GREY MATTERS! HELP MORGAN FIGHT BRAIN CANCER

$5,690raised of $15,000 goal
37%

Organizer: Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson Beneficiary: Morgan Hutcherson

Morgan Hutcherson has GBM grade IV. Diagnosed 2 days after her 19th birthday. Going to Duke University, St. Jude, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Praying for time and hope.

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On April 9, 2013 Doctors at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN removed about 98% of a tangerine size tumor! Like her family and friends at that time, most of you may not know what GBM is. GBM is Glioblastoma Multiforme which is a very aggressive form of brain cancer that is known mostly to affect men over the age of 40. Her team of doctors decided that after surgery she would follow up by intensive radiation and chemotherapy. After 9 months of treatment, last week we learned that the cancer has reoccurred, now in the frontal lobes on both the right and left sides. Because of the location and type of cancer she does not qualify for the most promising clinical trials. Her life has just begun and now her doctors say she may only live a year, give or take a month or so. She has been an inspiration to so many who have followed her journey. She thanks her God for the blessings in her life and she inspires others to do the same and as she says, "never give up hope". Knowing time is short and passes quickly, we are trying to do everything possible to allow her to make the most of every single moment of every single day! In the next weeks we will be going to several hospital cancer centers where Morgan will have other tests and evaluations. We humbly ask for prayers for Mo with the hope that she might live a longer more productive and happier life!
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Updates

04/01/2014
by Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson
At this time Morgan is holding her own and her doctors want to wait 4 weeks before another MRI.  She has some paralysis on one side of her face and some blurry vision but the doctors say this is to be expected.  Thankfully the new chemo she is taking has not caused her to be very sick and that is a blessing. This weekend Morgan, her parents and brother along with her grandparents and a couple of aunts and an uncle will go to the Smokey Mountains to spend some quality time together and forget about cancer for a couple of days.  Please continue to pray for Morgan and her up coming MRI.  So much depends on the results.   Thank you.  Linda (Morgan's grandma)
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03/31/2014
by Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson
I want to begin by apologizing to everyone who has shown show much love and compassion in following Morgan's journey in her battle against GBM for having not posted an update in so long. I am sincerely sorry. 

If I remember correctly, and I hope I do, you all should know that Morgan's last MRI was not good news. She had a recurrence of tumor growth in the frontal lobes of her brain. Neither tumor is operable, so she has changed her approach in how her cancer is being treated. She is taking part in a clinical trial through Sarah Cannon Cancer Center<img style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent ! important; border: medium none ! important; display: inline ! important; float: none ! important; height: 10px ! important; margin: 0px 0px 0px 3px ! important; min-height: 0px ! important; min-width: 0px ! important; padding: 0px ! important; vertical-align: super ! important; width: 10px ! important;" src="http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png" alt="">, in large part because St. Jude Children's Hospital refused to return our phone calls. Thank you to St. Jude... Anyway, research indicates that cancer cells signal one another when it is time for the cells to divide and multiply, much like honey bees communicate with chemical messages. Doctors believe they have identified the neurological pathways used by the cancer cells in order to communicate. Sarah Cannon researchers are working to find a way to "block" or at least disrupt the neurological pathways used for cells signaling one another to divide. Mo is currently taking 60 mg a day of an experimental drug known as BKM 120. This is an investigational drug not yet available to anyone outside of this clinical trial.

The hope is that by interrupting the chemical messaging between cells, the cancer will at least show a slower rate of growth, and if highly successful, the cancer would die. She continues taking the Avastin, as her doctors at Duke University highly recommended she do. So, as things currently stand, she takes Avastin through IV every two weeks and 60 mg of experimental medication each night. So far she has tolerated the new medicine well. She has only been sick a few times and she is in her third week on the new chemo. 

There is so much going on that I can't possibly get it all out. Although she seems to be holding her own physically, she is having a tough time with depression. Since my last post, we attempted to have eggs harvested so that Mo could experience motherhood. Unfortunately, the Avastin has damaged her ovaries making that dream impossible. Since learning that, I have noticed a difference in her disposition. She is not eating well which has resulted in weight loss<img style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent ! important; border: medium none ! important; display: inline ! important; float: none ! important; height: 10px ! important; margin: 0px 0px 0px 3px ! important; min-height: 0px ! important; min-width: 0px ! important; padding: 0px ! important; vertical-align: super ! important; width: 10px ! important;" src="http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png" alt="">. She was 92 pounds last week. While she has never weighed more than about 110lbs, 92 lbs scares me. I will see that this is discussed a her next appointment, which is this Wednesday. She will have lab work, Avastin, and then a doctor consultation.

Mo has given me a "Bucket list" should she nor survive this fight. She has mentioned Niagara Falls, Yellow Stone National Park, and Disney World<img style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent ! important; border: medium none ! important; display: inline ! important; float: none ! important; height: 10px ! important; margin: 0px 0px 0px 3px ! important; min-height: 0px ! important; min-width: 0px ! important; padding: 0px ! important; vertical-align: super ! important; width: 10px ! important;" src="http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png" alt="">. Soon, I also hope to take her hot air ballooning, skydiving, and a trip to the mountains, as she has never really seen much of Gatlinburg. We leave for the mountains April 4th, and we will begin working on the others as God provides a way and time allows.

A quick thanks to The Range, Inc., for hosting<img style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent ! important; border: medium none ! important; display: inline ! important; float: none ! important; height: 10px ! important; margin: 0px 0px 0px 3px ! important; min-height: 0px ! important; min-width: 0px ! important; padding: 0px ! important; vertical-align: super ! important; width: 10px ! important;" src="http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png" alt=""> a benefit competition shoot set for May 10th, and also to Kenny Bell, former Alabama receiver who has stayed in touch with us even as he prepares for what will hopefully be a great NFL career. Also, I cannot even begin to count the letters, calls, and even people donating to her medical fund. Someone recently donated $300.00 to her, and did not give a name. All I know to say is THANK YOU ALL! Our friends, family, our Face Book family, and most of all, out Lord Jesus Christ. We would have never made it this far without you 

Morgan's Dad and Mom...Richard and Sherrie
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02/07/2014
by Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson
Sorry for the delay, but we came back to the hotel and crashed! I can not ever remember being this tired. Anyway, we met with Dr. Katherine Peters, at Duke's brain cancer center this morning. Getting directly to the point, Dr. Peters recommended that Morgan complete the clinical trial suggested at St. Thomas, and then come back to Duke for an evaluation. If little or Sorry for the delay, but we came back to the hotel and crashed! I can not ever remember being this tired. Anyway, we met with Dr. Katherine Peters, at Duke's brain cancer center this morning. Getting directly to the point, Dr. Peters recommended that Morgan complete the clinical trial suggested at St. Thomas, and then come back to Duke for an evaluation. If little or no improvement has occurred by that time, she wants Mo on two standard chemotherapy treatments. although she says that at Duke, the dual IV medications would be considered standard protocol, she referred to them as "The big guns of the arsenal". I will give everyone the chemical names after we get home and unpacked. Anyway, Dr. Peters told us that her plan of attack was very aggressive, and Mo would most likely be quite ill throughout the treatment process. Luckily, she (Morgan) will not experience any further hair loss resulting from chemicals.. I can assure you that the same will not apply to me. 

We are also expecting a call from St. Jude Thursday morning, and we are vey anxious to hear what they have to say. A visit to their research hospital Friday or Monday is a very real possibility. We expect to meet with Mo's Oncologist next week, and re-start treatment by then. I want everyone to know that we are leaving Duke with a renewed sense of optimism. Dr. Peters said that Mo's condition, was serious, and we would have to be very aggressive. The doctor believes the two tumors are most likely connected to the original tumor bed, and she thinks she can, more likely than not, be able to kill the inoperable tumors. We understand that this is not a cure, and even if successful, a reoccurrence is likely. Everything she is planning is in the hopes of extending Morgan's life. I will post more information in the coming days. We are covered up with so many moving parts that it is almost unbelievable.

We thank each and every one of you for being here for us. I doubt if many of you understand just how much we lean on you. We could not be more thankful for all of you! Please don't hesitate should you have any questions. I will get a little more detailed information out asap! Thank you! 

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02/07/2014
by Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson
Richard Hutcherson commented on a link.
13 hours ago
Seldom have I ever been short on words. Those who know me best would probably agree, but tonight I find myself struggling to put my thoughts into words. I have never been comfortable asking for anything, I suppose that comes from pride. However, I had to set aside whatever pride I had April 9, 2013, the day we learned of Morgan's diagnosis and the prognosis. Since that time we have been totally overwhelmed by the kindness, the love, and the generousity shown by so many of you. This has been devastating in so many ways, and like most anything else, the financial stress has been almost unbearable. Having said that, I feel compelled to let all who have followed Morgan's journey know that we are humbled beyond what any words might describe. More than that, we believe that your prayers are far more important than any donation that will ever be made. We refuse to allow our faith to be called in question. Morgan has never questioned "why me".. She has chosen to say, "why not me?" As her father, I have found myself in the unique position of drawing my strength and inspiration from Morgan. Second only to her, we have leaned on all of you. The encouragement and strength we have drawn from your prayers and kindness cannot be expressed with words. With God as the cornerstone, you all have been the stones that have given us the ability to cope with this devastating part of our lives. We thank you so much for ALL you have done! I wish I the words to express how grateful we are for all of you. You have given us reason to hope, and hope is something Morgan cannot and should not be without. We love and thank each and every one of you!

 

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01/31/2014
by Kristi Alexander, Linda Hutcherson
This is a correction to an update I posted earlier today.  Morgan has an appointment on Feb. 5th with her doctors at Duke University Cancer Center.  They will evaluate her condition to see if there are other treatment options available at this time.  Morgan and her parents will be traveling by car due to the fact that the air-fare for the 3 of them was going to be $1500.00 plus tax and any other fees charged.  While going by car will take several hours longer it certainly makes financial sense.  The family is also expecting a call in the next few days from St. Jude in Memphis.   Please continue to pray for Morgan as she continues to pursue other treatment options.

Also,  If anyone would like to make a direct donation to Morgan they may do so.  Checks can be made to Morgan Hutcherson's Medical Account  c/o Linda Hutcherson   119 Rhine Drive  Madison, TN 37115.  I am Morgan's grandmother and I will promptly deposit donations into Morgan's account.   Our family wants to thank everyone for their prayers, concern and support for Morgan, her parents and her brother.
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