PRAY, HOPE, BELIEVE! GO AVA GO! Phase 2 of Ava's Cancer Treatment: The Consolidation Phase
As most of you know, Ava Crowley was diagnosed in May with an advanced stage of an aggressive childhood cancer - stage 4 neuroblastoma. A CT/PET scan on May 1st revealed a grapefuit sized tumor above her left kidney which had spread into the lymph nodes of her abdomen, as well as other activity in her chest. On May 3rd Ava had a surgical biopsy of the tumor, underwent a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, and had a port installed for the administration of chemotherapy.
Ava is being treated pursuant to the protocol for high risk neuroblastoma patients, and has completed the "Induction" phase of treatment, which consists of 6 rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumors and affected lymph nodes. The next phase of treatment is referred to as "Consolidation", and consists of autologous stem cell transplant and radiation therapy. The "Consolidation" phase of treatment should be complete in December of this year. In January 2013, Ava will commence the last phase of treatment, referred to as "Maintenance". During the "Maintenance" phase Ava will be enrolled in a clinical trial which uses antibodies in combination with immunotherapy to eliminate any minimal residual disease which may still remain in her body. In all Ava faces approximately 9 more months of intensive, debilitating and sometimes painful cancer treatments.
Ava is the toughest 3 year old around, and the doctors are very pleased with her response thus far. We all believe she will beat this!! She and her family have many obstacles to overcome and need your continued support. As a result of Ava's diagnosis, the Crowleys continue to face many unanticipated costs - medical bills, prescriptions, weekly clinic appointments, extra housecleaning to ensure Ava does not get sick, extra childcare for Thomas, Jackson and Ella to compensate for the attention that must be dedicated to Ava, travel costs to other treatments centers, travel costs to neuroblastoma conferences and/or camps, and even additional iTunes purchases to ensure that Ava can watch all her favorite shows like Caillou and Dora "on demand" in the hospital.
Although the Crowleys have insurance, that doesn't cover many of these costs, and it covers only a fraction of the medical costs. Your donation will help cover some of these unanticipated costs, help alleviate some of this additional stress in their lives, and allow them to focus on what matters most - getting Ava better!!
The first Give Forward campaign was an ambitious goal of $50,000. Ninety percent of that goal, $44,903 was raised! These funds are being used to pay medical bills and for supplemental childcare and cleaning expenses which have now become a necessary part of life in the Crowley household. The Crowley family has done a great job so far and this is in large part due to the encouragement and support they have received from so many of their friends and family. Please consider helping them through this next phase of treatment as they move closer and closer towards the ultimate goal of making Ava cancer free!