 5 year old girl, Leah Fernandes, who is in her final stages of battling brain cancer. This was the title of his article. It stopped me in my tracks.

Leah was diagnosed with brain cancer on March 21. The original tumor that they found was removed and shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, meaning the tumor that she had removed was malignant and that the cancer had spread to the fluid in her brain and spinal column.

In April Leah had a shunt placed to help drain excess fluid and relieve pressure in her brain. A subsequent MRI revealed that the tumor had grown back, spread and multiplied. Because surgery was not an option, Leah underwent high doses of radiation and chemotherapy in hopes that the cancer's cells would immediately start shrinking. Her last MRI revealed that the cancer cells have continued to grow despite the treatments, resulting in neoplastic meningitis. The cancer cells have coated her brain and spine and continue to multiply at a rapid pace. There is no cure for her condition.

This little girl is fighting a losing battle for her life. I don't know her. I don't know her family. But I know what it's like to look at my children and see the world through their eyes. So I'm reaching out to you, dear readers, to ask that you pray for Leah. Pray for her family. May God grant them strength to face tomorrow and serenity to hold onto today.

Members of the Fernandes' community are holding fundraisers and collecting donations to help with the medical costs and other arrangements. If you'd like more information, please visit Leah’s facebook page.

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