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Brooke’s Story

Be humble in the presence of God's mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes.  God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.   
1 Peter 5: 6-7

Welcome to Brooke's CaringBridge page! Please visit often to read entries, view photos or write a guestbook note!  (or send a note: Want to send Brooke a note? Her home address is: P.O. Box 154, Chapman Ranch, TX 78347

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 6 years old and loves pink, ponies, cats and dogs, and dinosaurs. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Brooke was always a healthy child with ear infections as her biggest hurdle. She had a great summer in 2010 and even learned how to swim! By 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 those tests came back negative. 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. 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. By the time she had stopped walking completely, and not even crawling because of the pain, the pediatrician's initial diagnosis was Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and he immediately wanted her to stay home and wait to see a pediatric rheumatologist. Meanwhile, Brooke had begun rapidly losing weight with less appetite, and at 3, she was barely 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 revealed a large mass in her abdomen pressing on her left kidney, spine, and internal organs. They told us it may be a kidney stone...

On November 18, 2010, our lives forever changed. Brooke was diagnosed with stage 4, high risk Neuroblastoma, which is a form of nervous system cancer that had spread to her bone marrow.

We have faced this battle armed with prayer warriors, friends and family ready to help pull her through. Financially it has been incredibly challenging as we have gone from a two income, one home family to a family separated by thousands of miles trying to maintain two places to live and receive health care for Brooke on one salary.  We spent an entire year living at the Ronald McDonald House in New York for the surgery of the mass and to battle the bone marrow cancer through clinical trials.  While daddy has been home most of the time working and maintaining insurance coverage, Brooke and her mom have been home for only a few weeks in the past two years as we now have Brooke at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Michigan seeking new hope in a ground breaking NMTRC genomics trial and personalized medicine against her aggressive type of recurrent stage IV cancer.  We are still praying for remission daily!!

Although now she is 6 and a half, Brooke continues to bravely fight this battle and our family has set up a special charitable account, the "Brooke Hester Donation Fund" at any Wells Fargo branch. 

Our faith is strong and we BELIEVE in the power of prayer!

Thank you for supporting our Brooke through her journey!

http://www.BrookeFightsBack.org


To learn more about Brooke's foundation, please visit 

http://www.BrookesBlossoms.org

or find her on facebook at 

http://www.facebook.com/BrookesBlossoms

pinterest page

http://www.pinterest.com/BrookesBlossoms

or Twitter

@BrookesBlossoms

Latest Journal Update

Yesterday

I'm so sorry everyone my phone is on the fritz and dies often and will not work at all while plugged in. It has been overflowing with loving messages of faith and prayer and I am slowly going through each one (it takes a ridiculously long time sometimes just to get each word to type out on my phone) between caring for these babies.... SO beyond blessed to have Great Aunt Nancy here to help especially on such short notice at this very busy time of year. She is so loving and unselfish and caring to track thousands of miles on her own to a place she had never been to before just to help out - we love you Aunt Nancy.
















Prayers are coming through as Brooke is improving under the hands of the doctors and nurses each day and last night although it took her 3 hours she nibbled continuously at calorie rich Mac and Cheese. Her eating and drinking is improving and when very strong pain medication is on board she feels relaxed and chatty. When it wears off her left ear hurts very badly despite two courses of IV antibiotics. She has a scratch inside her ear and with low counts this is high risk for nasty infection which has happened to Brooke despite the fact that her nails are very short and still painted adorably. She is just in a delicate balance and it doesn't take much for her life to unravel quickly at times when her counts take a cliff dive like they did. Yesterday's counts were improved and we hope today will be too. Although Benjamin has been up and down all night like he has been doing with this teething for his first back teeth, Brooke has slept sound all night and I hope and pray she will wake up feeling better and better. It pains my heart to see her walk so stiff legged even with pain medication on board and we pray this is related to the way one of her drugs (Temador) causes a resurgence of radiation effects like re-amplifying them in the body again especially those places most recently treated - her upper arms and lower femurs were even hot to the touch yesterday. Her liver function tests that have been elevated for months are continuing to go down showing effects of therapy and her kidney function tests are still elevated but also were beginning to go down yesterday and her potassium was back in the normal range. It really was concerning how tired the low potassium made her and how she was shaky and barely able to keep her eyes open even for me to give the potassium to her the night before last. But she did it... and had a better day all around yesterday too although her eyes are very sensitive to light right now for some reason. I promise to write again soon, when I can, and when we know more about her healing. Please continue to hope and pray for more miracles for Brooke. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the love and support surrounding her life and our family.
















PS The snowman Benjamin is holding in the photo was from a hospital volunteer... Brooke got to choose anything she wanted from the little bag of donated soft toys and as soon as Benjamin came to visit her she gave it to him. She won't say anything at all she wants for Christmas and when we do get the chance to go to the hospital gift shop or grocery store together all she wants to do is pick out ideas of things she wants him to have. Brooke has the biggest heart in the whole world. She just wants to feel better and maybe make it home for Christmas - I know she just wants the pain to go away.
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Comments

20 Comments

Barbara Caperton
By Barbara Caperton
Praying!
Shirley Bennett
By Shirley Bennett
God Bless you all. I hope she can come home for the holidays!
Joyce Nosker
By Joyce Nosker
You do have a wonderful great Aunt Nancy to come and help out!

Praying for improvement in Brooke's pain and ear infection. Also praying that Benjamin's teething improves so he can sleep better.

Brooke has the sweetest heart ever! She deserves all the blessing she can hold everyday, but especially for Christmas.


www.caringbridge.org/visit/larrynosker
marilyn bergagnini
By marilyn bergagnini
GOD BLESS PRECIOUS BROOKE........ALL THE PAIN SHE IS GOING THRU AND SHE CONSTANTLY THINKS OF OTHERS ESPECIALLY HER LITTLE BROTHER.......PRAYING SHE FEELS BETTER WITH PAIN RELIEF SO SHE CAN BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS........LOVE AND HUGS AND TONS OF HEALING PRAYERS......
Renee Barlow
By Renee Barlow-Decatur, Tx.
awww sweet Brooke, you have the biggest, kindest, caring heart I have ever known...I pray daily for you and your family. God please heal this little girl, give her strength to keep fighting and I pray she gets to go home for Christmas. praying for her mom, dad, her brother, medical team and all her family. Keep fighting Brooke Hester, your my hero and we all love you...
Roseanne Crandall
By
Praying so hard for Brooke's pain to go away and for her strength to return.
You are always in my thoughts, prayers, and heart.
💕💐. Roseanne
Jennifer Cobb
By Jennifer Cobb
All my love to this sweet girl and her little baby brother. Sounds just like my Ju and her little baby Jaxi:))))
Sheree Slade
By Sheree Slade
God bless you and your big, loving heart, Brooke! Your sweetness is beyond description. Prayers for complete healing, comfort and no pain continue daily. Keep fighting your way back to us, Sweetie. Looking forward to seeing your precious faces on Christmas morning.

HUGE hugs and butterfly kisses as always.
www.caringbridge.org/visit/babygirlhope
denise richardson
By denise richardson
Praying her Christmas wishes come true!! Love you precious Brooke!
Alisha Rushing
By Alisha Rushing
Praying.