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Sicily’s Story

Heaven is a happier  place!
^Angel^ Sicily Evelyn Zeka has arrived.
April 15, 2005 - March 21, 2010

     Sicily Evelyn Zeka, our vibrant, precious  4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with bi-lateral Wilm's tumor, cancer of both kidneys, on Aug. 22, 2008, at the age of three.
     This all began when I took Sicily to a new pediatrician for a preschool physical in July 2008, after just moving to Broken Arrow, OK from Wellington, KS. The doctor found a mass on Sicily's right side as she performed a routine abdominal exam. It concerned her enough to send us for an x-ray and blood work, both of which were inconclusive. It was decided to treat Sicily for just being full of "poop." We went back again in two weeks but the doctor thought the mass was shrinking or moving and still assumed it to be a bowel situation. She decided to schedule Sicily for an appointment with a GI doctor, but wanted to do a barium enema first. I asked for an ultrasound, but was told the enema was the next step (the ultrasound would have helped to diagnose the actual situation). The tech who performed the enema flat out said this was nothing to do with Sicily's bowels. After six weeks of our doctor not being very pro-active, we were finally scheduled a CT scan...which delivered the worst and most unbearable news I thought my ears could ever hear. Our daughter has cancer of the kidneys. Not just one kidney, but both. Bi-lateral Wilm's tumor. We decided to seek treatment in Oklahoma City with a doctor who spent fourteen years at St. Jude's in solid tumors. Sicily is also being cared for by a wonderful team of doctors here in the Tulsa area so we can stay close to home whenever possible. *Update March 2009 - Found a new pediatrician.
     Sicily underwent ten weeks of pre-operative chemo to try and shrink the tumors before surgery. She had surgery on November 19, 2008 to remove both tumors.  The surgeons removed 1/2 of the right kidney and 1/3 of the left kidney. Tests performed on the tumors showed her right kidney contained diffuse anaplasia (unfavorable histology) which indicated it should be removed as soon as possible. On November 30th, they removed her entire remaining right kidney as well as removed part of her small bowel due to an interseseption and some of her peritoneum that had covered the pylorus valve in her stomach, which were complications her little body did to itself trying to recover from the first surgery. She spent a total of twenty-two consecutive days in the hospital on the surgery recovery floor and the PICU. The doctors are fairly confident she can function near normal with 2/3 of the left kidney; at least until her teenage years, when her body begins to possibly grow rapidly. Because of the diffuse anaplasia, Sicily underwent 11 radiation treatments and will be on a 6-months protocol of chemotherapy. Every third week of chemo will require a 3-to-5 day hospital stay to receive treatment. She has done remarkably well with her chemo and we hope this will continue!
    Sicily has completed her chemo treatment on Regimen i on June 6th.  First OT (off treatment) scans scheduled for Tuesday, July 7th.  Pray for NED (No Evidence of Disease)! 
First OT scans in July produced a NED!!!
Next scans - Friday, October 9, 2009
Recurrance to right kidney bed on 10/12/09.
     On October 28, 2009, Sicily had her fourth surgery and the new tumor growth was removed.  She is not cancer free as a small amount was left on the vena cava as it was not possible to surgically remove it.  Pathology came back anaplastic Wilm's, again.  We will soon be making plans for her treatment and continue to ask for prayers for her and her family!
     Feb. 25, 2010 Sicily's cancer has metastisized to liver, lungs and intestines.
     March 21, 2010 Sicily passed away in her mommy's arms.

Please help us support pediatric cancer research by making a donation to the Pablove Foundation  Under special notes write, "In Honor of Sicily Zeka."  Thank you!

Latest Journal Update

Happy 5th Angelversary, Sicily,

It truly is hard to believe that Sicily has been gone now longer than she was physically alive!  Today we celebrate her five year "Angelversary."  I use the term "celebrate" with heartfelt honesty, because everything about her life is worth celebrating...even her death, crazy as that may sound!  She was just a few weeks shy of her fifth birthday when she passed away, so in my mind and in my heart I always felt this particular day would be one of significant symbolism. It's really not. It's just another day of life. A life filled with possible adventures and joys...experiences and potential trials...and incredible blessings, both known and unknown.  Indeed it is another day without the ones we love who have passed onwards and upwards...but isn't it another day closer to them, as well?  
"Happy Day, Everyone!" God Bless!
28 people hearted this



Shari Ryker
By Shari Ryker
Just thinking of Sicily with joy at this time, with prayers for her loved ones!
Shari Ryker
By Shari Ryker
It is difficult to believe it's been five years since Sicily left this earth to take her place in Heaven among the other angels! I always get a mental image in my mind of that li'l corker running into the open arms of Jesus upon her arrival, as I just know she got an extra special welcome! Sicily has been on my mind even more this year as the annual Sicily's Run approaches because I just had the wonderful privilege of staying at the "Chalet de Sicily" lake house last week! As you already know, we felt the mischievous presence of that darling cherub. It just now occurred to me that is probably why we found that cat peering into her room through the window! As we returned from our walk, we almost caught her pulling her prank! What a little corker! Sicily did and always will cause me to smile! GIANT HUGS to you & Patrick & the kids! Love you, Kerry!
Cheryl Hennessy
Beautify angel Sicily is not forgotten. Sending warm thoughts and hugs to the Zeka family on this bittersweet day.
Coni Adams
By Coni Adams
Five years has passed so quickly! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us over the years. What a beautiful family.
Amy Brand
By Amy Brand
So hard to believe it's been 5 years. Thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts and emotions over the years. You are an inspiration for all. We continue to keep Sicily and your family in our prayers!
Claudia Martinez
By Claudia Martínez
It is just amazing how by faith, strenght and love, you turned the devastating lost of Sicily into a ray of light and hope for all the parents and families that have been in the same place. God bless you all dear Kerry, and bless your little sweet angel in heaven. Love you!
1 person hearted this
Terrie Frailey
By Terrie Frailey
Can't believe it's been 5 years. Hugs to all of you! Think of you often.
Kim Watson
By Kim Watson
It amazes me that it has been 5 years. I can remember so many specific parts of your post from the night Sicily earned her wings. Hugs and prayers to your special family.
jess m
By jess m
A sweet smile of remembrance fell upon my face as I saw the email notifying of an update to sweet Sicily's page. Though I never met your girl, I remember her. Happy day to you all. Hoping your family is doing well, and finding peace.
Jeanne Draughon
By Jeanne Draughon
Happy Angelversary Sicily - we are all blessed for having you in our lives. Hugs and prayers to you Kerry, Patrick and kids. May God bless all of you today and always.