Lyana is a beautiful, intelligent 6-year-old girl who is a twin to her brother Gregory. She also has an older sister named Hennessy. Her favorite Disney princess is Elsa. She loves watching Frozen, she loves food, and loves playing with her cousins. Her smile and personality can brighten up any room. She is the rock to our family. She was perfectly healthy, and she was never sick.
In early 2018, I started to notice things were a little off with her. She began excessively drooling and her gait was off. I knew something was wrong right away and took her to the doctor. After a few doctor visits and MRI's, in mid March 2018, at 5-years-old, my Lyana was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called DIPG Grade IV (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). It is classified grade; Grade IV being the most aggressive. DIPG is a highly aggressive tumor that is found in the brain stem. The brain stem controls the nerves that help us breathe, eat, walk, talk, hear, see, and control our heart rate. It affects about 10% of children every year.
Surgery is not an option because of the many risks, since it is in a sensitive area in the brain. Our only option at the moment was 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. Lyana went through 6 weeks of the chemo and radiation, 5 times a week. The tumor did shrink during the 6 weeks of treatment. But it was not enough. Four months after treatment, Lyana was scheduled to start a new treatment. Upon arrival, we were told that the treatment was no longer available anywhere in the United States leaving us heartbroken and feeling hopeless.
Before Lyana started her new treatment, I did some research on doctors who have experience in dealing with DIPG as backup plans. There were minimal options but I was relieved to find one. He is located in Mexico and has an excellent reputation. The treatment are proven to be effective, however, each treatment is costly, 20K per treatment to be exact (not including travel expenses, housing, and food) but are unsure of how many treatments Lyana will need.
Mexico is Lyana's only option for life. There is nothing that can be offered to her here in the United States. We ask for your generosity in helping us whether it's with a donation for expenses, a PRAYER, or simply sharing to raise awareness for this cause.
"If you have ever seen a child fight cancer, it would change your life forever."