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Love4Lucas

$9,714raised of $250,000 goal
3%

Organizer: Team Love4Lucas Beneficiary: Lucas Myles Standish

Lucas is 18 months old and has a rare liver cancer called Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). We are looking for support, prayers and love for Lucas as he battles for his life.

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Fundraiser Details

Our Story

On July 16, 2013, our worst fears came true. We found out that our son, Lucas, had a mass on his liver. What began as a trip to the hospital for a high fever turned into a week-long visit with test after test to arrive at the diagnosis: it was cancer. Lucas was diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer. 

Most common in adults, HCC is found in only 0.7 per 1 million children and is considered extremely rare in those under the age of 5. Unfortunately, HCC does not respond well to any known chemotherapy and, in most cases, patients end up needing a transplant. Our doctors don't know why Lucas has this as he doesn't fit any of the categories of children who are most likely to develop HCC.

To know that you are helpless to your own child is an understatement. You can't even imagine all the things that cross your mind when you find out that your baby has a rare and possibly fatal disease and you can't make it go away. 

Our doctors decided it would be best to start with chemotherapy to see if it might help shrink the tumor, and Lucas began treatment at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo the following week. They put a Broviac Line in his chest which is used to give him medicines, fluids, nutrients, blood transfusions, and to draw blood. (It is designed for long-time use so that many painful needle sticks can be avoided.) 

After the first round of chemo, Lucas was able to come home but he soon developed a fever over 100 and we were right back at Children's. This time our stay lasted 17 days. The chemo made him so sick, completely wiping him out to where he needed a couple blood transfusions as well as a platelet transfusion. He had no appetite and lost his ability to walk as well. They ended up putting Lucas on a TPN bag that would provide him nutrients as well as vitamins. It helped improve his energy and he started to eat again. He also started to walk again. 

In the meantime, the doctors did another biopsy on the tumor and began the process of applying to other hospitals so we could get accepted for a possible transplant. It was during this process that we received the most exciting and positive news. On August 21, we found out that Boston Children's has accepted us and the wonderful Dr. Kim is going to evaluate Lucas to see if surgery to take the mass out might be possible (in lieu of a transplant). 

We left for Boston on September 2 and will stay through September 4 for testing and to meet with the team of doctors. Through an amazing organization called Wings Flights of Hope, we were able to fly together as a family at no cost to us. (Wings Flights of Hope is run solely by volunteer pilots who provide families in need of free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.) While in Boston for this initial visit, we are staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and they have been so wonderful to us as well.

We are excited and hopeful as we await the results of the most recent round of tests. We plan to use this webpage to keep everyone posted on Lucas' treatment and road to recovery and will post updates regularly.

We greatly appreciate any support, love and prayers for Lucas as he battles for his life.

We also appreciate any monetary donation you are willing to give to help out with the medical expenses that we will incur on this journey as they are above and beyond what we are able to manage. 

XOXO - Missy, Pat, Bella and Lucas

P.S.
Please consider sharing this page with your friends via Facebook, Twitter and/or Email as we appreciate any and all support we can get! The links to share are located on the right of the webpage. Thanks in advance!
 

Donation Information:

  • Online donations can be made by clicking on the 'Give Now' button near the top right of this webpage. Online donations are made through a secure online service called WePay and are deposited directly into the Love4Lucas account.
  • Donations can also be sent via Mail to: Melissa Andrasik, 865 Pletcher Road, Youngstown, NY 14174  (*Please make checks payable to Melissa Andrasik, and indicate in the subject line that it is for Love4Lucas)
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Updates

Updates

01/09/2014
by Team Love4Lucas

It is with a heavy heart that we share that Lucas passed away yesterday afternoon. He was at home with his mom, dad and close family by his side. He was such a brave little man and fought until the very end. Thank you to all of you who have been with us on this journey. All of the prayers, positive thoughts and kind words mean more than you will ever know.

From Lucas' mom, Melissa: Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words ...I'm sure Lucas is smiling down right now knowing how much he was really loved...so Thank You all for that!!! Lucas was such a fighter and fought to the bitter end. But we know he is no longer fighting so that gives us great comfort. If you would like to pay respect to him he will be at: Hardison Funeral Home in Ransomville Friday 1/10/14 from 3-7 and service will be on Saturday 1/11/14 11am @ Excely Methodist church in Wilson. Please no flowers...if you want to donate please make it out to Wings Flights of Hope as they were amazing to us and flew us to Boston numerous times for treatment at no cost. Can't say enough about them..amazing!!! Thank you again from our family!!!

(If interested in supporting Wings of Hope, send donations to Wings Flight, P.O. Box 872, Orchard Park, NY 14127 in memory of Lucas Myles Standish.)


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11/18/2013
by Team Love4Lucas

UPDATE from Lucas' Grandma, Cheryl - Thanks so much for all of the kind words, positive thoughts and prayers. Today's tests came back and while Lucas' liver enzyme levels came down 10 points, they are still not low enough for the trial. (He's at 107 and needs to be at least 100 or lower.) The doctor still thinks it might come down some more, so she is hopeful. Lucas will get tested again next Monday and, if he's good, then start the trial on Tuesday. So there's still hope for this trial. And again, we wait and pray...

The tests also showed that the tumor in his liver has grown quite a bit, but the lesions in his lungs not very much. This clinical is the only hope for a new drug that could possibly halt the growth of the tumors and possibly shrink them. We're hopeful that next Monday's tests bring us good news. Please continue to keep Lucas in your thoughts and prayers. God Bless.


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11/16/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
UPDATE 11/16 - PRAYERS NEEDED!!! - Lucas, his mom Missy, and grandma Cheryl traveled to Boston earlier this week to visit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute about a clinical trial that Dr. Kim felt Lucas would be a good candidate for. Lucas would be the 34th person out of the 34 people they were taking. Finally a clinical trial for children and something that might be able to help Lucas! They went for testing after they landed on Tuesday and Lucas had a CT scan on Wednesday. Thursday was supposed to be a day off and then a meeting with the doctor on Friday. Well… the doctor emailed Missy on Wednesday evening and told her that Lucas' liver enzymes were elevated 2 times what they should be and, because of that, he might not be eligible for the clinical trial. (Seems an odd statement knowing that he has cancer in his liver!) Anyway, the doctor told them she would now need to see them on Monday, not Friday. She said maybe his enzyme count would come down. So now, they are just waiting for new labs to be done on Monday. If the count is good, he will get infused on Tuesday with the new drug overnight and then checked again on Friday. So we wait and pray...
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10/21/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
From Lucas' Mom, Melissa: A big THANK YOU to all that came to support and donate to Lucas on Friday... it was an amazing night! Now we have enough to be able to start the next non-toxic therapy for him... so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. I also want to say to my girls that helped with it... so blessed to know that I truly have the most amazing friends and would be lost without you guys. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To my mom and dad... thanks for the most expensive cheese and veggie trays ever!!! (As well as the entertainment... lol.) Love you both! Salt Peter you ROCKED as you always do... love you guys! XOXOXO
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10/10/2013
by Team Love4Lucas

Love4Lucas Raffle Tickets will be available starting tomorrow! They are $20 a ticket and ALL proceeds benefit Love4Lucas. One Grand Prize includes: Dinner at Fat Bob's Smokehouse, 4 tickets to the Buffalo Sabres vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game on February 5th and One signed Sabres Jersey. Drawing will be held on January 15th Fat Bob's Smokehouse (winner need not be present) $20.00 a Ticket. Many thanks to Danielle Elia for organizing!!  

For those of you in WNY, you can buy tickets at this Friday's Homecoming Game in Wilson. We will also be selling next Friday (10/18) at the Love4Lucas benefit at Water Street Landing. Local shops and businesses have also inquired about selling and we will post more information when those are set up. 

For those of you that are not living around the area anymore who would still like to help out Melissa, Pat, and Love4Lucas you can mail a check to Danielle Elia at 4991 East Lake Road, Burt, NY 14028 to receive your raffle ticket. Please make checks payable to Melissa Andrasik and indicate it is for Love4Lucas. 

Or, if you're not interested in a raffle ticket, but would still like to make a donation to help out, you can go to www. youcaring.com/love4lucas and donate online. 

This is a great way to help aid Melissa and Pat with their medical expenses. Please consider purchasing a ticket to show your support! And again, many thanks to Danielle Elia for organizing!!


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10/09/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
**UPCOMING BENEFIT FOR LOVE4LUCAS!!**

Come if you're able to make it and please help spread the word!

WHAT: A fundraiser for Lucas and his family to show them community support and help aid with their mounting medical expenses. 

WHEN: Join us on Friday, October 18th at 8:00pm

WHERE: Water Street Landing, Lewiston, NY

ENTERTAINMENT: Music by Salt Peter w/ Guest Neon Sea

DONATION OPPORTUNITIES: 50/50 split, Love4Lucas Raffle Tickets, among others


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10/04/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
Update from Lucas' Mom, Melissa Andrasik: "My heart is heavy ..I just can't believe the news we have been given!! No parent wants to be told that there's nothing else they can do that its incurable. I won't and can't believe it! LUCAS is the most amazing strongest little man who has had to entail some major hurtles and he has always pulled thru with the biggest smile and continues to be happy and full of life. To know what his disease is capable of and how he has handled everything to this point is simply amazing. I'm so lost for words at this point. I can't imagine life without my baby, my heart, my love! We still are pushing forward and not giving up...we will fight to the bitter end. So to everyone out there cherish your kids, your family and never fight over senseless things bc your life is a precious gift that can be taken away in a heartbeat. Thank you to all of those that have been following LOVE4LUCAS and been generous enough to donate. It means the world to know that Lucas has lots of love surrounding him...we are truly blessed!!" 
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09/20/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
UPDATE 9/20 - Hello Everyone - Please keep the prayers coming for Lucas. We met with the oncologist and it's been determined that the best course of treatment at this point is a transplant. 

Due to Dr. Kim finding cancer in the "good" part of the liver during his surgery, the oncologist said we should assume that there is also additional cancer there, even though Dr. Kim could not feel it. The type of cancer Lucas has (HCC) is a fast-growing cancer and since it was found in the veins and the arteries on the left side of the liver, the oncologist said there are probably microscopic cancer cells we can't see.

So Lucas needs a liver transplant to be safe. And he will need it fairly soon. This cancer likes to spread to the lungs, and if it spreads, Lucas will no longer be a candidate for a transplant. So the sooner the better.

Right now, there is a protocol to follow for the transplant to happen. First, Lucas has to recover from his current surgery. This means that he needs to start eating, get a lot stronger, get his liver drain out, and his other tubes out. Second, his AFP marker has to come down (hopefully a lot more) and reach a new normal range. When the cancer was found, his AFP was in the millions. The test yesterday showed it has come down to 450,000. The doctors are hopeful that it will keep dropping more before leveling off to a new normal.

When Lucas is well enough, they will start chemo again, which will maybe be in a couple of weeks. They will also be doing body scans regularly to make sure the cancer has not spread.

When we reach the point where they feel Lucas has recovered from his current surgery, his AFP levels are down, and the cancer has not spread, then he will be put on the transplant list. Since he is a baby, it could take anywhere from two weeks to two months on the list before receiving a liver for the transplant. Please pray for Lucas. 
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09/17/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
Hello Everyone,

Last night was a rough night. Lucas woke up every two hours and had to be consoled. It was really hard to get him back to sleep. A long night for us all. 

Today, he just wants to be held. However, he still has his lines in so it's hard to hold him without setting off the alarms. So we are trying to manage that the best we can. 

Lucas' vital signs are still good. He is still getting his nutrients through his lines and is only drinking small amounts so far. The doctors are hopeful he will start eating again soon. 

We will update again soon. Thanks again for the continued thoughts and prayers. They are invaluable!

THANK YOU! 
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09/15/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
Update 9/15 

Hello Everyone - Things are continuing to progress following last week's surgery. Late yesterday they removed Lucas' chest drain and catheter. And sometime during the night, he pulled out the tube that is down his nose to drain the bile! Overall, he had a pretty good night, only waking up about three times. 

Today Lucas is looking better and not as puffy. They took out two more lines earlier today, but he still has three lines in. And Lucas is still on oxygen because there's a lot of mucus in his chest.

When Lucas wakes up now, he starts crying 'Momma,' so I think the fog has lifted. He definitely recognizes us now and focuses. =)

Around 7pm this evening, we got moved upstairs to the 10th floor which is a surgical floor. So we spent four days total in ICU and are now up here. We're moving forward.... ;)

Many thanks again for all of the continued prayers and support. We love you all very much! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! 
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09/14/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
UPDATE 9/14/13 - Hello Everyone - Last night Lucas was not breathing well so they did a chest X-ray and discovered that his right lung on the bottom had collapsed due to his not breathing well enough. They called in a surgeon and he decided to do respiratory therapy, which included suctioning out the mucus down in his lungs and chest PT. It was a long night. 

This morning, they did another X-ray and said it looks a little better and sounds a little better. So hopefully it will continue to improve.

Dr. Kim also came in this morning and said everything was going as expected. Lucas is still having pain/discomfort. He started crying when the doctor was here and when I picked him up to try and soothe him, it didn't work. He went crazy and was thrashing around really bad. It's so hard to see him like that. 

Lucas' vital signs today are good. His face is a little puffy but the nurse said that he will pee that out. He has woken up about three times today already for about five minutes each time and he just stares at us. He doesn't cry, just stares. 

If anything changes later, we will keep you all posted. Thanks again for supporting us on this journey. Your positive thoughts and prayers help so much, so keep them coming! THANK YOU!

XOXO - Missy
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09/13/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
LATEST UPDATE 9/13/13 - Lucas had a pretty good night. I stayed with him because they only let one parent stay. They did have to put another breathing tube down through his nose because his airway was getting filled with mucus. And they have suctioned it out twice so far today. Lucas is also on medication for itching as he is allergic to the tape they have used to hold down the IV's.

The doctors ran several tests today. They took a sonogram to look at the liver and to make sure the blood flow is going where it should be going. And they also performed a chest x-ray to see if he has a blockage or pneumonia, which he does not (thank goodness!). 

The biggest challenge we're facing right now is the amount of pain Lucas is in. The doctor does not want to give Lucas a lot of pain medication because of the reduced size of his liver. The medication will compromise his liver and he will have a hard time breathing because his liver is so small now. So, because of the low pain meds, Lucas is thrashing and crying out every couple of minutes. It's very hard to watch this. =( We have to hold him down. The nurse suggested that I get in bed with him to help calm him. So I'm in the crib with all the tubes and wires, IV's, oxygen mask, etc. but it seems to be making him a little calmer. I hope it can continue to help.

These next few days will be the biggest hurdles yet for Lucas. Please continue to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!! Thank you for all your continued support. It is greatly appreciated. XOXO - Missy


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09/12/2013
by Team Love4Lucas

After a long day at the hospital, I am happy to share that Lucas' surgery is complete and everything went as planned! Lucas pulled through like a fighter and is resting comfortably in the ICU. I am so amazed by the team of doctors here at Boston Children's. They performed quite the miracle! The doctors were able to remove all of the tumor and successfully complete the bypass as well. They did have to remove 3/4 of his liver because on the right side there were more little cancerous spots between the big tumor on the left and the existing piece on the right side. But the good news is we should be on the road to recovery!!! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers and positive thoughts today. We would not have been able to get through the day without them.  

We will know more about next steps in the coming days and will post updates as we have them. Please stay tuned and continue to send positive thoughts and prayers. THANK YOU!!


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09/12/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
Today is the big day...as we embark on our 8-10 hr surgery.  We met with Drs early this morning as the surgery team will consist of 8 different Drs.  They will start with the liver and then bypass the heart to get all of the tumorr.. we have had our 1st update and said that they have got all of his lines put in and started a cut into the liver.  He has already needed a blood transfusion.  But they say so far so good..so as we sit here and wait we are confident that this is the best place possible with the best possible Drs. We know he is in good handsand best of all in God's hands.....thanks for following us on our journey to better health.  Stay tuned for more updates and send positive thoughts and prayers.. THANK YOU!
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09/12/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
Today is the big day...as we embark on our 8-10 hr surgery.  We met with Drs early this morning as the surgery team will consist of 8 different Drs.  They will start with the liver and then bypass the heart to get all of the tumorr.. we have had our 1st update and said that they have got all of his lines put in and started a cut into the liver.  He has already needed a blood transfusion.  But they say so far so good..so as we sit here and wait we are confident that this is the best place possible with the best possible Drs. We know he is in good handsand best of all in God's hands.....thanks for following us on our journey to better health.  Stay tuned for more updates and send positive thoughts and prayers.. THANK YOU!
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09/05/2013
by Team Love4Lucas
We are finally back from Boston where we were able to meet with some Doctors including Dr.Kim. We ran a series of tests which included an Ultrasound, CT Angiogram, and an MRI.  The results of these tests concluded that it may have gotten slightly bigger in the part going towards his heart.  It was mostly contained in the left side only but results from the MRI show that a sm section is now in the right side.  On Sept 11th we will be heading back to Boston thru Wings Flights of Hope with our pilot Joe Demarco to get ready for our surgery date on Sept. 12th.  This will be Lucas"s greatest fight yet....it will be an all day surgery which will include taking out the mass on the left side and a wedge recession on the right side( which means taking the small piece close to the surface), as well as a bypass on one of the chambers of his heart. This is what we have been waiting for in terms of the best chance for survival but will be the most challenging day of our lives. We feel good about Dr. Kim and his team of surgeons and know he is in the right place to be having this done. We are asking for lots of positive thoughts and prayers as we begin this road to recovery. He will be in  the ICU for 2days afterwards and in the hospital for a week afterwords, as long as there are no complications.  We will be in Boston for atleast 3-4 wks or longer. We will try to keep updating when possible...Thanks again for supporting Love4lucas!
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