Welcome to Kaitlyn's website! Feel free to read through Her Story, The Journal and The Guestbook. Katie was an amazing little girl, that left a HUGE footprint on this Earth.
Access this site easier by typing: www.PrayForKaitlyn.com !
Kaitlyn was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a form of brain tumor, on October 9, 2005 at 4 years old. After having the golf ball sized tumor removed, we found out that it was cancerous and that it had spread down her spine.
This type of cancer, that spreads, is a rare form of Medulloblastoma and we were initially told that it doesn't respond well to treatment.
After two rounds of intense chemotherapy, and an AMAZING network of prayers we received news after an MRI that there was a "dramatic and amazing" improvement in the amount of cancer gone from Katie's body. Her oncologist was amazed at the reduction, and we've been told that there is an estimated 80% reduction. He has not seen this type of improvement before. It's an amazing miracle and an amazing work of God!!!
Kaitlyn still has a long road of treatment ahead. She will undergo a stem cell transplant and 6-8 weeks of intense radiation.
Katie is a strong, amazing girl and we're so proud of her.
Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of Kaitlyn.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us, offered their help in any way and prayed for us.
Thank you to the amazing network of doctors, nurses and support staff at Arkansas Childrens Hospital that God is leading to heal Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn had a stem cell transplant in early March 2006. She stayed in the hospital ever since her admission (for a total of 4 1/2 months inpatient). She had many bumps in the road after transplant. The actual transplant worked wonderfully. Unfortunately the high dose chemo before transplant was probably just too much for Katie. She developed venous occlusive liver disease and then recovered. She developed swelling in her brain (basal ganglia) and stopped talking for 7 weeks and recovered. She then started radiation and completed 16 total brain and spine treatments. She developed severe radiation burn on her back and back of neck. Then developed pulmonary hemoraging and was admitted to PICU at the end of June 2006. After three weeks of fighting for her life in PICU, living on a high frequency vent, her body finally had enough .... the Lord finally said her job here was done. We had about 16 hours notice that Katie's body was failing and that the team of Drs had done all that they could do for Princess Kaitlyn. David and I made the very hard decision to let them turn off the machines that were keeping Katie alive....and let her spirit fly free to Heaven. On July 11, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., Kaitlyn Grace Ford flew to Heaven after an awesome journey on Earth. She was so loved. And she is so very much missed.
On the evening of Wednesday, October 9, 2013 I tucked Case into bed like normal. We sang "Lean on Me" together, hugged and giggled and Case tried to stall and get me to come back to his room a million times after that. A regular evening at our home. :) But after the million times he tried to get me to come back into his room, I had an overwhelming urge to go back to him and hug him and tell him that I loved him with my whole heart. I did that.... I told him that. And the sweet boy said "Mom, I know. I need to see your face better in the light though." He cupped my face in his hands and just looked at me. I made a silly joke and we giggled and hugged and the bedtime routine for the night was complete.
When I told David about it, I was a weee bit dramatic. I told him I must be going to die the next day, because I was really led strongly to let Case know how much I loved him that night. Imagine that, me... dramatic. ha!
Well, obviously I did not die on October 10. :) But the afternoon of October 10 I did become very down. I was just plain sad! We ate dinner together and I was quiet. I apologized to Case and David for being so quiet (i'm sure they didn't mind!!) and realized that I was just down right sad. It seemed to be for no reason!
Playing basketball after dinner, it hit me and David about the reason I was sad and quiet. October 9 was the 8 year anniversary of when Katie was diagnosed with the brain tumor. The night before when I was overwhelmed to tell Case I loved him, was not some omen that I was going to die the next day ..... it was a subtle reminder to seize the moment. It was a reminder on that anniversary date .... the anniversary date that was a day that caught me so off guard and flipped my control out of my control. And since her diagnosis, I have strived to live in the moment ..... sometimes I still need a subtle reminder to seize the moment and embrace it. The day I was so sad and quiet for "no reason"....was the 8 year anniversary of the day she had surgery to remove a golf ball sized mass of cancer tumor.
Sometimes, my own dramatic inclinations have me proclaiming my own impending death when in reality its just a reminder to stop, listen and embrace the moment. My need to never ever be caught off guard and out of control like the day Katie was diagnosed can be unhealthy when it reaches the point that I am trying to manage my own end of life event. I guess I don't want to be caught off guard when its my turn to go! Silly, right?
8 years is a long time. It's been twice as long since her diagnosis than she was alive at that time. She was 4 when diagnosed, and I was big and pregnant with Case. Now Case is 7 and such a big little man.
While a day never goes by without thinking of Katie, the little "anniversary" days have started to blend together a little bit and ease the pain. I realize that I no longer think through the year about the next upcoming anniversary of diagnosis, surgery, chemo, transplant, etc. The big ones of birthday, and Heaven day are the two that I recognize and work through. The other days, well..... they choose me now. And I try to learn from it and grow ....and this year I will try to stop micro managing my own mortality and just enjoy each day. :)