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$3,288 of $20,000
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28 donations

This fundraiser ended on 06/30/11

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The family and friends of Liam Smith are uniting to raise support as he and his family fight to overcome HLH. We hope you'll join us!

The family and friends of our little warrior, Liam Smith are uniting to raise support in helping him and his family as they fight to overcome Liam’s rare, but life threatening disease. The goal is large, but we are confident that if we all give a little, a lot can be done. When we consider it only takes five hundred of us giving even forty dollars to bring us to the goal, the needed $20,000 seems well within reach. We hope you will join us. This is his story….

At four weeks of age Liam got a cold. He began to run a high fever and was taken to the doctor, and then to the ER. Seeing that his liver function was elevated, he was sent to Emanuel Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR. While the doctors worked on a diagnosis, Liam’s fever would not break, and his organs began to fail. It was then, at four weeks old that Liam was placed on life support and kidney dialysis.

Liam is four months old now, but has spent three quarters of his very young life isolated in hospitals, on chemotherapy, and taking steroids. He has a very rare disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH. This disorder occurs when the body has too many of a particular cell, called a histiocyte, as well as too many of another cell, called a lymphocyte. Both of these cells are so-called white blood cells, responsible for fighting off foreign bodies and infection. However, when there is an over abundance of them, they can begin to invade good tissue and damage organs such as the liver, spleen, bone marrow, or skin. HLH is life threatening, but unfortunately, given the rarity of the disease there is relatively little information available on it. In fact, it’s called an orphan disease because it’s so rare it attracts little attention and receives no federal funding for research.

While the disorder is not cancer, it is treated in a similar manner, and so Liam has been in one form of cancer treatment or another since he was a month old. His initial round of chemo therapy lasted for seven weeks, at which point the HLH went into remission. However it reappeared three weeks later. After being hospitalized again, Liam restarted the treatment course to put the HLH back into remission.

Today Liam travels to Portland weekly for his treatment and blood work. With a bone marrow transplant as the next course of action, he is actively seeking a donor. Once the HLH has gone into remission and a donor found, the transplant will be undergone, which will then followed by 6-8 months of recovery in Seattle. During this time his family will be split between Seattle, WA and Woodland, WA, with his mother, Kristy remaining in Seattle, his father, Jared travelling back and forth, and his three brothers (Noa, Hunter, and Ryder) staying with their grandparents.

Clearly this situation is placing tremendous strain on Liam and his family. The emotional costs, as well as the financial costs are very high. We’re asking you for your help in any way you feel you are able. Liam needs our prayers for his health. His family needs prayer for wisdom, peace, strength, and hope. They also need our help to pay for medical costs, which are expected to become very large. Insurance will cover some, but as we help to cover the difference, his parents can focus more clearly on getting their boy well and their family back together. On top of medical costs, the family will be paying out of pocket for transportation and the cost of living in Seattle for six months during and after the bone marrow transplant.

When you donate at http://www.giveforward.com/hlhwarrior, 93 cents out of every dollar goes directly to Liam. Thank you for the care you’ve demonstrated by taking the time to read this, and thank you for helping Liam and his family.
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