No One Fights Alone!
In January of 2018, one local family's life quickly turned from a fairy tale to a nightmare. A happy, seemingly healthy 10 year old who excelled in school and music, loved baking and reading, went to the pediatrician when her mom just had a bad feeling that something was very, very wrong. Julie was sent immediately to the emergency room at Goryeb Children's Hospital, where the family soon met The Valerie Fund team and received the shocking diagnosis of leukemia. Julie began treatment immediately, and further testing revealed Julie's specific diagnosis to be Philadelphia-like+ ALL.
Julie's diagnosis has no tried and true treatment protocol yet. When she failed her first round of treatment, Julie's medical team at The Valerie Fund invested countless hours and endless energy to identify and then secure the lifesaving treatment that Julie needed. Julie's third round of treatment was successful! The next step was a few months in Philadelphia, where she received a bone marrow transplant at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, courtesy of her perfectly matched bone marrow donor brother. Julie is currently back at home in New Jersey, although facing some ongoing challenges, such as chronic GVHD of the lungs, a complication from her BMT. In many ways, though, she is progressing well in her recovery, and glad to be returning to The Valerie Center for some of her ongoing care.
Our Valerie Fund social worker introduced herself (and the team) in the ER that fateful day as "the family you wish you never had." It wasn't long before we understood exactly what she meant. A pediatric cancer diagnosis is life changing. Overwhelming. Heartbreaking. Terrifying. The team at The Valerie Fund has made this walk manageable; in addition to Julie's outstanding medical care, Julie and her family have received truly unbelievable support and encouragement in so many ways. Child Life, Social Work, Nutrition, Educational provisions, Integrative Medicine...the list goes on. We are grateful beyond words for the way that the entire team has served our family. It is because of this that it is truly an honor and a joy to be able to participate in the 2021 Walk and be able to give something back, so that The Valerie Fund can continue to provide such excellent care to the children and families who need it.
Whether or not pandemic precautions allow us to all walk together or not, we'll be with TVF in Spirit on September 25, 2021. We'd love to have your support, whether you register to walk with us or support our team financially. Thank you so much!