When your child is diagnosed with cancer, your life stops, changes course, and begins instead toward a path to do anything & everything to help your baby. Brooke is our baby; this is her story.
Brooke is 3 1/2 years old and loves pink, ponies, cats and dogs, and dinosaurs. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Right now she is facing a big challenge that took us all by surprise in late September. We had a pretty good year... In fact at her 3 year check up in April, the pediatrician she saw that was not her regular doctor said she was a little on the "chunky" side for her age and height. She had a great summer and even learned how to swim!! In August, a few, sporadic things began to occur. First she had a couple of strange, unexplained fevers. We thought perhaps it was her ears, or a bladder infection, but nothing came back on those tests. Then she had a couple of intermittent times she made a "volcano" (what she calls getting sick to her stomach)...again with no real pattern or explanation. Then in late September, she started having a strange limp and her right knee was becoming swollen, and it was getting harder for her to walk. The pediatrician's initial diagnosis was Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and he immediately wanted her to stop attending the First Baptist School and to stay home, so her Grammie and Grandma came to help out while Brooke started her six weeks of waiting to see a pediatric rheumatologist. Meanwhile, Brooke had started rapidly losing weight, losing her appetite, crawling, or pulling up and holding her back, but she only complained of knee and tummy pain. A sonogram, nuclear scans, MRI/MRU and later tests have shown a large tumor is in her abdomen pressing on her left kidney, spine, and internal organs. Her diagnosis is stage 4, high risk neuroblastoma, which is a form of cancer. The prognosis is not good, but there have been advances for neurblastoma in the last few years. The cancer is also in her bone marrow, so she has a long battle ahead. We are armed with prayer warriors, friends and family ready to help pull her through this, but financially, we face many days away from home and travelling to MD Anderson in her "road map" of cancer treatment for the mass and bone marrow. We have strong faith, and know the power of prayer is awesome... please pray for our sweet, sweet girl.
Our family has set up a special donation account for Brooke if you are working on a fundraiser or just want to make a charitable contribution. It is through Wells Fargo, and anyone, anywhere can go to any branch and just request to give to the "Brooke Hester Donation Fund." We also have a campaign on Facebook as a Fundrazr drive at: http://bit.ly/gATd5I
Driscoll Children's Hospital
3533 South Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78411-1785