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Juliana’s Story

Juliana was diagnosed with stage 3, group 3 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma on 3/7/07. She had 6 weeks of radiation therapy and 14 rounds of chemotherapy. Julie relapsed on 3/17/11 and received another 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 more weeks of radiation therapy. Julie relapsed a second time on 6/5/12 and received 12 more rounds of chemotherapy and 10 more weeks of radiation therapy. She relapsed a third time 3/17/14 and after surgery that removed 90% of the new tumor had five more weeks of radiation therapy and four more rounds of chemotherapy. She was on maintenance chemotherapy when she relapsed a fourth time on 7/12/15. Juliana is currently getting more chemotherapy. Please keep Julie in your prayers!

Until Sunday, February 18, 2007 we had no idea there was anything wrong with our beautiful, happy, confident five-year-old daughter. She came into our room that morning complaining about a "bump" under her right arm. The bump turned out to be a swollen lymph node and we discovered the next day at the pediatrician's office that she also had a tumor on her right forearm. After x-rays and an MRI, we received that awful call from the doctor--it appeared the tumor was cancerous and that it had matastisized to the lymph node. The next two weeks went by in a blur as we drove back and forth each day to the hospital for exams, blood work, numerous scans, a biopsy and surgery. Julie's treatment will include weekly chemotherapy for 42 weeks, daily radiation for six weeks and possibly more surgery to remove the tumor after is shrinks.

We adopted Julie from Minsk, Belarus on August 26, 2003 when she was 20 months old. We believe that God placed her in our family for a reason. Had she remained in the orphanage in Belarus, she would not have received treatment for her cancer. Instead, God allowed her to be adopted into an American family where some of the best medical care in the world is within driving distance and surrounded her with many, many loving, caring family members and friends.

Latest Journal Update

Ready for Round Four

Juliana has been busy trying to keep up with her school work in between hospital visits over the last three weeks. She had her third round of chemotherapy September 7th through 11th and other than needing a couple of blood transfusions everything went smoothly. On September 16th Juliana and Kristina both had blood work at Johns Hopkins for typing to see if Kristina was a match for the bone marrow transplant, unfortunately we found out on the 23rd that Kristina is NOT a match. We are now moving on to plan B which is to have Juliana and Kristina's birth mother typed. Right now everything is being held up by the Belarusian government--we have to apply for special permission to have the tubes of blood shipped out of Belarus to Johns Hopkins as they do not allow any biological material to leave their country.

In addition to a week of diarrhea after each round of chemo, the irinotecan has also been causing radiation recall. Julie's right eye is dry and she's having photosensitivity, the cough that she's had since the chest radiation is getting worse and she's starting to have stomach pain--the symptoms she had during radiation to each of these areas has started again. She also now has "tanned" areas in the shape of each of her seven prior radiation fields. In addition the vincristine is causing her eyelids to droop and since the right eyelid was already droopy and she has nystagmus (which causes her eyes to jump when one eye is covered) she's having problems with double vision.

Juliana will be getting her fourth round of vincristine, temozolomide and irinotecan this week--outpatient each day Monday-Friday. Dr. Loeb wants her to have five rounds of chemo before doing the bone marrow transplant which means, if we can get through all of the bureaucracy in Belarus, Juliana should be having the bone marrow transplant in early November.

Please pray for grace for Juliana to get through two more rounds of this chemotherapy, for Belarus to cooperate with Johns Hopkins so we can move forward with the typing and for her birth mother, Irina, to be a match for the bone marrow transplant.

19 people hearted this



Debbie Sanderson
By Debbie Sanderson
Thinking about the whole family xx
Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Sending prayers and positive thoughts to Juliana
BJ Miller
By BJ Miller
I Pray For Juliana To Do Great This Week With ALL Her Outpatient Treatments. I Also Pray That She Does NOT Get Sick. I Am Praying Too For The Govmt. Of Belarus To Allow What They Normally Do Not...And Allow For The Shipment Of Tubes Of Blood So That Irina Can HOPEFULLY Be The Match That Juliana Is Looking For!! Praying For Your Whole Family As Well! GO JULIANA!!! You And Jesus Got This!!
Jennifer Green
By Jennifer Green
Praying for grace to get through the remaining chemo, for Beleruce to cooperate, and for Irena to be a match for Juliana.
Jennifer Green
c.o.l.e.'s prayer team
1 person hearted this
Christy Anderson
By christy
Praying for u Julie, strong u r doing great love ya
Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Praying for all to work out Feel better Julianna
Margaret Scherer
By Margaret
Trusting in the Lord to fix things...
Amanda Gilliams
By Amanda Gilliams
Such a great amount of worry and stress for all of you...prayers continuing for Julie's comfort--and for Irina to be a perfect match...for all of you, and for all intentions. May His grace and blessings surround you~
Sandy Daron
I pray Juliana does GREAT this week!! I pray it does not make her as sick this time.

I pray God will make the way for Juliana's birth mother to travel to the US soon.

Love ya,
C.O.L.E.s Foundation (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally)
Say A Prayer, Send A Smile, Make A Difference
1 person hearted this
Suzanne Hirtle
By Suzanne Hirtle
You are in my prayers and my Bible study is praying for her and your family too.