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Corinne’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. This site has been created to glorify God and to keep friends and family updated on Corinne's, Victor's, and our family's experience with childhood cancer (Ewing's Sarcoma).

Victor died peacefully at home, in joyful anticipation of heaven, on September 7, 2011.  He was 14 years old.  We miss him greatly and look forward to seeing him again for eternity.

Corinne continues to be cancer-free.



(You can view videos links to Corinne and Victor's story under the "Resources" tab at the top right of the screen).

Corinne is our 11-yr. old daughter, the 2nd-youngest of 7 children. In May, 2006 (at 6 yrs. old) we noticed that she was favoring her right leg when she ran, resulting in a noticeable limp. After several initial physician visits, doctors misdiagnosed her with  femoral neuropathy (the femoral nerve was not firing, resulting in an inability to use her right quadricep). At the time, we believed it was most likely caused by a severe "charlie horse" she received in March. We were told to expect a somewhat lengthy recovery period, but that the nerve likely would recover on its own. After many specialists over the next 2 months, a second pediatric neurologist suspected that there was more to the problem. An MRI revealed a large pelvic tumor on Sept. 11, 2006. Numerous lab tests and a biopsy determined that she had a soft tissue Ewing's sarcoma. We rejoiced in finding out that the tumor was localized and had not metastisized into the bone or bone marrow. On Sept 22, she began chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. On December 18, a team of surgeons at the Mayo Clinic successfully resected the tumor and performed a rare nerve graft (from the sural nerves behind both calves) to repair the femoral nerve that was severed.  She has recovered such significant use of her quadricep muscles that no one watching her walk would notice her weakness.  Although she gets scans regularly, she is clear of cancer and loves to play hockey and fastpitch softball.

During Corinne's treatment, God enabled us to meet a 9-year-old boy named Victor undergoing cancer treatment. He was in foster care but almost always alone. The Lord drew our hearts to Victor in an unmistakable way. God moved our hearts to adopt Victor, and shortly after our first inquiries, we found out his current foster parents would no longer be able to care for him, that he had the same cancer as Corinne, that it was located in the same place in his body, and that he was on the exact same 'cycle' of treatment as Corinne. Corinne and Victor had their last 3 cycles of chemotherapy in connecting hospital rooms. They both finished their last bag of chemotherapy within a half hour of each other in July, 2007. 

In April 2008 routine scans showed that Victor's cancer had returned in his femur (leg), a tiny spot on his spine and a lymph node in his neck. He finished more rounds of chemo and radiation.  From March-May of 2009, we travelled to and from Indiana for Proton Radiation treatment in the hopes that we could stop another recurrence.  But in August 2009, his cancer was back in his femur, spine, neck, and pelvis.  He started a clinical trial at the U. of Minnesota that worked well for a while ... until June 2010 when his cancer returned in his lungs.  More chemo at home and now a clinical trial through Childrens Hospitals of Minnesota have not been able to stop the progression of his disease.  But Oh, what a journey it has been.

Victor died peacefully at home, in joyful anticipation of heaven, on September 7, 2011.

We would covet your prayers for our family as we walk down a path that we did not choose, but that God chose for us. The Bible tells us over and over again that God is sovereign, and that all of His purposes will be accomplished. We do not know (and will not know) how God is using these cancers and our experience to further His kingdom, but we "rejoice in our present suffering", trusting Him to provide just what we need, when we need it. He is our portion ... and we are fully satisfied in Him. Thank you for helping us to walk by faith on this path.

Latest Journal Update

Good News

Dear friends,

We are praising God tonight that Corinne's scans are clear. The sweetness of this good news is magnified by the past week of waiting and contemplating the alternative. Now, making the 3-hour drive home from Mayo in the dark, I can feel the physical and mental exhaustion from battling my imagination with the truth of God's promises. We have walked this road enough to know with confidence that even if our news was bad today, God would be there to wall it with us. But how grateful we are for his mercies today.


We are still searching for answers to explain Corinne's leg and back pain. Just after my last post, Corinne began to have lower right back pain that concerned us even more. So field of the scans today were widened to include that area. Some of her leg pain has been occasional sharp jolts like nerve pain. We are glad that a tumor is not causing the pain.


One possibility is that her slightly shorter right leg is causing the pain. So after the initial scans and doctor visit, Corinne had a (routine) chest X-ray and then a scanogram to precisely measure her leg lengths. Next week when her primary orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Sim) returns to town, he will view all of the scans and give us his opinion.


Friends, we can't thank you enough for your prayers and encouragement through this time. What a gift!


Resting In His Mercies,

Deb
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Comments

30 Comments

Karen Vrieze
By Karen Vrieze
Deb, thank you for giving us the privilege to once again pray for your family. Thanking God for the good news. Ron and Karen Vrieze
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1 person hearted this
Debbie Lang
By Debbie Lang
Saying prayers that they can find the source of Corrine's pain and provide relief for her.
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1 person hearted this
Lois Ward
By Lois Ward
Praise God and Hallelujah!
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1 person hearted this
Anna Wilson
By Anna Wilson and family
Deb and family
We were incredibly relieved to read your update, and rejoice in your happiness! I hope you will find answers to what is causing the pain. Thinking about you often...
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1 person hearted this
Judy Gunnink
By Henry & Judy Gunnink
We are So thankful for his mercies in that the scans are clear. We pray for clarity for the Dr.s to determine the case of the pain and that it can be relieved. Love you Much!
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Dorothy Wintz
By
I join you in the praises to our Heavenly Father. When Anna heard it she had a great big smile on her face. We will continue to pray that you find the answers to why she has pain. Dorothy Wintz
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1 person hearted this
Anita Tomlinson
By Love and prayers from Tim and Anita
Praising and thanking our Lord! Asking for the healing of these discomforts.
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1 person hearted this
Carole Hedrick
By Carole Hedrick
Thanks for this news. I've been thinking about all of you.
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1 person hearted this
Ruth Bloomstrom
By Ruth Bloomstrom
Thanking God with you for this great news!!! Now we'll continue to pray.
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1 person hearted this
Colleen Loerzel
By Colleen Loerzel
How exciting! Thank you so much for sharing this information to those of us praying. I will continue to pray that the pains cease and that her doctoring need diminish.
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1 person hearted this