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Bayleigh’s Story

Bayleigh is 16, she is a Junior. She was dx with inoperable brain tumor 11-30-06.Completed 2 yrs of chemo,several surgeries.8-4-10 Tumor grew&there is a new area of concern. Chemo again.10-27-10 Tumor grew on chemo, so11-29-10 began 25 rounds of radiation. Jan. 2011 Tumor grew during radiation.May 2011 grew again. started chemo again finally.Aug. 2011 Tumor SHRANK.Finished chemo May 2012.Aug.2012 tumor grew back to origional size.

I started seeing double. When I told my mom and dad, they took me to Dr. Tony Catanzaro. He ran some tests, and he sent me to see Dr. Snell and Advance Imaging. The test showed that I have a brain tumor called Crainiopharyngioma. When Dr. Snell told me that I had a tumor, I told her it was going to be scary road for me to go down, but I can do this. Then I told my family and friends. Dr. Snell then referred me to the Pediatric Neosurgeons at Children's Hospital. Nadine and Gigi and all the other girls in the clinic were so nice to me. Although it is very scary to have a tumor, I know I am in good hands. Dr. Blount explained my tumor to me and what type of surgery I was going to have. He then gave me some medicine to get the swelling down over the weekend. I started feeling better, and my vision is better, too. The medicine was nasty, but I took it anyway. My Dad said that it would make me get better.

Bayleigh had a different kind of tumor than they thought, now they are not sure what her diagnosis is... As of 12-23-06, she has had 5 MRI's, 1 Catscan, 1 Sonogram, about 15 IV's, Two Surgeries (for biopsies and shunts) and tons of bloodwork. What a brave little girl! You are doing great! We love you! Mom and Dad

1-8-07 As of this day, Bayleigh has a Hypothalamic Pilocytic Astrocytoma, we are waiting on third opinion from Johns Hopkins. If they agree Bayleigh will participate in a clinical trial, with 3 different types of Chemo. If they don't agree, I'll be honest...I don't know what they will do. Anyway we expect to start Chemotherpy maybe next week.

7-27-07 Bayleigh has been taking Chemo since January 2007 and will do so until about June 2008. Her tumor is not operable because of location, so we will pray that the Chemotherapy continues to do it's job. She has had two MRI's since Chemo began. The first one showed shrinkage, the second showed stable. She had a really tough time in Feb and March, but she is much better now. We are so grateful for the love, support, and encouragement from our friends, family, community, church and neighbors. We are so blessed and we continue to count our blessings everyday. Thanks again for everything and everybody. We love you all! Johnny and Dixie Phillips

8-4-10 Bayleigh's origional tumor has grown and there is a new one, she just began a new chemo regimen, please pray for her strength, peace and for her tumor to GO AWAY!!!

Latest Journal Update

Senior year, childhood cancer awareness month, and "the accident"

It's sad that it has been so long since I updated caringbridge, I had to click the help button to figure out how to log in! Shame on me! I also had a notebook full of things I wanted to post about, and I can't find it.... Neither of these are surprising because yesterday I stopped at a stop sign forever waiting on it to turn green!!!!

Everyone is doing great here. Lola was 10 days old when we began this jouney and now she is in 2nd grade, it's hard to believe. Garrett is a FRESHMAN and Bayleigh is a SENIOR!!! This is the first time Bayleigh and Garrett have been at the same school in 8 years... They are really enjoying each other!

Big news!!!! Bayleigh's tumor has been stable now for 10 months! So Bayleigh began her senior year chemo free!!!! What a blessing!!!  Bayleigh also turned 17 on August 20th! Summer was absolutely great, we went and did as much as we could, JUST because we could! No chemo, low counts, sickness!!! I am telling you now, on the days I am absolutely the tiredest I have ever been.... I remind myself that BUSY IS A BLESSING! When everyone is healthy enough for us to go and do, we are blessed!

Bayleigh went to Camp SAM this year, it was fabulous as always, she met all of the goals she set for herself. But this year she tried something new, she went out kyaking, and she loved it! Not sure why, but that had never interested her in anyway! So when she got home before school started we took a day and the family went Kyaking together at Big Wills Outfitters. It was a wonderful experience! It was a real blessing for our family to spend the day doing that together! That was a first , but won't be the last!

For Bayleigh's birthday she got a VIP ticket for herself, Garrett and her friend AC to meet Tim Hawkins! It was fabulous! Laughed so hard my stomach hurt. If you are not famililar with him look him up at or on you tube as Tim Hawkins. He is a great Christian comedian! WE really enjoyed his show!

We have dear friends and their daughter was diagnosed with PNET, she will turn a year old soon, she is a doll!! Well she had surgery, removed 100% of tumor, so we are so excited about that. But these tumors are very aggressive, so they are doing six months of chemo, which started this week. Her name is Elyse. She has a page on facebook called Praying for Baby Elyse Reeves. Please keep her in your prayers.

This weekend we are having our 6th Annual VW Ride ~ Cruisin' Through the Canyon!!!

September 6th

Registration begins at 8 a..m.

Ride begins at 10 a.m.

This is an escorted ride to Little River Canyon Conservatory where we will have lunch and watch the montage from last year. As soon as everyone is cooled off, we will head back down to Top O' The River in Gadsden AL for dinner and drawing for the raffles!

Cost is 30.00 for adults and 12.00 for children

Price also includes t shirt, coffee and doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

If you are on facebook, join Volkswagen Cruisin' for all the details and forms. If you are interested in a t shirt please, they are 15.00 each, I will post pics soon, need sizes for orders by Monday, so email me at

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so here is a run down so far of what we know of on the calendar. I don't expect everybody to do everything, but to me there is a little something for everybody. Just picked something you enjoy doing, grap your family and go do it... Make some memories and help out Childhood Cancer! :)

September 13th
is the Monkey C Monkey Run for Camp SAM
September 21st is Ride for Kids Benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at Barber Motorports in Leeds, AL
September Rainbow City Munchkin Run 5K  benefitting aTeam Ministries at Vivian Lee Maddox Sports Complex Call Amy G. at 256-442-2898 for more details
September 28th is Tapping out Childhood Cancer 2:00 for more information check out the site on facebook The Sixth Annual Tapping out Cancer Gala
September 29th is our Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive at Top O' The River from 2:00-7:00 also has several things going on all through September so please check out their site as well.

Little sad, happy and spiritual news......

Yesterday Bayleigh had a car accident... She is fine.

The Foxy Box didn't fair so well, my guess is that it is totaled. But I have to share the story.

Bayleigh and Garrett were going to school to work a Fine Arts Event, then go to the First Titans Home game. They were so excited for so many reasons... I took pics before they left.... well a few minutes later Bayleigh came back home to get her camera........ so there are two parts two this story... I will give you Bayleigh's first.... so you would have to know this particular intersection, it is awful, we have had a wreck there before.... anwyay.... she basically t boned a car.....her airbags went off, she screamed and suddenly there was a man at her window..., he opened the door, asked her if she was ok, he told her there was something leaking out of her car and he needed to get her out of the car, well Bayleigh was still kind of upset..... he reached out his hand to shake her hand and he said My name is Charlie, what is your name, she said Bayleigh, he got her out of the car and took her to the side of the road and gave her to a girl that had heard the wreck and come out of her home..... they turned around and he was gone.... they never saw a car, or him or anything.....  Bayleigh immediatly said, he was my guardian angel.

So my end is, I was taking pictures of Lola and her friend Lily Cate, they were playing dress up.... I saw the number on my phone and I didn't recognize it, so I told them this might take me a minute, to go play and I would take their pictures in a minute..... I answered the phone, and very calmy he said I am with Bayleigh, she has had an accident, but she is ok, we are at the corner of 77 and park lane. So I immediatly left, as soon as I got out of my car I took a picture as I was walking toward the accident. There is a picture on my phone between the one of Lily and Lola and the accident that I can't explain. I am going to post pics and let you decide for your self. But I know she had a hedge of protection around her, and we think that came in the form of an angel named Charlie.

We took her on to the hospital to get checked out..... she had a burn like on her stomach from the air bags and seatbelts, her arm and her hand. She checked out fine, as we suspected she would. Just sore.... I know it's just a car... but the foxy box was very special to her and you all know why!

Oh and when I got to the accident I couldn't find Garrett, well she had left him at school since she was headed right back there.

I have a special prayer request for my cousin, his name is Craig. He has renal cell carcinoma.He is 43 years old.  He is having surgery on September 4th. Please pray for him. We lost his brother last October from the same type of cancer. However they caught Craig's early, for that we are very grateful.

Please pray for Michelle Myrick, Carly Parker's headaches, Kayla Perry, Wyatt Greene, Tom Barnes, Issac Hatfield, and the many other's that are on and off treatment! For each person that is fighting a battle of their own!

It may take me a bit, but I will add all the photos thank you for your prayers. Bayleigh does not have another MRI until October 21st, results on October 22nd! We appreciate your prayers!

I also wanted to add Mr.Phillips letter that he wrote to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation below:

Dear Friend,

On September 21st, for my eighth year, I will be riding my motorcycle the Ride for Kids. The Ride for Kids is a national fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I am riding in honor of my granddaughter Bayleigh and all children who suffer from a brain tumor. Every day thirteen children are diagnosed with a brain tumor, and brain tumors are the deadliest of all childhood cancers. There are not many treatment options for pediatric brain tumors, and according to the PBTF, federal funding continues to decrease, so it is up to the PBTF to fund the research to find a cure. This is the 31st year for the fundraiser. According to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the ride has raised more than $73 million. The Birmingham ride that I participate in has raised over $950,451. The proceeds of the ride are used to support critically needed medical research for pediatric brain tumors. The PBTF is the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for pediatric brain tumor research. The foundation is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization that has funded more than 50 research institutions in the United States and other countries. Charity Navigator, the leading guide to charitable giving, has named the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation as one of its highest rated nonprofit organizations. This indicates that the PBTF consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way and out performs other charities. One year, Bayleigh was asked to speak at the foundation’s yearly planning weekend at the headquarters in North Carolina. Betty and I went along with Bayleigh and family. Workers and volunteers from all over the country were there. We were so impressed with their dedication and hard work. They had meetings all weekend, with no time off. Bayleigh and her family were also featured in a video to be used for fundraising and recruitment. The video features slides following Bayleigh’s illness and the family speaking. I have included a link to the video at the bottom of this letter. In November of 2006, at nine years of age, Bayleigh was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Bayleigh has received care from Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins, St. Jude, and the renowned Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Institute at Duke Hospital, where Ted Kennedy was treated. She has had four surgeries, over one hundred and thirty weeks of chemotherapy, twenty-five rounds of radiation and has a shunt to relieve her symptoms. A little over three years ago, after five years of various treatments, Bayleigh’s tumor became much more aggressive, growing even through chemotherapy and massive radiation. We all were devastated. A new treatment plan was started, and for the first time since her diagnosis, the tumor responded with very noticeable shrinkage, but once off treatment the tumor was as large as it was before and quickly growing. Bayleigh’s oncologist was frantically searching for treatment. Bayleigh was placed on a new treatment plan and was on it until September 2013. Bayleigh has enjoyed a wonderful year off treatment. Her tumor has not shrunk; it has remained stable. Bayleigh has an MRI every three months. As before, Bayleigh’s tumor may begin to grow again, and she will have to undergo treatment. Her doctor will search for a new plan for her as she has exhausted most existing plans. New treatments are the answer for so many children, and I am working to raise funds for the research to find a cure for these children. The research will not only help the children, but all who suffer from brain tumors. Bayleigh is a constant inspiration for me. She is such a brave young girl in a valiant struggle, and all along the way she brightens the days for others because she is happy and always optimistic. She attends her church and believes that God has a definite purpose for her and her illness, and she is not going to let Him down. Bayleigh says that she will “sing and dance in the rain”. Last fall, Bayleigh was chosen as an inspiring teen from many nominations all over the country for a film by Fotolanthropy, a non-profit group of professional photographers and filmmakers who film those who have overcome adversity. A link to the video is at the end of the letter. Bayleigh is a senior at Gadsden City High School where she has attended since the ninth grade. Despite treatments, sick days, and doctor’s visits, Bayleigh has remained a focused student. She has been on the honor roll the entire time. She has and will continue to take Advanced Classes. Bayleigh has received many awards. She received the Principal’s Award, and was on the student council, in the Beta Club, 4-H, and Builders Club, was student representative, and was awarded the Courage Award to represent Camp Smile-A-Mile. She has become a Junior Rotary Club member, and has been a Titan Ambassador to represent her school at official functions. She was honored to be the Birmingham representative for The Children’s Miracle Network. She spoke to many different corporate representatives to help kick start this year’s fundraising. She once spoke to a group of 1,500 Sam’s and Walmart representatives. Bayleigh has spoken to numerous organizations and churches about her experience. For two years, she was the top fundraiser for the Etowah County and Gadsden American Cancer Society. Last fall, Bayleigh and family published a cookbook featuring her story and great recipes and sold almost 2,000 copies. I am very proud to be a part of the effort and commitment for which the Ride for Kids stands. I am asking for your support to help find a cure for Bayleigh and all children who suffer from brain tumors. If you would like to help, I will be collecting donations for my ride in support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Checks should be made out to PBTF. Please send your donations to my address which is at the end of the letter or call me at H (256) 442-6312 or Cell (256) 490-1684, and I will be glad to come by and pick it up. For donations to help me reach my goal for this year’s ride, donations must be received by me, by Friday, September 19th. I collect donations all year, but for this year’s Ride for Kids, please donate as soon as possible. Please, ask your friends for their help, and thank you for your support.


Phil Phillips

117 Nottingham Road

Rainbow City, Al 35906

58 people hearted this



phil phillips
Just wanted to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bayleigh!!!! So proud of you Bay in college and all!!
I know you must be excited about moving in your new pad. Still hope you route for Auburn when we play Jax State!!! Ha Ha war eagle!!!

With love Uncle Phil
Congratulations on your graduation Bayleigh!!! What a great accomplishment, especially under your circumstances. Praying for continued strength and healing.
phil phillips
By phil phillips
Hi everybody in RBC!! Looking at this website I can tell that this has really been a good year for you all and I am so happy for you! I was looking at the article on the internet about The Racing for Kids team visiting Children's and seeing all of the kids hand prints I am reminded that there are so many people working to help the cause. I am continously amazed at how much you all do to raise money but just as important is the fact that you reach out to the families affected and giving them emotional support . You even took food to the families during the holidays. You all amaze me!!!! I am also so happy for Bayleigh working at Jville,prom and then going to college.
Here's to 2016!!

Uncle Phil
1 person hearted this
Renee' Granger
By Renee' Granger
So happy that you all had a great year. Praying and hoping next year is even better. God bless you all. You all deserve all the wonderful blessings.
Nan Gilbert
By Nan Varley Gilbert, GHS, Class of 62
Dixie, Bayleigh's story has inspired me to be a more active participant in the fight against childhood cancers. Remind Phil that I sent two checks on consecutive days this year. I know that the first check that I ever sent disappeared. I happened to find an undated note from Phil thanking me for sending it, so I think that it did get there. It will probably show up in some odd place some day. Take care!
1 person hearted this
gina hill
So awesome to hear an update about your precious family. Cannot believe this is Bayleigh's senior year and that Garrett is a freshman. Glad to hear the news about Bayleigh's tumor and that she survived the car wreck. The Hill Family
1 person hearted this
Martha Bryan
Oh, my! It's so exciting and faith-building to read your post. Your families' confidence in God's care and grace is always shining even during the hard times. Thank you for sharing Bayleigh's story. I love reading about the giving spirit people have in response to the needs cancer brings on. God bless you all. We love you.
1 person hearted this
Martha Bryan
Oh, my! It's so exciting and faith-building to read your post. Your families' confidence in God's care and grace is always shining even during the hard times. Thank you for sharing Bayleigh's story. I love reading about the giving spirit people have in response to the needs cancer brings on. God bless you all. We love you.
1 person hearted this
Martha Bryan
Oh, my! It's so exciting and faith-building to read your post. Your families' confidence in God's care and grace is always shining even during the hard times. Thank you for sharing Bayleigh's story. I love reading about the giving spirit people have in response to the needs cancer brings on. God bless you all. We love you.
1 person hearted this
Sandy Daron
By Sandy Daron
Hello my sweet Dixie,

PRAISE THE LORD for STABLE!!! Bayleigh IS an OVERCOMER!!! BIG 17!! Senior!! WHAT a YEAR!!! I am soo excited to see what plans God has for her!!!

PTL is OK after the accident!! How scary!!!

I LUV yall!!

1 person hearted this