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Hannah Grace’s Story

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Hannah Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 16, 2008. She is two and a half years old. On June 2, 2008, we found out that the tumor was a very aggressive form of cancer called pineoblastoma. She will have to undergo six rounds of chemo therapy and possibly radiation and stem cell transplant. On June 4, 2008, she had surgery to remove to tumor, and , praise God, they were able to remove the WHOLE thing. At this point, she has no signs of residual tumor or cancer cells in her body. We are praising God for all of the wonderful things He has done for our family in this situation, and we are looking to Him for protection and guidance through the rest of our journey.

Update as of April 2009:

Hannah Grace has completed 5 rounds of high dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous bone marrow transplant.  Transplant went well with engraftment 10 days after transplant, then complications began.  Hannah Grace was admitted to ICU 2 days after reintroduction of her own stem cells due to shock from high dose chemo.  She was put on the ventilator 2 days after being admitted into ICU.  In total she was on the ventilator for 5 weeks and in ICU for 40 days.  Hannah Grace was diagnosed with VOD which attributed to acute liver, lung, and kidney failure.  At her peak she weighed 46.2 lbs in ICU, keep in mind when we came into the hospital for transplant she weighed 25 lbs.  The weight gain was due to fluid retention.  After being on dialysis and going through 9 days of plasma pheresis she began to get better.  Off of the ventilator and her organs recovering we were sent back to the stem cell unit then began a battle with pneumonia.  The doctors finally found the cause of her organ dysfunction and lung problems,  Hannah Grace was diagnosed with HHV-6.  It is a strain of Herpes virus that was reactivated due to her low immune system.  Treatments for 5 weeks helped the HHV-6 and we were released from the hospital on April 7, 2009.  We are at home with our little miracle in time to celebrate Easter.

Update October 2009:

October 14th 2009 Hannah Grace had an MRI of her brain and showed recurrence of disease.  Another MRI on October 16th showed the disease had spread to her spine.  We are in the fight again with radiation treatments and low dose chemo.  We will not lay down, we will fight with everything we have.  Your prayers are appreciated.