Donna died peacefully, early in the morning of 19 October 2009, between her two sleeping parents.
The Donna's Good Things Fund has been established to do good works in Donna's name: dance scholarships, DVD players for kids with cancer, etc. etc. If you would like, you may send donations to:
Donna's Good Things
P.O. Box 5706
Evanston, IL 60204
Thank you for your support.
In March 2007, our 20-month-old girl Donna was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was cut out. It came back six weeks later. It was cut out again, but had spread to the lungs. We tried chemotherapy, which seemed to work well. She got six doses, lost her hair and also her tumor. To knock it senseless, she got a huge dose in December 2007, with an autologous stem cell transplant. The tumor didn't show up for six months. Then it did. July 25, 2008, Donna had surgery to take out the tumor, and Intrabeam radiation.
She had been recovering beautifully, but the tumor showed up again in October 2008. Donna got outpatient chemo, Avastin and Irinotecan, every other week since the end of October. She handled it well, but it only slowed the growth... not stopping it. So we had another resection in February 2009, and then spent twelve weeks in Bloomington Indiana, getting proton radiation treatment at MPRI.
A lump appeared on her neck during the last days of treatment: a swollen lymph node. On our return to Chicago, it was removed, and a biopsy showed that the tumor had moved into the lymph system. A CT scan showed a lot of nodes in the lungs. We chose to pursue palliative measures only. She had over four months more of life, pursued to the fullest, until she died on October 19, 2009.