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Care for Kerrie

$102,470raised of $150,000 goal
68%

Organizer: The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families Beneficiary: Kerrie & Glenn Prettitore

Kerrie was diagnosed with colon cancer in February 2014. She had surgery to remove the tumor but complications after a single chemotherapy treatment has found her fighting for her life. READ BELOW

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Fundraiser Details

Kerrie's Story

Kerrie Prettitore, a 42 year old mother of three, was diagnosed with early stage colon cancer in February 2014 and subsequently had successful surgery to remove the tumor.   However, today she is fighting for her life after a single chemotherapy treatment.  

After recovering from surgery Kerrie began a six month chemotherapy regimen in mid March 2014 and immediately became very ill and was admitted to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ on March 31st.  Kerrie’s condition continued to worsen and became life threatening in the subsequent weeks.  A test performed after her admission revealed that Kerrie has a condition known as a DPD deficiency, which prevents her body from breaking down one of the chemotherapy drugs she received (5-FU / fluorouracil).  

After receiving the DPD test results Kerrie’s doctors gave her no chance for survival.  They contended that since her body could not break down the 5-FU its toxicity would ravage her body and immune system and prevent her from fighting even minor infections that would likely kill her.  

Kerrie’s condition deteriorated quickly in Valley Hospital and she fell into a coma and was admitted to the ICU after several days.  She suffered greatly from severe mucositis and pneumonia and was nearly killed by a minor infection in mid April.

Throughout this ordeal Kerrie's husband Glenn and her extended network of family and friends have been fighting tirelessly as her advocates.   After Kerrie was admitted Glenn identified an experimental drug named Uridine Triacetate and worked feverishly to obtain it in an effort to save Kerrie.  After significant effort and a successful appeal to the Federal Drug Administration Glenn was able to obtain the drug for Kerrie and we believe it may have helped save her life.  Glenn and his family and friends have used their extended network and the power of social media to raise awareness of Kerrie’s case and to assemble a global network of expert advisors who have provided invaluable assistance.

Kerrie beat the odds and survived long enough for her immune system to recover and protect her from infection.  The mucositis subsided and her vital signs gradually improved through the end of April but she remained in a coma and in the ICU for weeks.

She gradually improved in the subsequent weeks but remained in a coma and was transferred to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ in mid June.  At Kessler Kerrie immediately began receiving intensive therapy and treatment to help her emerge from the coma.

Kerrie has continued to make progress at Kessler and as of early August she is more awake and has begun to respond to some commands.  Unfortunately her insurance carrier (Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield) denied further coverage at Kessler as of 8/6.  Kessler successfully appealed this decision and Horizon will reconsider further coverage on 8/8.  We are doing everything in our power to keep her at Kessler as we contend that she has made progress and her condition requires the level of care provided there.    

The most tragic element of this story is that it was entirely avoidable.  Had Kerrie been tested for DPD deficiency prior to the start of her chemotherapy regimen she would not have been given 5-FU and her life would not have been put at risk.  

We continue to fight for her and will not give up.  She survived for a reason and has come too far not to rejoin the family she loves and that needs her so dearly.

Kerrie’s family has been humbled by the outpouring of support and generosity from the community.  Words cannot express our gratitude.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

HOW TO HELP

DONATE
Because Kerrie is self-employed, she does not get paid when she does not work. The situation is the same for her husband Glenn, also self-employed, who is now spending a lot of his time at Kessler by his wife’s side day and night, which means his work schedule is limited. We have set up this fund to ease some of their worries while she is incapacitated. Use the "GIVE NOW" button on this site. If you're prefer to mail a check please scroll down and click "Contact the Organizer" button for more information. Your support is greatly appreciated. 

https://www.youcaring.com/helpkerrie

KNOWLEDGE
If you or someone you know may have any experience or knowledge with conditions such as Kerrie's, please send us an email (infoforkerrie@yahoo.com).  This seems to be a rare set of circumstances that Kerrie is experiencing and Glenn is actively seeking any information that may assist in Kerrie's recovery.

MEALS
If you would like to bring meals to the Prettitore family, please visit the following page that contains a calendar where you can specify which day(s) you would like to bring meals to the family.
http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/17250975

SHARE
We encourage you to share this information so that our extended family is informed but we ask only that you be cautious with information shared with children that may know or interact with Kerrie and Glenn's children.  They know that their mom is sick and in the hospital but we have been very careful with information that is shared with them.

HELP MAKE TESTING FOR DPD DEFICIENCY A REQUIREMENT PRIOR TO CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT

Send a letter to your state board of health and American Society of Clinical Oncologists demanding that patients are tested for DPD Deficiency prior to Chemotherapy treatment.

Contact the Organizer
Updates

Updates

09/01/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 9/1/14

Kerrie has continued to make improvements at Kessler over the past two weeks.  Her children have been able to make additional visits and they have gone very well.  Both Kerrie and the children have responded very positively to the visits.  Their insurance company (Horizon) has requested regular status updates but thankfully has not denied coverage since the first denial (and Kessler's successful appeal) in early August.  Kerrie is more awake during her therapy sessions and has made improvements that have registered on the JFK coma scale which is used to track her progress.  She is following commands more consistently and has become more verbally active in response to her therapists and family.  We are pleased that she has been able to stay at Kessler but are ready to respond if Horizon issues additional denials.

We understand that she still has a long road ahead of her but we are very happy with her progress over the past few weeks.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and prayers and good advice.  Please continue to keep Kerrie and her family in your thoughts in the weeks ahead. 

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
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08/16/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 8/16/14

Thursday (8/14) was a good day - Kerrie was reunited with her children and they had a wonderful visit at Kessler.  Glenn acted on the advice of a child psychologist in carefully planning the visit and it went extremely well.  The children were excited to see Kerrie and she responded very positively and unmistakably connected with them in her way.  
As of 8/15 Horizon has not issued another denial of coverage but is looking for an update on her condition on 8/18.  We expect that they may deny coverage again soon but we are prepared to exercise our appeal rights and fight.  Kerrie continues to make improvements and we will do everything we can to keep her at Kessler as long as possible.
We greatly appreciate all the help and advice we’ve received over the past two weeks.  

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
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08/06/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 8/6/14

We received news uesterday that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Sheild (BCBS) accepted Kessler's appeal but only authorized Kerrie until Friday (8/8).  Kessler must provide an update on her condition and if Horizon denies again Kerrie may have to be moved as early as Monday.

We are working closely with Kessler and others to justify keeping her at Horizin and will pursue different avenues to appeal any denial by Horizon BCBS.  We are also actively working on different approaches to influence Horizon and welcome your input and advice.

We contend that Kessler is the best place for Kerrie to be based on the uniqueness of her case and the improvements she has been making there.  We're trying everything we can to keep her there as long as possible but are also planning to find the right sub-acute facility as the next step.

We are still looking for help in a number of different areas so please see below on how you can help.  We've already received some great suggestions and advice and ask that you keep it coming.

Help Needed

  • Does anyone have contacts at Horizon who may assist us in our plea to continue getting the best care for Kerrie.  Also, we welcome any information which may be helpful in the area of medical authorization appeals

 

  • Does anyone have contacts at sub-acute facilities in Bergen county (or northern NJ)?  We have researched facilities and want to ensure that we find the right one for Kerrie.  One of the preferred facilities is the JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ so if anyone has contacts there please let us know.

 

  • We have been reaching out to research institutions and hospitals to see if any may be interested in Kerrie’s case.  If you have contacts at research institutions, hospitals or pharmaceutical companies please let us know.

 

Please send an email to infoforkerrie@yahoo.com if you can assist with any of the above.

We truly appreciate all of you for your continued support, and we hope that there is more help out there....

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


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08/05/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

UPDATE – 8/5/14

We need your help.  We were informed yesterday that Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey has denied future coverage for Kerrie at Kessler and is forcing her to be discharged to a sub-acute facility (they asked that she be discharged by 8/7).  

One might think that this is a positive step in recovery, but in Kerrie's case this would mean less intensive overall care, and less of a focus on brain recovery.  Her doctors believe that Kessler is the best place for her at this time and are appealing Horizon’s decision.  We will learn today if the appeal is successful and we are hopeful that she will at least be able to stay at Kessler until next week.

Help Needed

  • Does anyone have contacts at Horizon who may assist us in our plea to continue getting the best care for Kerrie.  Also, we welcome any information which may be helpful in the area of medical authorization appeals

 

  • Does anyone have contacts at sub-acute facilities in Bergen county (or northern NJ)?  We have researched facilities and want to ensure that we find the right one for Kerrie.  One of the preferred facilities is the JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ so if anyone has contacts there please let us know.

 

  • We have been reaching out to research institutions and hospitals to see if any may be interested in Kerrie’s case.  If you have contacts at research institutions, hospitals or pharmaceutical companies please let us know.

 

Please send an email to infoforkerrie@yahoo.com if you can assist with any of the above. 

We truly appreciate all of you for your continued support, and we hope that there is more help out there....


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


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07/26/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

UPDATE - 7/26/14

7/21 marked five weeks that Kerrie has been at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ and we felt this was a good time to provide a detailed update on her condition and prognosis and describe ways that you may be able to help.  We apologize for the delay since the last update as well as the lack of details with the previous posts.  When Kerrie entered Kessler on 6/16 her vital signs had stabilized and she was breathing on her own, while still having the tracheal tube in place for added safety. She would at times open her eyes and make eye contact but spent the majority of her time in a comatose state.  She would slightly move parts of her body but could not respond to commands or would not “track” visitors when she did make eye contact (i.e. follow visitors with her eyes when they moved around the room).  She would respond to some strong stimuli such as pain or anticipated pain.  While she was at Valley Hospital Kerrie received a number of tests on her brain including MRIs and EEGs to determine if she had suffered brain damage from the 5-FU toxicity.  None of the tests revealed evidence of significant brain damage but the last MRI performed days before she left Valley did not show as much improvement as we had hoped and this gave us some cause for concern. 

In her first week at Kessler her doctors removed the tracheal tube and replaced it with a special valve that provides additional airflow when needed.  She immediately began receiving three or more hours of physical and occupational therapy as well as experimental drug and sensory therapies.  Since then her condition has improved but the gains have been slight.  We are told that at this stage of brain injury recuperation the patient’s improvements are very nuanced.  For example, in her second week at Kessler, Kerrie responded to what’s known as a “startle” test where her therapists try to get her to respond to a loud noise played on each side of her head.  She had not responded to this test upon admittance so this was considered an improvement.  Another example of modest improvement is that she appears to be able to support her head and body weight more fully during physical therapy treatments designed to build up her strength. 

Kerrie spends most of her mornings receiving physical and occupational therapy and rests in the afternoon and evenings.  When not in therapy she spends much of the day in a special wheelchair with head support.  The doctors at Kessler feel that rest is an important part of the recovery process for brain injury patients so they limit therapy to three hours per day.  Kerrie is often tired in the late afternoons and evenings and will be in a restful state during these times.  She will open her eyes at times and will sometimes make eye contact but she will not do so on command.  

Kerrie is more responsive in the mornings when she receives treatment and will open her eyes for most of the therapy sessions.  Glenn will often be present during these sessions and he has seen her make slight improvements over the past weeks.

At this point Kerrie’s long term prognosis is still difficult for her doctors to predict.  Kerrie’s case is extremely rare and very few people have survived what she has been through - actually the experts who have been advising us have never seen someone survive from the condition she had been in back in April.  The experts at Kessler have signifiant experience treating traumatic brain injuries of all sorts and in helping patients emerge from comas.  While we are told that the treatment is geared toward the patient’s “clinical presentation” (i.e. the physical signs and symptoms which help lead to a diagnosis) rather than the cause (i.e. the 5-FU toxicity), Kerrie’s case is highly unique and there are many unknowns and few if any comparable cases.  

The bottom line is that we are still hopeful that she can make a full recovery but this is not guaranteed.  Her timeline for recovery is also difficult to predict.  We are hopeful that she can continue to recover and demonstrate enough improvement in the coming weeks to remain at Kessler in the coma emergence program and eventually transition to a more participatory physical therapy program as she emerges from her coma.  If Kerrie’s improvement plateaus in the coming weeks we may need to transfer her from Kessler to a long term care facility to give her additional time to regain consciousness.

To date we have received incredible and humbling support from our friends and family, the community, coworkers and many generous people we haven’t even met.  This moral, spiritual and tangible support has sustained us through very difficult times and made us realize what a wonderful and caring world this can be.  At this time we ask that you continue to keep Kerrie and her family in your thoughts and prayers as we try to get her through this last phase of her recovery.  She survived for a reason and has come too far to be held back from rejoining her family.  She is a fighter and has shown incredible resiliency and we continue to be positive.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and send her strength.

We have continued to be active in advocating for Kerrie and we are regularly conferring with her doctors and other experts in the field of 5-FU toxicity.   We are open to suggestions and advice from you or your network of friends and family - particularly those in the medical or research communities who may have experience with neurotoxicity, coma recovery, traumatic brain injury, neurology or experimental drug therapies.  Please contact us if you have information or contacts that you think may be helpful.

Another way that you can help is to visit Kerrie at Kessler to encourage her in person.  For those able and so inclined, Kessler’s visiting hours are 8AM - 8:30PM and visitors are welcome nearly all day except for certain times when Kerrie may be receiving treatment.  Please note that most times Kerrie will have her eyes closed and will not recognize visitors or respond to commands or questions. This does not mean that she can't hear you and understand what you are saying. There are so many "unkowns" with brain recovery and we should speak to her normally in hopes that she understands everything but lacks the ability to respond back to us.  She does react though at times when she hears new voices and we feel that she makes contact in her own way at times with visitors.  If you’d like more context before visiting please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jamie Prettitore (Glenn’s brother) at prettitorej@gmail.com and he will reach out to you to prepare you for your visit.

Thank you again for all of your love and support over the past several months.  Words can’t express our gratitude. 

Glenn wants everyone to know how truly thankful and and appreciative he is for all the support he has received.  His hope is that he may be able to send thank you notes when the time is right and he is sorry that he has not yet been able to do this.


Sincerely, 

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


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07/08/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 7/8/14 @ 10:20 PM

Kerrie completed her third week at Kessler yesterday and has been getting excellent care and specialized treatment to help her regain consciousness.  She has made some small improvements but has not yet woken up.  She continues to receive several hours of physical and occupational therapy per day and has been receiving specialized drug therapy to help her regain consciousness.

The team at Kessler is excellent and we remain hopeful that Kerrie will continue to improve in the days and weeks ahead.

Thank you again for all your positive thoughts and prayers.  Please keep them coming as we will need them in the weeks ahead to help urging Kerrie on.

Thanks again for everything you have done and continue to do.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." - Helen Keller


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

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06/29/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 6/29/14 @ 11:25 PM

Kerrie completed her second week at Kessler and has shown progress.  She continues to receive several hours of intensive physical and occupational therapy along with other treatments to help her recover to a fully conscious state.

Kerrie has improved in certain areas since she arrived and has demonstrated progress but is still not yet fully conscious.  We are pleased with the treatment and care she has been receiving at Kessler and we remain optimistic for her recovery.  We continue to confer with our expert advisors and they are advising us to continue to be patient.

Glenn has been able to bring her outdoors over the past week at Kessler to experience sunshine and fresh air and that has been a help.

We are very thankful for all your continued support, prayers and positive thoughts.  Please continue to keep Kerrie and her family in your thoughts and prayers and send her strength to help her keep improving at Kessler.  

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families



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06/21/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 6/21/14 @ 11:30 AM

Kerrie was transferred to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ on Monday, 6/16.  Since then she has been receiving intensive treatments designed to help her emerge from the coma.  She has been receiving three hours of physical and occupational therapy in addition to specialized treatments involving light and other sensory stimuli.  She has been doing well in responsing to the treatments and they were able to cap her tracheal breathing tube after she arrived.   

We don't know at the moment how long she may be at Kessler.  She will continue to get intensive treatments and the key is for her to continue to demonstrate improvement.   

Thanks very much for your continued support.  Please keep the positive thoughts and prayers coming.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

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06/15/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 6/15/14 @ 7:30 AM

Kerrie continues to make small improvements and we are currently planning for her transfer to the Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute in West Orange, NJ.  Depending on her condition she may be transferred this coming week.

Kerrie has been getting great care at Valley Hospital and we are looking forward to getting her into this special program at Kessler.  Kessler is a one of the leading brain injury programs in the country and has significant experience with helping patients emerge from comas.  We visited Kessler recently and have spoken with the directors of the brain injury program and are confident that Kessler is the right fit for Kerrie.  They have been following her case closely and are eager to work with her to help her heal.  At this time we do not know how long she may be at Kessler.  Each brain injury case is unique and Kerrie will be evaluated upon arrival and a treatment plan developed.

The program consists of various types of treatment designed to stimulate patients and help them emerge to a greater state of consciousness and participation.  Kerrie will be getting three hours of physical therapy per day in addition to specialized drug treatments designed to help stimulate her brain.

She has continued to demonstrate small but important improvements over the last two weeks and we are optimistic and hopeful that she will benefit more from the intensive theraputic treatment at Kessler. 
She has been moving more and will make eye contact at times and continues to look better each week.  Her vital signs remain good.

Thank you again for all your wonderful support over the past months.  We are entering a new phase in Kerrie's recovery and are very pleased that she will be transferring to Kessler.  This is a positive step and we are excited for her to  begin this specialized treatment program.

We will post more regular updates every few days to report on Kerrie's progress at Kessler.

Thanks again for all your continued support.  Please continue to keep Kerrie and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

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05/29/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/29/14 @ 12:20 PM

We have some good news to report - Kerrie has been making slight improvements over the past week and we along with her medical staff believe that she is becoming slightly more responsive and present.  She has been making more eye contact and moving her legs more over the past few days.  Visually she looks great and her vital signs continue to be very good.

We are trying not to get ahead of ourselves but we are very pleased with the progress she has made over the past week.  She was slightly responsive to Glenn when he was speaking to her at her bedside earlier this week and he felt that she was interacting with him somewhat.

She still has a way to go but we're very happy about her progress these last few days.

Please keep all your positive thoughts and prayers directed toward Kerrie and her family.  They are helping to bring her back.

Thanks again for everyones continued support and generosity.  It means so much to know that so many people continue to keep Kerrie in their prayers and has helped her family tremendously.

"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe" - Dalai Lama

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo families

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05/24/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/24/14 @ 12:25 PM

Kerrie continues to show small signs of improvement.  She looks very good visually and she has shown signs of being slightly more responsive.  We along with her nursing staff have observed slight improvements and continue to be hopeful.  Her vital signs are still very good although she is still not yet awake.  Over the pst week she will make limited eye contact at times and will move her head or legs in response to stimuli or when she is being moved by the nursing staff.

Our expert advisors continue to be optimistic about her recovery and we remain hopeful and are doing our best to be patient.

Please keep Kerrie and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  We are all sending her positive thoughts and vibes as we patiently wait for her to wake up.

Thanks again for all your support, prayers and generosity.  It is much appreciated and is helping everyone get through this stage of her recovery.

"Be faithful in small things because it is them that your stength lies" - Mother Theresa

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

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05/18/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/18/14 @ 9:30 PM

Kerrie continues to make slight progress and has been more alert this past week.  At times she will make eye contact or move her legs.  Her doctors felt that she showed more signs of alertness during the week.

Earlier today she responded slightly when Glenn was sleaking to her at her bedside.  She remains mostly in a very restful state though most of the time.

We continue to play music for her and speak to her while visiting and she continues to get regular physical and occupational therapy in her bed.  

The experts advisign us remain optimistic for her recovery and continue to advise us to be patient while her brain recovers.   We remain hopeful and optimistic as well.

Thanks for everyone's support, love and concern.  We will try to post updates every few days or more frequently if there is additional news to report.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families



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05/12/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/12/14 @ 9:45 PM

Kerrie has been doing well over the last few days and continues to rest comfortably in the neuro ward.  Her vital signs are still very good and she continues to look better.  She has not yet fully woken up but over the weekend did make some limited eye contact with visitors.  Her medical team and our expert advisors continue to urge us to be patient as her brain slowly recovers.  They remain optimistic and hopeful for her full recovery and we will keep the faith with all your support, prayers and positive thoughts.

We will post updates every several days unless we have specific news to report.

We have set up an email address for those who may want to send Kerrie and her family suportive videos or pictures.  Please just email these to this address and we will make sure to play them for Kerrie in her room.

wishesForKerrie@gmail.com

Thanks again for all your continued support.  It is as important as ever right now and is helping us remain patient while Kerrie gets the rest she needs to fully recover.

"How poor are they that have not patience!  What wound did ever heal but by degrees?" - William Shakespeare


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families 

    

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05/12/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/9/14 @ 10:00 PM

Kerrie continues to do well and was moved out of the Intermediate Care Unit into the Neuro Unit at Valley this week.  Her vital signs are still strong and we continue to wait patiently for her to wake up.  Our expert advisors remain optimistic that she can make a full recovery and we remain hopeful and attentive.  

Kerrie's co-workers hosted a wonderful event earlier this week (see flyer under "photos" section) in New York City.  The event was well attended and was a great show of support by all her friends in the advertising world.  Thanks again to Ken Begasse and his fellow organizers and to all who attended.

Thanks again for all your support and incredible generosity.  Please keep your positive and prayers coming -  they have made such a meaningful difference.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
 
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05/09/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/9/14 @ 10:00 PM

Kerrie continues to do well and was moved out of the Intermediate Care Unit into the Neuro Unit at Valley this week.  Her vital signs are still strong and we continue to wait patiently for her to wake up.  Our expert advisors remain optimistic that she can make a full recovery and we remain hopeful and attentive.  

Kerrie's co-workers hosted a wonderful event earlier this week (see flyer under "photos" section) in New York City.  The event was well attended and was a great show of support by all her friends in the advertising world.  Thanks again to Ken Begasse and his fellow organizers and to all who attended.

Thanks again for all your support and incredible generosity.  Please keep your positive and prayers coming -  they have made such a meaningful difference.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
 
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05/06/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/6/14 @ 11:00 PM

Just a brief update tonight and a reminder about the fundraising event in New York City tomorrrow night (5/7) hosted by many of Kerrie's coworkers.

Kerrie continues to rest comfortably and we remain optimistic for her to wake up and fully recover.  We are told by our expert advisors that her brain needs time to recover and they are counseling us to be patient while she rests.

NYC Fundraiser Details (see link below or flyer image under "photos"

When
: 5/7 from 6:30PM to 10:30PM
Where: M1-5 Lounge, 52 Walker St., New York, NY
Link: http://bit.ly/kerrie-fundraiser

Thanks again for everyone's continued support

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo families


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05/04/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 5/4/14 @ 9:30 PM

Kerrie's condition has not changed much in recent days so we didn't have much to report.  Her vital signs continue to be good and the most recent MRI conducted this week showed no lesions in her brain from the 5-FU toxicity.  This is a very positive sign.

She has been resting comfortably and is still unconscious.  Her doctors and our expert advisors remain optimistic that she can make a full recovery and they have urged us to be patient.  She really is a unique case and has returned from a place that few if any have.  We are being told that her brain will need time to recover from the trauma she endured over the past several weeks.  We remain positive and hopeful and are trying our best to be patient as we wait for her to wake up.

Your love and support has been incredible and we will continue to need all the prayers and positive thoughts.  Kerrie has demonstrated unbelievable resilience - please keep sending all your positive energy to her to help her heal further.

Thank you again for everything you have done and continue to do.  We are humbled by your generosity and kindness and can't thank you enough.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families



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04/30/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/30/14 @ 10:00 PM

Kerrie continues to improve and is looking better every day.  Her vital signs are strong and she continues to hit milestones as her neurological recovery progresses.  She is breathing most of the time on her own and her doctors were able to remove the nasal feeding tube they had been using for nutrition.  She was moved Monday from the ICU to the Intermediate Care (ICM) unit on the 4th floor at Valley Hospital.  These are all positive signs and we remain hopeful for her full recovery.

While she is still not yet awake she is looking more and more like herself in appearance.  Over the past two days she has made minor eye contact at times and has responded to some stimuli but she is still mostly in a semi conscious and restful state.  We are very happy with her progress and remain patient as we understand that this phase of her recovery will be very gradual. 

Kerrie is an extremely rare case in that she has recovered to this point from such severe 5-FU toxicity.  There are not many comparable cases so we are following the advice of our expert advisory team to remain patient and watch for the gradual signs of improvement.  We are pleased that we have seen some of these in recent days.

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things" - Ralph Walso Emerson

Thanks again for everyone's support, prayers and positive thoughts.  We greatly appreciate everything that you have done and continue to do.


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


P.S. Kerrie's coworkers and friends are having an benefit/get-together in NYC on May 7th and all are welcome.  See the invite under the "pictures" section on the right hand side of this page
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04/27/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/27/14 @ 8:00 PM

Kerrie continues to do well in this latest stage of her recovery.  Over the last two days she has become somewhat more alert and had her eyes open at times and made occasional eye contact with visitors.  Her vital signs continue to be strong and she reached an important milestone today in breathing on her own for most of the day.  Her doctors had wanted to test if she was ready and she exceeded their expectations by breathing unassisted since 10 AM this morning.  She still has a tracheal tube to assist her breathing if needed but this is promising news.

As noted in previous updates Kerrie's full neurologic recovery will be a slow and gradual process which has essentially just begun.  While we and her medical team are very happy with her progress, we realize that she has a long road ahead of her.  She will engage visitors at times with minimal eye contact but remains mostly in a restful and semi-conscious state.  She continues to look better though as the days progress and her mucositis in particular is much improved.

We will continue to publish regular updates on her progress.

Many of you have asked about Kerrie and Glenn's three children: Liam (age 7), Fiona (age 5) and Maeve (age 3).  While they miss their mom they are doing very well and we are doing our best to keep them on a regular schedule and very engaged with our extended family and friends.   We have tried to protect them by managing information as best we can.  They know that their mom is sick and in the hospital but do not know how serious it has been.  To that end we ask members of their school community and neighbors to be careful with what information they share with children that may come into contact with Liam, Fiona and Maeve.  Kerrie's recovery to this point is incredible in many ways but she will likely continue to be incapacitated for weeks to come and we want to try to protect the children during this difficult time.

Once again we thank you all for your continued support, generosity and prayers.  We are most grateful for everything.


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


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04/25/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/25/14 @ 10:39 PM

We are happy to report that Kerrie's immune system and vital signs continue to show improvement.  This next phase of her reovery will be more gradual as she recovers neurologically.  Her doctors have been pleased with the improvement she has shown over the last few days as she has been slightly more responsive.  

This evening she was opening her eyes and gesturing more than at any time during the last two weeks.  She is breathing more on her own and the medical team was able to change her breathing support mechanism to a tracheal tube, which is a positive step.  Her ability to recieve nutrition and digest it has improved in recent days.  These are all positive signs and we remain hopeful and patient as she gradually recovers.

As noted previously we know that her recovery may take weeks but we remain cautiously optimistic that she will be able to fully recover.

Thank you again for all your wonderful support, generosity, positive thoughts and prayers.  As Glenn mentioned in his recent thank you note, we continue to be awestruck and grateful for everything you have done and continue to do.  The extraordinary love you have shown has helped overcome the pain and suffering of the past few weeks.

Where there is love there is life - Mahatma Gandhi


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families


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04/23/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
A Thank You Letter from Glenn Prettitore

I must admit that I have tears in my eyes as I write this thank you letter. Not because I am sad or angry about the awful events that have rocked our family, friends and community. It’s simply because I am truly overwhelmed and touched by the support that we continue to receive from literally around the world. For those who know Kerrie well, you know why it’s easy to fall in love with her. But you also know that she would never look for this type of attention. I think this is why so many people are drawn to her. In fact, Kerrie’s fight has evoked an enormous outpouring of love from many that don’t even know her.

It often sounds like a cliché, but it is times like these that one realizes just how important family and friends are. It also makes you realize that there are so many good people in the world. In addition to family/friend contacts, we have been in close contact with experts from many different medical disciplines who have been touched by Kerrie’s story and continue to offer help.

As you’ve probably read on the frequent updates, Kerrie has been fighting incredibly hard for her life and has beat the odds to this point. She continues to fight for the family that she loves and unfortunately her battle is not over. We have to be patient as we are told that healing will take time, and we are currently waiting for her to become more alert. But we all know that the strength that all of you have given us will help us to overcome any future obstacles.

Please continue to send all of your amazing thoughts, prayers and positive vibes. I long for the days when both Kerrie and I can thank and hug every one of you, and get to know the people who we’ve never met.

I honestly saw Kerrie cry about her cancer diagnosis for about 10 seconds before she said “I can’t believe that I’m going to be a cancer survivor”. Before her hospitalization over 3 weeks ago, the only reason she cried was because she was touched by how many people wanted to help her in any way they could. I am sure that this love has given her the strength to continue to fight, and I thank you all for that.

 

Love,

Glenn


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04/23/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/23/14 @ 10:20 AM

Kerrie's immune system and vital signs continue to improve today as we move into this new phase of her recovery.

As noted in yesterday's update, Kerrie's condition has improved to the point that she is no longer in imminent life threatening danger from infection or other complications.  We are thrilled that she has recovered to this point but understand that she has a long road ahead of her as she recovers neurologically.

We have been advised by Kerrie's medical team and experts in the field that her neurological recovery will likely take weeks and that we must be patient as she is gradually weaned off of supportive care.  Based on results of testing done so far and the opinions of our expert advisory team we remain cautiously optomistic for her full recovery. 

She is currently breathing mostly on her own but remains primarily in an unconscious state right now.  She will interact with medical staff and visitors on occasion with some eye contact and limited gestures.  We are seeing some signs of improvement and we understand that she'll need time to fully recover.  We will keep you updated as she continues to recover.

We remain very grateful for all your overwhelming support, love and concern.


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
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04/22/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/22/14 @ 10:00 AM

Kerrie's condition continues to improve and her key vital signs keep trending positivley.  Her white blood cell count hit 13.6 today, which is fantastic news.  Her immune system has recovered to the point that the risk of life threatening infection has significantly diminished. 

The focus is now on neurological recovery.  Kerrie has been minimally responsive over the past two weeks becuase her body was focusing its energies on ridding itself of the toxicity from the 5-FU chemotherapy drug.  We have been told by medical experts in the field that this is normal and that full neurological recovery may take weeks.  She has fought tremendously and come a long way in the past week but will likely have weeks of additional recovery ahead of her.

Now that Kerrie's immune system has slowly rebuilt itself the ICU team is focused on gradually weaning her off of the intensive supportive care she has been receiveng.  It is essentially a measured way of allowing her body to gradually take back on functions that had been suppressed by her condition (e.g. normal digestion, unassisted breathing, etc.).  This will be a gradual process which may take weeks but based on experts we have consulted with we are very optimistic that she will be able to make a full recovery.

We reman very grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity from our respective communities and friends and family.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
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04/21/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/21/14 @ 10:16 AM

More good news to report today - Kerrie's white blood cell count (WBC) increased from 2.3 yesterday to 6.0 today!  This is great news as it means that her immune system has recovered to the point that it can better protect her from infection, which has been the biggest risk.

Kerrie still has a long road ahead of her and is still not yet fully responsive but we are told that this takes time.  However, her recovery has clearly entered a new and more positive phase now that her immune system has started to rebuild itself.

Thank you again for all your support, prayers and positive thoughts.  We contnue to be very grateful.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families 
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04/20/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/20/14 @ 11:25 AM

We are very happy to report the great news that Kerrie's white blood cell count (WBC) shot up to 2.3 today from 1.0 yesterday!  As noted in yesterday's update the WBC is a significant indicator that her immune system is recovering.  

She remains in very critical condition and is still at risk of infection but this is outstanding news and an indicator of real progress.

We wish the best to our extended families and friends during the Easter and Passover holiday seasons and remain most grateful for all your help and support.

Your positive thoughts, prayers and energy have been wonderful and have made such a difference for Kerrie and for us.  Please keep them coming!


Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families



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04/19/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/19/14 @ 11:00 AM

I am very happy to report more good news today.  Kerrie's white blood count (WBC) hit 1.0 today, which is a significant milestone and indicator of progress.    The WBC is among the most important measures of progress because as it increases it means that Kerrie's immune system is strengthening.  Along with the improving mucositis, it indicates that her body is building strength and continuing to rid itself of the residual 5-FU toxicity.  The WBC will likely continue to fluctuate but hitting the 1.0 level for the first time is significant.

We remain cautious with our optimism but these are real signs of progress that we are thrilled to see.  She still has a long road ahead of her and remains in very serious critical condition but we are extremely happy that she has reached this milestone.

Thank you again for all your support and prayers.  There is so much positive energy directed Kerrie's way and it is helping her and the family greatly.  Keep focusing it on helping her to continue this tend of improvement!

We remain most grateful for all that you have done and continue to do.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Mateo Families

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04/18/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/18/14 @ 2:45 PM

We are happy to report what appears to be another positive day.  Kerrie continues to do well and her vital signs remain good.  Her appearance has improved and her medical team feels her mucositis appears to be improving slightly.  She is more responsive today which is a good sign.  Indications are that the antibiotic treatment for her recent infection is working.

She still has a very long road ahead of her and is still in danger but we remain hopeful. She is strong and is fighting.

Thanks again for for everyone's incredible support and generosity.  We are most grateful for all that you have done and continue to do. 

Sincerely,

The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

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04/17/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/17/14 @ 11:35 AM

Finally some positive news to report.  Kerrie had a good day yesterday and it appears that the ICU and medical staff are treating her infection effectively and her vital signs have been improving the last two days.  Her heart rate is normal and blood pressure has stabilized with only minor medication to support it.  The nursing staff feels that the mucositis in her mouth appears better and her lungs sound better and clearer.  Her white blood cell count ticked up yesterday and stayed at the same level today.  The mucositis severity and white blood cell count are important indicators so everyone pays close attention to these.

We are tempering our optimism because sustained improvement may take weeks but regardless we are happy to report what look to be two consecutive positive days.

Please keep Kerrie in your thoughts and prayers.

We remain grateful for everyone's overwhelming support


The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo families


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04/16/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families
UPDATE - 4/16/14 @ 1:00PM

---Please note that we will be posting all future updates on this site and will be shutting down the Caring Bridge site----

Kerrie had a tough day yesterday but has improved slightly today.  During the day yesterday her heart rate spiked and blood pressure dropped, which was indicative of an infection.  This was a dangerous condition and the ICU team imediately began treating her with a broad range of antibiotics and culturing her blood to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection.   She responded well to the antibiotics and her vital signs improved as the evening wore on.  When we left the hospital late last night her heart rate and blood pressure reverted to more normal levels and her breathing was more regular and less labored.  The ICU doctor reported continued improvement today from yesterday afternoon.  We are awaiting the lab results on the bacteria and  we expect her antibiotic treatment to be more tailored when cultures return later today.  In the meantime she is resting and her vitals remain good.

We thank you again for all your positive thoughts, prayers and overall support.  This support and your collective generosity has been overwhelming and we can't thank you enough.

Sincerely,

The Prettitore Family



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04/14/2014
by The Prettitore, Moore and Matteo Families

We received some positive news that the ICU chief doctor feels that Kerrie has shown some improvement since Saturday.  She will make eye contract with visitors on occasion and has used some small facial gestures.  Her vital signs remain good and she remains infection free.  The uridine triacetate arrived on Saturday night and they began administering immediately.  The medication will be administered every six hours for five days in total.  As noted earlier, our expectations for this medication are tempered and realistic but we are hoping for even a small benefit that will help her body fight off the 5-FU toxicity.  We remain in contact with some of the leading experts in this field and we are leaving no stone unturned to get her the help she needs.

That said, Kerrie is still in significant danger and is fighting for her life.  She is fighting hard and all your support has been tremendously helpful.  Keep sending the positive vibes and prayers.  Kerrie's family is incredibly moved by the outpouring of support from family, friends and friends we haven't even met.

We encourage you to share this information so that our extended family is informed but we ask only that you be cautious with information shared with children that may know or interact with Kerrie and Glenn's children.  They know that their mom is sick and in the hospital but we have been very careful with information that is shared with them.  

Thank you all


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