June 25, 2010

How is Avery Doing?

Posted in Cancer, Children, Health tagged , , , , , , at 6:42 am by Liliana

Avery is doing great!

Avery - enjoying water and with dad and mom

Little Avery is doing great.

Her body is healing wonderfully. She is learning new things every day and delighting her parents, brothers and everyone who knows her. She is goodhearted and fun to be around.

Yesterday, Avery got to ring the bell at the hospital! The bell ringing at the children’s hospital signifies that SHE IS DONE WITH CHEMO. A new MRI of her neck and a CT of her lungs is scheduled for June 28. We hope it all comes clean and clear, and then both parents and friends can relax and enjoy the summer with this amazing little girl.

Every day, Avery learns more words, NO and MINE among them.  When doctors try to touch the port on her chest, Avery puts her hand over it and loudly says “NO”!

She learned the words Hot and Bubbles.  She has started picking flowers from her garden, bringing them to her nose and smelling them.

Avery participated with family, friends and well wishers in the Garden City Relay for Life event.  This little toddler was described as “the face of the Relay. ” Team Avery raised over $8,000 for the American Cancer Society and was given the award for Team Rookie of the Year.

Avery’s diagnosis last year with non-rhabdomyosarcoma, deeply touched everyone who knows her story. This rare form of cancer has the characteristics of three different types of cancer, all in one. By the time Avery was diagnosed in October, it had already spread to her lungs and was ranked Stage 4. After four rounds of chemotherapy, her cancer had shrunk and there are now no traces of lesions in her lungs.

I will keep you updated on Avery’s progress.

Best of luck, little angel! Keep growing, flourishing, and learning.


February 5, 2010

Baby Avery

Posted in Cancer, Children, Family, Good people, Health, RepairClinic.com tagged , , , at 7:59 am by Liliana

Baby Avery

Baby Avery

Avery Klemola is 11 months old and lives in Garden City, Michigan with her mom Sheila, dad Shawn, and brothers, Austin and Ben. Last summer Sheila noticed a little bump on Avery’s cheek. It looked innocent at first, but it kept growing and Sheila got concerned.  It turned out to be non-rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare cancer that has the characteristics of three different types of cancer, all in one. By this time, the disease had already spread to Avery’s lungs, raising it to Stage 4.

Things looked bleak last fall.  Avery had a port inserted in her chest and had four sessions of very aggressive chemotherapy. Since the tumor is attached to her facial nerve, the surgeons wanted to reduce its size before considering surgery. Family and friends rallied together and helped the best they could. People babysat, took the boys to soccer, cleaned Sheila’s house, and went to the hospital with Avery. Fundraisers were organized almost weekly to help the young family with medical bills. Both Sheila and Shawn had to take time off from work to take Avery to chemo sessions and be with the baby on difficult days.

Through the ordeal, Avery did amazingly well. After four rounds of chemo, her cancer has shrunk and there are no traces of lesions in her lungs. She will be undergoing surgery around the time of her first birthday (February 21st)  and then have four more sessions of chemo. She is a beautiful, curious, cheerful, little girl, loving and trusting to all around her.

Avery’s mom Sheila is organizing a Relay for Life team in Avery’s honor. Relay for Life is an event that celebrates cancer survivors, and raises funds for the American Cancer Society.

You can log onto Avery’s team site at:  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/BabyAvery to make a donation or to join Avery’s team.

Also, you can follow Avery’s journey by logging onto facebook – just type in Avery Klemola in the search box – she has more than 3,500 friends already!

Avery’s aunt Alana and I work together at RepairClinic.com and that is how I heard of Avery’s story. Please join us in helping Avery. I will keep you posted on her progress.