In February 2021, Grace fractured her left shoulder in 2 places after holding a plank exercise for a remote PE class. It was found she had 9.6 cm x 5" high-grade G3 osteosarcoma bone tumor in her left shoulder socket. She had several months of chemo, LLS surgery to remove the tumor and rebuild her left arm with a titanium prosthetic limb. She also lost her rotator cuff muscles and full use of her arm post-op. She finished chemo 11/16/21 and in her two-month scans, they found new metastasis in her lungs. 2/16/22 Grace had VATS thoracic surgery to remove 38 nodules from her lungs and got a new port. Pathology came back to reveal 27 were new cancer and 11 were benign. She was hospitalized 11 days (5 in PICU) at UNMC in recovery. She is in chemo now and will be in treatment most of the coming year then she will take oral chemo indefinitely. WHAT WILL HER TREATMENT BE? Grace will undergo AGGRESSIVE chemotherapy. She will have regular echocardiograms to access her heart and hearing hearing tests (chemo can harm these). The goal is to kill ALL the cancer cells. She will be very ill and will lose all her hair, eyebrows and eye lashes in treatment. Grace will receive regular blood transfusions throughout because the chemo will bring her blood platelet count down so low. At home she will have a home health nurse visit to give her IV fluids and take blood samples for platelet testing. Her mom is also on the list as a stem cell donor if she should need them, but can't be a blood donor for her because she can't give enough blood to meet the demand Grace will need during treatment. With this type of cancer, Grace will require regular check ups and reviews the next coming year and will have regular checkups throughout her lifetime. WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW SHE HAD CANCER? Prior to her sprain, Grace had no symptoms. She had no pain and had not been ill that would have given her mom any warning signs she was sick or had cancer at all. Left untreated, this cancer could have spread to her lungs and other bones-making her cancer potentially fatal. We believe God was smiling on Grace. What is typically a small bone fracture lead to the crucial discovery she had a serious form of cancer. That fracture (literally) saved her life! To learn more about Osteosarcoma: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteosarcoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351052 GRACE'S SERVICE DOG: SNICKERDOODLE New Year's Day 2021, Grace received an 8-week old golden labradoodle puppy that is undergoing full service dog training to become her 24/7 service animal. The puppy's adoption fees were sponsored by as private donor and the training fees were part of Grace's Make-a-Wish. FIGHTING CANCER Since learning she was sick, Grace is determined to BEAT CANCER and says, "Cancer's never seen a Grace before". We fully support her gusto to fight and become a cancer warrior. Together we are behind her as she kicks cancer to the curb! You can join us by sending a note of encouragement and helping her fight on (see Carrie's email address below). We also installed a special mailbox on our front porch to receive cards and letters from neighbors. While we wait to have her admitted for treatment, Grace spends her time watching her favorite shows on Netflix, playing Minecraft and painting pictures with her favorite acrylic paints. She's getting lots of rest. Her mom is feeding her great food to fuel and nourish her body as much as possible before her chemo begins. She is concerned, but is still smiling and remains hopeful for the journey ahead. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE CANCER? Being told you have cancer is like getting hit in the face with a snowball. Everything just kind of stops and the shock of what you're told about your cancer takes awhile to come to terms with. Biopsies are painful and there are constant tests before going into treatment. We spend a lot of time at the hospital and talking with her care team. Grace's cancer is concentrated in her left shoulder. She wears a sling to isolate her from causing further injury to this area. That means she does almost everything one-handed. We're thankful it's not her right hand so she can do just about everything normally. She also needs help bathing and can't dress without help from her mom. Chemo is hard. The medicines she gets are so strong, they are toxic to her mom and she has to use a separate restroom and wear gloves when caring for Grace during her chemo. REQUEST FOR PRAYER We are believers and know God saved her life. We also know He is moving to align all the right people and resources for her care. We would appreciate prayer to protect her heart and hearing from the chemo and for continued strength for her during this long fight. Neither Grace or her mom have had COVID and we're asking for prayer to keep of them safe and free from the virus.
DONATIONS FOR GROCERIES Grace's mom has a culinary background and changed her diet to all natural with some organics. The family is asking for gift cards to local organic grocery stores and a few restaurants that serve clean foods she can eat. Baker's 17370 Lakeside Hills Plz. Omaha, NE 68130 | (402) 333-2454 https://www.bakersplus.com/o/gift-cards Natural Grocers 17602 Wright St, Omaha, NE 68130 | (402) 334-1100 https://secure.naturalgrocers.com/turkeys/buy-a-gift-card/ WHEN GRACE GOES TO THE HOSPITAL When she enters into in-patient care, Grace will be strictly quarantined. Her mom set up an Amazon WishList to get her a few new zippered robes/gowns and beanie caps for her in the hospital: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2RS28PE2IZBOE?ref_=wl_share. Please don't send flowers or gifts to the hospital. Instead, please consider sending a gift card for groceries or card for GrubHub or DoorDash to order in Grace's favorite foods. DONATIONS FOR GRUBHUB AND DOORDASH Grace is not a fan of hospital food. To keep her eating and her weight up, mom lets her order her favorite foods delivered to the hospital. Gift cards for either service would be greatly appreciated. GrubHub https://grubhub.cashstar.com/store/recipient?utm_source=www.grubhub.com%2Fgiftcards&utm_medium=content_owned&utm_campaign=useful_links&locale=en-us DoorDash https://www.doordash.com/gift-cards/ GRACE'S FAVORITE THINGS: Grace has a few things she really enjoys if you would like to surprise her: Freeze Dried Strawberries (Nuts.com): https://nuts.com/driedfruit/strawberries/freeze-dried/2oz.html Roasted Organic Pistachios (Nuts.com): https://nuts.com/nuts/pistachios/roasted-and-saltedinshell/1lb.html Freeze Dried Apples (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/driedfruit/apples/simply-organic.html Freeze Dried Pineapple (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/driedfruit/pineapple/freeze-dried.html Organic Dried Pears (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/driedfruit/pears/organic/1lb.html Grass Fed Beef Jerky (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/snacks/jerky/classic/3oz.html Organic Dry Roasted Cashews (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/nuts/cashews/organic-salted/1lb.html Organic Macadamia Nuts (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/nuts/macadamianuts/organic/8oz.html Yogurt Covered Pretzels (nuts.com): https://nuts.com/chocolatessweets/pretzels/yogurt/1lb.html THANK YOU We can't thank everyone enough for the outpouring of calls, messages, texts, donations, gifts to lift her spirits, and letters of support. We are touched and humbled and greatly appreciate any donations to help us support Grace on her recovery journey. Any gift cards can be emailed to: [email protected] NOTE: When we are home with Grace, we will not be seeing or receiving visitors. We are in strict isolation until she goes to the hospital for treatment. She is immunocompromised during treatment (no white blood cells or infection fighting cells).