Kelsey Can! Join us in her fight to conquer AML - Leukemia

For: Chris & Lisa Berger
Wappingers Falls, NY
Organizer: Aunts & Uncles
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The Story

Please help support 5-year-old Kelsey Berger who was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive form of childhood leukemia, on Feb 2, 2017. Kelsey is currently undergoing 9 long months of inpatient chemotherapy at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. All donations will go directly to the Berger family to assist with uninsured medical expenses, loss of income as her mother had to leave her job, childcare for Kelsey’s younger brother, and to allow the Berger family to focus all their energy on Kelsey’s immediate care.

Kelsey’s Story

Kelsey Berger is a spirited 5-year-old with a contagious smile and vivid imagination. She loves anything Disney and Trolls, and also has a longing to learn. Kelsey has the ability to leave a lasting impression on anyone that she meets.

Kelsey’s parents noticed a rash on her chest and back and brought her to the doctor. After tests came back negative for strep throat and mono, Kelsey was told she has a virus. Over the next 10 days, the rash didn’t go away and her concerned parents made another 3 visits to different pediatricians. All resulted in the same outcome; a virus. Without any other symptoms, the doctors recommended against blood work or a trip to the ER, but Kelsey’s parents knew something wasn’t right.

She attended Kindergarten the next morning, but not for long, as the nurse called Kelsey’s mother suggesting she had Scarlet Fever. Although Kelsey did not have strep throat or a fever, her mother picked her up and took it upon herself to bring her to the ER for additional blood work. When the results returned, it was clear that something was seriously wrong. Kelsey was immediately transferred by ambulance to the nearest children’s hospital where she was admitted. It was here that she and her family found that their lives were forever changed, as Kelsey was diagnosed with cancer.

On February 2, 2017, Kelsey was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AML is a rare type of Leukemia affecting about 500 children each year. It is an ugly disease with an uncertain outcome. This diagnosis has shattered Kelsey’s family and has devastated them to the point of disbelief. Because this type of cancer is aggressive, so too is her treatment. Kelsey is just beginning a long, nine-month journey at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. where she has already begun receiving intense chemotherapy treatments around the clock. Her tiny body has endured surgeries and blood transfusions, in addition to battling fever, nausea, pain and fatigue in a constant fight for her life. She will soon lose her hair, eyebrows and lashes, which is difficult for her to understand. She must wear a mask any time she leaves her hospital room as the very medicine fighting her cancer, is also depleting her ever-weakening immune system. She faces years of intensive and invasive treatment, and essentially a lifetime risk of relapse. Kelsey also has a two-year-old brother who misses his “sissy” and has to adjust to a life of not being with her every day. Her childhood has been stolen from her and her future is now filled with unimaginable uncertainty. She has a challenging road ahead of her but she is not scared of the path. She has taken all of our hands, and we will all walk alongside her until she reaches her very own fairy tale ending.

Please help Kelsey and her family battle this ruthless disease together and ease the burden of everyday expenses. All donations will go directly to the Berger family to assist with uninsured medical expenses, family and household expenses, and travel needs. Thank you all for helping heal the hearts of our family and for showing our little princess that in the end; kindness, love, and family always prevail.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 19, 2017

Posted on February 19, 2017

We continue to be taken aback by the love and support that has been shown to Kelsey and our family. It is truly appreciated!

Today is day 17 since Kelsey first started chemotherapy. She continues to have good days and bad. She consistently has a high fever, which results in the hospital conducting blood cultures every day to confirm that the fever is not a result of an infection. She has had numerous blood and platelet transfusions and because her immune system is completely depleted, she doesn't have the energy to be out of bed for long periods of time. In recent days, Kelsey has developed a new rash that covers her entire body and she has started to lose her hair.

Kelsey’s brother continues to greatly miss his sissy, but thanks to Facetime, they are able to “play” each day. A recent trip to the hospital from her brother certainly lifted both their spirits!

We’ve started to have some difficult conversations with Kelsey, but she has handled everything in stride. Despite the myriad of medications she’s on and her weakened body, she has for the most part, maintained a positive attitude and still flashes her beautiful smile.

We truly cannot thank you enough for your generosity and thoughtfulness. Please keep Kelsey in your prayers to give her the strength she needs and hopefully one day we can pay it forward.

With love,
Chris, Lisa, and family

Posted on February 14, 2017

Posted on February 14, 2017

Words cannot express how grateful we are for the outpouring of love and support for Kelsey and our family. We have been left speechless by your compassion, generosity and random acts of kindness. We have been humbled to see friends of new and old, members of different communities and organizations, and good people that to want make a difference, come together for our little angel’s fight against cancer. Saying “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough and it could never repay the kindness you have shown to our family, but please know that each of you will forever be in our hearts.  

Since starting her chemo treatments, Kelsey has had some good days and bad. We’re thankful that initial testing has indicated that this terrible disease has not traveled to her central nervous system. As of today, Kelsey completed her first of four rounds of chemotherapy. Kelsey will be closely monitored for the next 20 days or so as she rebuilds her immune system and allows her blood cells to reproduce. In approximately 20 days, Kelsey will have her second bone marrow test and those results will dictate her next course of treatment. 

Please know we recognize each of you and although we may not have the time to connect right now, we do read each comment, text, email and post and they give us strength and hope. Please continue to keep Kelsey in your prayers and she too will be given the strength to overcome the difficult journey that she faces.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Chris, Lisa, Kelsey and Jameson Berger

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