The Lilabean Foundation has been able to support four incredible families directly through the LBF Cancer Family Relief Fund this holiday season thanks to your generosity and support. The LBF Cancer Family Relief Fund provides financial assistance to families going through a pediatric cancer diagnosis who need extra support. You may remember the stories of the three incredible children fighting brain cancer, Eli, Aubree, and Joy that LBF helped last month. Thanks to our LBF community, we exceeded our Giving Tuesday goal and we were able to help another child, Misheel, who was recently diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer … Learn more about Misheel and her family’s journey below and why the need to continue to give to the LBF Family Cancer Relief Fund all year long is so critical.
Misheel is a bright, funny and typical 11-year old girl who loves to read. In mid-June of 2021, she began having difficulty with her vision and after seeing an ophthalmologist she was prescribed glasses. However, her vision did not not improve and she began having headaches and difficulty climbing the stairs. Her parents took her to an emergency room close to their home in Virginia, where a CT scan showed a brain-stem mass. Misheel was immediately transferred to Children's National. After an MRI, she was diagnosed with DIPG, a rare, fast-growing tumor that forms in cells in the brain stem.
Misheel's parents consented to a biopsy, which was done in late June. Unfortunately, after the surgery, Misheel had a number of complications, which required intensive physical rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. She was also undergoing daily radiation treatments at the same time. After nearly two months, Misheel was finally strong enough to go home at the end of August.
Misheel lives with her parents and her five-year-old sister. The week that Misheel was diagnosed, the family was in the process of moving from an apartment to their first home---a 3-story townhouse. What would be a typically exciting and joy-filled experience now caused extreme stress due to Misheel’s rehab and the need for her to be able to climb stairs. The other major stress that came along with the move was a new mortgage that was based on both parents' incomes. However, Misheel’s needed to leave her job - a situation that often happens with a childhood cancer diagnosis - to focus on caring for her daughter.
The family is aware that the prognosis for Misheel’s diagnosis is poor, but remain hopeful that the medication she is receiving in the clinical trial will provide long-term benefit.
LBF is honored to help support these families during the holiday season and all year long. Your generosity greatly helps children and their families - who are fighting this awful disease - focus on the health of their child and less on the everyday burdens, like mortgages and bills that don’t go away when a child is diagnosed. If you want to help to support other children and their families, please consider a gift to the LBF Cancer Family Relief Fund today.