Now let me tell you a few things I do know.
What I do know is when I read around Halloween time that this little man was cancer-free, I cried. I held my hand up in the air and thanked God for it.
I also know - I have never met Trent. But that doesn't matter. He's someone's child. Someone's son. Someone's baby.
So this past week when I found out that Trent's cancer was back, the hugs at bedtime were a little tighter and a little tear-filled for me.
I hope that his story might touch your heart as it has touched mine. I hope that you'll pray along with me every night. And I hope that with each and every hug you get from your children or ANY child for that matter - it makes you realize JUST how special it is.
His family was planning a Disney trip later this year, and after his most recent appointment where his family found out his cancer is back, he asked his Mom - What if I'm too sick to go to Disney World?" This is a question no child should EVER have to ask. His parents have made the decision that Trent will get his wish. If the doctors okay it, (Update! While writing this blog post, I am being told that the doctors have ok'd the trip!) they will be taking him to Disney World NEXT WEEK, now I know that times are tough, but this family needs all of the financial help they can get. With that being said, I am simply asking you to skip your morning coffee, pack your lunch this week, or wait to see that movie, and donate whatever you can to help this little boy get his dream of going to Disney World before he gets too weak. Apple Dumpling Daycare will be taking donations all week. It's located at 348 South Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630. They are open from 6am to 6pm, so just stop on by! Please make all checks out to Jennifer Williams. Molly Llewellyn a friend of the family and a teacher at Apple Dumpling, will be giving Jennifer all donations Friday after closing. If you don't want to send a check, you are welcome to email me and send a donation to me through Paypal. My daughter is in Molly's class, so I will be giving her all money received on Friday as well!
More importantly, if you can't donate - by ALL means - Please PRAY. There is SO much strength in numbers! I've posted his story below.
Trent Alan Williams was born on April 29th, 2004 to Jennifer and Eric Williams. Trent is an identical twin to Logan and also has a big brother, Caden. Trent is the typical 6-year-old boy who enjoys playing with his brothers and spending time with his family. Some of Trent's favorite things are wrestling figures, baseball, football, video gaming, swimming and camping. He loves to eat and likes just about anything eatable. Some of his favorites are shrimp, crabs, spinach pizza and grapes.
On October 20, 2010, a 4cm tumor was discovered in Trent's brain. The next morning Trent underwent an intense 7-hour brain surgery performed by Dr. John Jane, Jr at UVAMC. Pathology, later confirmed Trent had Anapalastic Medulloblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. He remained at UVAMC until his discharge November 2nd, 2010. Trent began 6 weeks of radiation, given 5 days a week. This radiation focused on Trent's brain and spinal cord. After radiation, he then took a month "off" treatment in order to recover. Trent then began a regime of Chemotherapy treatment to last 6-8 months. The next year will be difficult for him, his loved ones and all his friends and family.
Trent has experienced setbacks with infections which included hospital stays; very low blood counts requiring infusions; and has continued to experience the "pain" in his belly area which was the first symptom he experienced and led to his diagnosis. As much as he enjoys food and eating; he has gone for days at a time with no desire to eat or drink, because of the "pain."
Most recently, Thursday, 8/18/11 less than 24 hours discharge from the hospital, Trent was taken to Winchester ER, for vomiting and severe belly pain where he received an emergency platelet transfusion for critically low levels and was transported via ambulance to UVAMC. 8/19/11 - his liver enzymes were elevated. Trent was experiencing severe pain and did not sleep, ALL night! Scans of his belly area showed veno-occlusive disease: blockage of the veins to and in the liver, caused by high doses of chemotherapy. Nothing could be done to correct it except for "blood busters" BUT because his labs are so critical, that is not an option. Saturday - 8/20/11 - Trent was sent to the PICU; lab levels still critical. The team was now worried about kidney function. Into Sunday, 8/21/11 Trent became oxygen dependent, his liver was not functioning and all the fluids and blood products he was given backed into his belly, making it very difficult to breath. He was placed on a CPAP, a machine that forces air into the lungs. Finally administering pain meds so Trent can rest. Monday, 8/22/11 - Ultrasound shows a lot of fluid on his lungs. 2 chest tubes were surgically placed and draining fluid off lungs, begins to breathe a little better on his own. Tuesday, 8/23/11 - the team at UVAMC after conferring with other specialists, determined Trent is more critical than they thought and he would be transferred to either Duke or Hopkins where an experimental drug, not approved by the FDA, is offered. The drug is called Defibrotide and has shown 75% success rate correcting this disease in pediatrics. Wednesday, 8/24/11 - Decision made to fly Trent to Hopkins, finally arrived at 9:30ish PM. Thursday, 8/25/11 - treatment started, team says; will see indications of improvement within 48-72 hours - if this drug works for Trent.
Trent was finally discharged from Hopkins on Halloween 2011. He went home to an awesome homecoming and was able to trick-or-treat with his brothers. Since then he has spent each day recovering and growing stronger. Doing the things that most 7 year old boys do. He started back to a normal routine and schedule of school etc this month (January 2012). He and his mommy, Jennifer, blasted off on Thursday, 1/ 12/12 to Charlottesville UVAMC for the tests and consults that have become normal since this battle started. Friday afternoon, after the MRI, the news came; its back. 5 tumors, 2 on his brain and 3 at the base of his spine. Prayers are needed. Thank you all so much!
Thank you all, so very much. And may God reveal many blessings to you and yours for taking time for us!