Hazel Hammersley is an adorable 3-year-old girl from Simi Valley, California. She is part of a very young family, which includes 3 siblings; Micah (7), Elizabeth (5), Jonah (1) and the family's newest addition, Zoey Sophia (0). Hazel, or "Hazelnut", as her parents like to call her, was diagnosed with Stage III Neuroblastoma on April 24, 2013. Hazel became very popular after her mommy, Lauren Hammersley, posted a “Send Pizza RM 4112” sign in Hazel’s hospital room at CHLA where she was receiving treatment. More than 20 pizzas had been delivered, and the hospital had to issue a statement on their website, urging everyone to stop. "You've made a little girl very happy but NO MORE PIZZA IS NEEDED," . Hazel just successfully completed her treatment and we're awaiting her results of her end-of-treatment scans! We look forward to seeing Hazel grow into a beautiful, little lady!
STATUS: Completed treatment for Stage IV Neuroblastoma 7/2014.
Sophie Isabella Ryan was diagnosed with a rare Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor on June 23rd, 2013 at the age of 8 1/2 months old. After many rounds of chemo, hospitalizations and stints, on December 3rd, Sophie’s oncologists “officially” categorized her tumor as a non-terminal, low grade glioma. Since her diagnosis she has underwent major brain surgery to remove a cyst and biopsy the tumor to ensure that it wasn't a terminal tumor, which it is not. She has also endured 5 other hospital stays due to chemo related issues and has had two blood transfusions. She is on an 11-month chemo protocol and is scheduled to complete treatment in September of 2014. Sophie is a playful, sweet little girl who has absolutely melted our hearts and we will continue to watch her grow and post updates on her as she bravely battles her way to recovery. Sophie will be featured in a magazine very soon and we can’t wait to post the announcement when it’s released!
STATUS: In treatment for OPGFundraising Website: http://www.gofundme.com/3efal0
Arielle Elise Colter is a care-free, playful, 2-year old girl who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in August of 2013 at the age of 18 months. On August 19, 2013, Cynthia, Arielle’s mommy, took her to her pediatrician as she had noticed a "bump" on the right side of her tummy over the weekend. Arielle had always been a happy, healthy baby and there were no other symptoms to prepare her for the whirlwind of events to follow that day. Her doctor was immediately concerned and scheduled her for an Ultrasound of her abdomen. Cynthia just so happened to be employed by Modesto Radiology and was lucky to get her in the same day. When she read the Ultrasound order and saw the words (mass/tumor) it made her head spin. Cynthia reached out to us after Arielle was diagnosed with a ton of questions and concerns about her daughter’s prognosis and treatment. We had a 2.5 hour long phone conversation about Arielle and an instant friendship was formed. Arielle loves Doc McStuffins, Disney’s Little Mermaid “Ariel”, Snow White & Rapunzel, and is very polite! After diaper changes or line flushes, she always says “thank you”. Arielle has completed induction therapy (chemo), BMT and radiation and is currently undergoing her immunotherapy. She is responding well to her treatment and we ask that you all show some love for this adorable little girl!
STATUS: In treatment for Stage IV Neuroblastoma
Fundraising Website: http://www.gofundme.com/5mdy70
A very sweet, very brave little girl who has graced the pages of social media with her inspirational quotes and photos of her progress as she battles Stage IV Neuroblastoma. On 12/31/12, Valentina was a little yellowish, slightly limping, yet dancing her way through the hallways of CHLA (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles), while her parents waited for her blood results since she was complaining of back and joint pain and had already developed a mass on the side of her head. That's when they were only told their daughter had “some form of cancer”. On 01/04/13, Valentina had a Medcomp® line (vascular access devices) implanted and her first surgery to remove some of the mass on her left side of her head and bone marrow biopsy all done on the same day. Valentina has done well through her treatment and was recently declared N.E.D.!
STATUS: Completed treatment for Stage IV Neuroblastoma
Fundraising Website: http://www.gamerosity.com/heroes/valentina-mia-rivas
Anabella “Bella” and her family were always the “family next door”. Bella's tumor was found by accident by her baby sitter, Shannah Drake. She noticed the tumor while watching Bella and brought it to her mommy’s attention. Bella had been sick with random things, and her doctor said her vomiting was from a stomach virus, bug, and even acid reflux. If Shannah hadn't found what turned out to be Bella’s tumor, her story may have turned out very differently. On February 13, 2013, 11-month old Bella was officially diagnosed with Stage 3 Neuroblastoma. Bella was lucky that she responded well to treatment. 6 rounds of chemo and tumor removal then an additional 2 rounds of chemo to get the spots that were found later in treatment in her legs. She’ll continue to scan every 3 months and just received another round of clear scans in February 2014! The next step will be planning to remove her port! Bella is currently at 6 months N.E.D. and we look forward to watching her grow into a graceful, young lady.
STATUS: In treatment for Stage 3 Neuroblastoma
Fundraising Website: http://www.giveforward.com/bellasbattle
MEET OUR ANGEL NATHAN:
Nathan “Nene” Garcia – the amazing football player, son and brother, a die-hard USC, Cowboys and Dodgers fan, and wonderful, brave young man. On August 22nd, 2011, at only 11 years old, Nathan was diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma. Nathan never, ever, gave up – even when faced with incredible odds. He lost his ability to walk and had a hard time speaking after he was diagnosed but his intent to live and help other children never faltered. He was awarded the “Spirit of Condorstown” by the Stockton Thunder Hockey Team and USC Coach Lane Kiffin called Nathan personally when he heard that Nathan’s condition had worsened and even received multiple visits from his favorite USC player, Cody Kessler.
Facing his own mortality, he even asked that his parents help him start a toy drive in December 2012 for other children facing similar circumstances, and Bakersfield residents responded by with truckloads of toys donated in his honor. Nathan became somewhat of a celebrity – SF Giants pitcher Sergio Romo came to hang out with Nathan at a Giants game and he was a special guest on the Dallas Cowboys sideline during an NFL game. Nathan’s doctors told his mom, Jessica, that Nathan wouldn’t make it to his 13th birthday. Nathan proved them all wrong; he celebrated his 13th birthday at home with his family on December 17th, 2012. On December 18th, 2012, the very next day, Nathan passed away peacefully in his home. Kessler tweeted: "RIP Nathan Garcia. Thank you for changing my life forever. Miss you already, glad I got to say goodbye. Love you bud."
We met Nathan while we were at UCSF where Nathan was receiving treatment while Juliana was doing her BMT. Nathan treated Juliana like his little sister and we were fortunate enough to spend some time with him and became very close with his family. Nathan holds a very special place in our hearts.
MEET OUR ANGEL GAVIN:
Gavin Scott Plummer, a bright, loving, focused, energetic son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. His extended family (all the nurses and doctors that cared for him) equally loved him as it was hard not to. This could be any 4-year-old boy I’m describing, but it’s not. Those are words that best describe Gavin - “G-man” was what we all called him. Gavin started treatment in August of 2010 and completed it in May of 2011 after 3 relapses, a fully-resected right kidney and partially resected left kidney. We met G-man when he and Juliana were roommates at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland in May 2011 right when his treatment was completing – our kids hit it off immediately. Juliana refused to let the curtain be drawn between us because she always wanted to make sure she could see him. G-man was determined to own every Pixar Cars characters there was in production. He knew every Ninja Turtle move and loved Angry Birds so much, when he got tired of playing it, he’d make YOU play it and he’d watch. He even had a turtle that he so lovingly named “Donatello Genius Red Light Green Light Night Light Monster Carrot”. That’s Gavin in a nutshell. The words his parents wish they could hear describe Gavin? Athletic, Scholar, Husband, Father, Uncle, Driver, Graduate. After Gavin’s cancer relapsed the third time, he still fought as hard as he possibly could until he could fight no longer. Gavin passed away in his mom’s arms on May 30th, 2013 after a bravely fought battle – GO GAVIN GO!!
MEET OUR ANGEL SIERRA:
Sierra Rayn Chamblee was born a fighter on April 25, 2008 at 3 lbs 13.8 oz. She was seven weeks premature, and had a few complications after birth. This resulted in her being placed on a ventilator for four days, needing two chest tubes, unable to maintain her temperature, or her blood pressure. However, within three weeks, Sierra came home. The Chamblee’s little girl was a healthy child. She was tiny, but never had any major issues. She loved to eat; in fact she could eat more than her three year-old brother at times. She loved to be held and had the most adorable, cheesy smile anyone could imagine. Everyone that met her fell completely in love with her. Sierra had gone in for her 18 month checkup and her doctor said she was healthy as could be. She was growing great and developing just fine. Her belly had always been a bit big, and no one put much thought to it because most toddlers are not proportioned, and have bellies. It wasn’t until she was 21 months old that they started to notice things more and symptoms appeared. It was then that she was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma. The last 11 months of her life consisted of chemotherapy, surgery, multiple blood transfusions, scans, pneumonia, blood infections, a ventilator and a bone marrow harvest. Her parents, Charles & Gen Chamblee, published her progress on Facebook. On November 23rd, 2010 ~ the miracle, the beauty, the amazing fighter—gained her wings.
MEET OUR ANGEL BREANNA:
Breanna Elise Thayer was sweet and sassy. She loved music and loved to dance. She especially loved to suck her thumb. Breanna loved to dance on the kitchen table to Beyoncé while wearing her beautiful princess dresses. She loved to cuddle and boss her brothers around. She used to say "boys, boys......" when she wanted their attention and they did not seem to mind a bit! Breanna's brothers loved her dearly. She had just turned three years old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. One day, her momma was crying while Breanna and her dad were cuddling. Like so many children with cancer do who naturally take care of their mommy’s and daddy’s, she looked at her daddy and said "mommy, don't cry." Breanna was strong and courageous & always aware of what was going on with her and how she felt. When she stayed in the hospital for many nights at a time, her mommy or daddy would always stay with her. She started hanging up on people over the phone (even mom and dad) because she was tired of her parents being on their cell phones constantly trying to keep family and friends updated. If mom was staying the night and her daddy called to say "goodnight", she’d give Breanna the phone and tell her daddy wants to talk to her and she would grab the flip phone and close it, and hand it back to her mom and stick her thumb back in her mouth. Breanna Gained her angel wings on July 25th, 2005. The Thayer’s miss their beautiful baby girl and love her very much and are still mending their broken hearts.
MEET OUR ANGEL JALEN:
“Have Faith Be Strong” was started by Lance and Jeni Thayer’s son, Jalen, who at age 13 was diagnosed with cancer. It was only a few years earlier that his little sister, Breanna, lost her battle to cancer at the age of 4. Their family was devastated beyond belief. Despite what Jalen had witnessed as his little sister Breanna battled cancer and lost her life in the end, he had faith that God would get him through it. He came up with the slogan HAVE FAITH BE STRONG. Jalen was determined to be strong and not allow cancer to take his life. Jalen continued going to school and finished middle school with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He continued playing the saxophone in the band as well - most impressive was how he continued to compete in the sports that had always been a part of his life. Jalen wanted to help other kids who were going through cancer treatment. He wanted to write a book and he started a charity with his brothers to help other kids like himself and his little sister Breanna. On April 6th, 2011 Jalen lost his battle at age 15. Lance and Jeni continue the work started by Jalen in the memory of his little sister Breanna.
MEET OUR ANGEL TEDDY:
Teddy Berger-Greer was an absolutely lovely little boy who loved trains, Thomas the Tank Engine in particular. Teddy has an older brother who loves him very much and a fan club ranging all around the country! Teddy was diagnosed at the age of 18 months on August 13, 2010 with Stage III Neuroblastoma. He endured 6 months of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and 6 months of antibody therapy, along with endless doctor visits, shots, pills and meds, pain, fevers, and other hardships. His favorite Pediatric Oncologist was Dr. Steven Bergstrom at Kaiser Oakland and Teddy loved him SO much, he even dressed up as “Dr. B” for Halloween in 2012. Despite all he endured, he radiated with warmth, love, smiles and positivity even on the hardest days. He handled everything with supreme grace and hardly ever complained, and showed us what the true meaning of spirit is. He touched many lives and traveled during all of his treatments, spreading his contagious smiles and happiness everywhere he went. We met Teddy and his family while he and Juliana were undergoing treatment for NB – they became friends instantly! Teddy’s parents, Clarence and Jim, also befriended us and I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done without them during this time. Teddy was full of light and gave the best hugs – and seemed to know when you needed them the most. He lost his battle with this cancer on December 13th, 2012, peacefully, at his own home surrounded by loved ones and his beloved trains.
MEET OUR ANGEL NOAH:
Noah Tyler Bell (with the gorgeous blue eyes) was born to parents Debbie and Anthony Bell on July 4, 2001 in Martinsville, Indiana. He was a healthy, happy baby and never really got sick. Noah started walking, talking and about to be potty trained at about sixteen months. In February 2004, Noah got what his parents thought was the flu. His family was living in Virginia at the time and decided to take him to the local hospital. While there they found out he had pneumonia. Noah had to stay in the hospital for a week. Right before he was able to leave the hospital they took an x-ray of his lungs which were clear, but they saw something weird and wanted to do a CT scan. That is when they found out Noah had Stage IV Neuroblastoma. Over the next 4 ½ years Noah had numerous treatments but the cancer just kept coming back. Noah’s neuroblastoma relapsed 3 times after his initial diagnosis. After his NB relapsed for the third time in his brain in August 2008, the doctors said Noah had about 3 to 6 months to live. Noah continued to fight as hard as he could. Early one morning in his hospital room, Noah was in so much pain, his mommy, Debbie, decided to pick her son up from his hospital bed because she felt like something was wrong and wanted to hold her son. He stretched his arms up to the ceiling and his mommy told him it was OK to let go. That day, January 15th, 2009 at 6:35am, Noah lost his courageous battle in his mommy’s arms. He was seven years old.
MEET OUR ANGEL CARTER:
Carter went to the doctor a week before Thanksgiving 2012 for was believed to be a sinus infection, was put on antibiotics and sent home. The Monday after Thanksgiving he was still running a low grade fever. Carter went back to the doctor and several blood tests were run, which came back with a low CBC and low hemoglobin, so he was admitted to a local children's hospital, Blair E. Batson, where he had to undergo multiple blood tests ultrasounds, CT scans, bone marrow test(s) and it was confirmed that he had Stage 4 neuroblastoma, and is considered high risk because the cancer is in his bone marrow. He had a large tumor sitting on top of his left adrenal gland and, in addition, it has metastasized and is in his blood, bone marrow, liver, bones and his skull bone. A biopsy was performed on the tumor and then determined that Carter had 2 types of cancer, neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma, which is normally found in young adults/adults. Since that time he had undergone multiple rounds of chemo, surgery to remove the tumor, MIBG radiation among several other procedures. He had not responded to chemotherapy as well as his treating physicians at Blair E. Batson had hoped and did not respond to the MIBG radiation. Sadly, there were no longer options for this brave boy, but he was strong and continued to fight until he lost his battle on June 24th, 2014. Our hearts go out to Carter's family.
Fundraising Website: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=mbrown%401call%2eorg&lc=US&item_name=Donations%2fGifts%20for%20Carter&no_note=0%A4cy_code=USD&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donateCC_LG%2egif%3aNonHostedGuest
MEET OUR ANGEL FRANKY:
Franky Talley, the FIGHTER, the Superhero. He is also a fun, loving, adorable 5-year old boy who bravely battled a rare and incurable disease. On January 6th, 2013, Franky's mother, Tiffany, took him to the local emergency room for a headache. Lower Bucks hospital did a CT scan and suggested Franky go to CHOP because they could see fluid in his brain. Once the doctors' at CHOP saw the CT scan they believed that the fluid was caused by a tumor, but they needed to do a MRI. Franky was right away admitted to the ICU unit and given a MRI the next morning. On January 8th, 2013, Franky had been diagnosed with cancer – and not just diagnosed with any type of cancer. He was diagnosed with a rare form; Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). There is no known cause for this tumor and unfortunately no known cure. Survival rate is an average of 6-9 months from diagnosis. This sweet little boy had been through 6 weeks of radiation and was on an experimental chemotherapy called Vorniostat/Saha. He had two operations where they placed a shunt and a port. Franky is one of the Super Special Wish Kids that JJF granted his wish for during Christmas of 2013. On June 26th, 2014, Franky passed away peacefully at home with his mommy by his side. Thousands of people across the country are feeling the loss of Franky.
Fundraising Website: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/team-franky/72787
MEET OUR ANGEL ADRIAN:
Adrian Gamble’s story hits close to home. Adrian’s family and friends are also friends of the entire Juliana’s Journey Team and are very local to us. We were introduced to Adrian when his aunt reached out to us when he was first diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in October 2012 at the age of 2, and his family wasn’t sure what to think or what to do. Adrian has done extremely well throughout his chemotherapy, surgeries, stem-cell transplant, radiation and immunotherapy. We quickly became friends with the Gambles and have continuously followed Adrian through his battle and offered assistance when we coulf. We were so happy to announce when Adrian completed his treatment for NB and had clean MIBG test results on 1/1/14 and celebrated his 5th birthday with cake and popcorn on February 20, 2015. Unfortunately, Adrian passed away from an unusual virus after being rushed to the hospital in late 2015.
Fundraising Website: http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/8328
Juliana's Journey Foundation
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