Diagnosis: Pre B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Infant

Two months ago today, we experienced the highlight of this crazy year when Avery Renee was born. In that short amount of time, she has completely captured our hearts.

She smiles. Babbles. Loves the Christmas tree, ceiling fans and FaceTime. Likes her bouncer.

On Wednesday, December 16, we received devastating news. Our sweet baby was diagnosed with Pre B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Cancer.

At 2 months.

Incredibly rare at her age. Yet here we are.

baby avery before diagnosis

The picture above was taken on Wednesday morning.

The one below was taken 24 hours later.

baby avery day after diagnosis

In fact, the last 48 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions. So many tests. A lot of waiting. An avalanche of unknowns.

It began when my daughter, Cheyenne, noticed a swollen lymph node just under Avery’s right ear. Two days later, she noticed another one. She also noted that Avery wasn’t eating as well as normal.

We remained hopefully cautious and decided it must be an ear infection. Her pediatrician wanted to see her, decided to run some blood work due to Avery’s pale color, and then sent them to Children’s Hospital Plano.

Things accelerated after drawing more blood in the ER and they decided to transport her via ambulance to Children’s Hospital Dallas.

That’s where Avery is now, being seen by a team of doctors in the ICU. They’ve been told to expect to stay for at least a month. They should expect therapy to last 2-3 years.

baby avery sweet cheeks blue eyes

Stronger chemo treatments will start next week now that we have an official “type” of leukemia. Awaiting results of spinal tap to know how aggressive it is.

A few BIG WINS for Avery:

  • a CT Scan showed that her brain was “beautiful” and no cancer was found there
  • her lungs and heart were also clear
  • she is very reactive to everything, meaning she’s yelling, smiling, moving, etc, so that’s a good thing!
  • her numbers (platelets, hemoglobin, and WBC) are all moving favorably in the right direction and she is doing great!
  • responding exactly how they want her to with initial treatments
  • looks “a million times” better since beginning treatment

Unfortunately, COVID restrictions mean we can’t be at the hospital with Cheyenne and Nic. We’re having to devise alternate plans to see and hug them both.

That’s where we’re asking for help now. We need all the support we can muster from outside the walls of the hospital.

Thank you for your support

How can you help from home?

First, prayer. We’re seeing it at work in the preliminary tests, such as the “wins” mentioned above. We need to continue to storm the gates of heaven for Avery.

Their biggest tangible needs are food and money. Even with insurance, the costs are undoubtedly going to continue to add up.

For starters, we set up a GoFundMe with a tentative amount that will most likely go up as we continue: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-baby-avery-beat-leukemia

To help them stay fed while at the hospital, we’ve found DoorDash gift cards are best: https://doordash.launchgiftcards.com/

Email for digital gift cards here: [email protected]

Want to send cash straight to Chey through Cashapp? $CheyenneShipwash

Or you can send it to me via PayPal and I’ll send it straight over to them: https://www.paypal.me/stacisalazar

Want to send tangible gifts? We’ve set up an Amazon Wish List.

Facebook page for updates: Happily Ever Avery

We’ll add more ideas as they come up. We wanted to wait for more conclusive results before posting publicly. Thank you for the support, love, and prayers we’ve already received.

I have only texted/messaged a handful of you outside our immediate family because I wanted to get the prayers lifted right away.

We cannot thank everyone enough for what you’ve offered so far. Our precious baby girl has a fight ahead of her, but we’re going to make sure she never takes a step of it alone.

365 Days of Gratitude
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