Heard The One About The Little Girl With Incurable Brain Cancer?

haley-painting-600x400It’s not a joke.
And yet she laughs and plays.
She draws.
She goes to school.
For now.

You can’t see the scar running up the back of her neck since her hair has grown back. You wouldn’t know the first time she had brain surgery they had to cut her brain in half.

You wouldn’t know the tumor was the size of a lemon.

Or that she had to learn how to swallow all over again. And speak. And walk.

You wouldn’t know that children’s cancer is far more aggressive than what adults have to deal with. That instead of weeks of chemotherapy this little girl had to undergo years of it. And radiation treatment on top of that.

In the hospital they woke her up at 6:30 every morning just long enough to knock her out for radiation treatment. They’d wake her up again four hours later to teach her how to move her body and speak all over again.

After being in and out of the hospital for a year and a half it looked like they’d won. Finally, the cancer seemed to be gone. Imagine how happy she was to leave the hospital. To end the chemo treatments.

Imagine how happy her mom and dad were, and her little brother. She hadn’t seen snow since she was a baby, so the whole family went to Lake Tahoe. It was a rare celebration. One of her Mom’s favorite memories was seeing her daughter ski. They made a snowman. A whole snow family. Even a snow dog.

Just before they were going to take out the port through which they’d injected her chemotherapy drugs, they did one last scan.

The cancer was back.

She had three oncologists working around-the-clock trying to do something, anything. But there is no cure for relapsed medulloblastoma.

It’s your child, what would you do?

One of the oncologists suggested Hospice Hawaii.

Her dad is a United States Marine who works with wounded warriors. He turned to standup comedy to help him cope. Mom abandoned her university studies and threw herself into taking care of her little girl.

Together, they turned to Hospice Hawaii. They had three goals for Haley. They wanted her to be happy. To be social. And to live out her remaining days as normally as possible. So the family didn’t wait until the the last minute to call Hospice Hawaii, and they’re so thankful they made that decision.

The little girl who laughs, and is so quick with hugs, now gets art therapy. And yoga. And massages at home. And her parents get counseling and support and most importantly, time to be with their little girl. It won’t be a long childhood, but they treasure every single moment of it.