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This fundraiser ended on 07/04/11

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We want to support her by giving Helen and her family what we can ~ just one less worry and a ton of encouragement in her fight!

I will be racing the Vineman 70.3 triathlon in July 2011 in Helen Mae's honor. Please sponsor me to help her family with some of her medical costs during this difficult time. All donations will go directly to Helen and her family.

The following is Helen's Story in her mothers words:

This all began a few months ago when Helen started toe walking i.e tip toeing progressively more and more. As a PT, this was bothersome to me since I considered it an "abnormal gait pattern", but also know with my limited pediatric background that this was something that she could easily grow out of. However, when it became more consistent, I decided to talk to some of my pediatric PT friends and get their thoughts. One suggestion, among many, was to get some custom made orthotics. With our insurance, I had to get a referral from Helen's pediatrician. While he was on board with the orthotics, he wanted us to see a pediatric neurologist just to be safe. I used some of my connections in the medical community, specifically, Joshua Ammerman, who is prominent neurologist in the DC area, and he referred me to Adeline Vanderver who is a pediatric neurologist. After giving Helen an extremely comprehensive examination, she decided that an MRI would be the best idea - again, just to be sure nothing else was going on. So we scheduled that for several weeks later, because as you can imagine, most 2-year olds won't sit still for an MRI so she had to be placed under general anesthesia, which also meant that she could not eat the day of the test. Helen replied with "OK, Mommy and Daddy, I just won't eat and then I'll go scan myself." To say the least, she was a trooper.

The following day I got a conference call from my pediatrician and Dr. Vanderver who informed me that the MRI had shown that her brain and spine were fine, but they had found a tumor on her left adrenal gland that would require a CT scan the following day. Again, she would not be able to eat or drink before the test and might require sedation (not anesthesia). Again she was a trooper and was able to make it through the test without any sedation. I think this is because the radiology technician was a baby whisperer of some kind, because to those of you who know my children, sitting still for any length of time is not characteristic!

The following Monday, we met with the surgeon and the oncologist who explained that the tumor was not pushing on any blood vessels, but was surrounding several major ones and was pushing or going into her left kidney. Our plans now are to have surgery to biopsy the tumor while also getting a bone marrow biopsy done and having a central line placed for the chemotherapy that is likely in our future. The chemo will likely take six months to a year. So we are in for a marathon, not a sprint.

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