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

For: Chris & Lisa Berger
Wappingers Falls, NY
Organizer: Aunts & Uncles
Kelsey Can! Join us in her fight to conquer AML - Leukemia (Chris & Lisa Berger)
$163,391
of $1 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 1723 donors

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, daily travel expenses, 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 April 18, 2018

Posted on April 18, 2018

4/17/18

We’re absolutely heartbroken to share with you that Kelsey passed away earlier today. While we are completely shattered by this and try to figure out how to move forward with such a hole in our heart, we take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain. We choose to remember her for who she was; the most selfless and compassionate little girl, who had an infectious smile and a spirit that was loved by so many. We’ll remember her for her bravery and strength, which was remarkable. She took everything cancer could throw at her and kept going. She endured pain that would have hampered the toughest adult. She found energy and perseverance with each draining treatment. She maintained a positive outlook and an upbeat attitude every step of the way, because that’s who Kelsey was.

We’d like to thank all of her Krusaders and supporters for everything they have done for Kelsey and our family over the past 14+ months. The lip dub video, the Kelsey’s Krusaders T-Shirts, the homes and businesses lit up in pink, the chalk messages at Sheafe and everything in between, truly gave her strength.

At this time, we ask you to continue to keep Kelsey in your prayers and to please respect our family’s privacy as we begin to plan private arrangements for Kelsey.

** In lieu of offering donations to the family, please consider making a donation in Kelsey’s name to The Truth 365, Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation or St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Thank you again for all your love and support,
Chris & Lisa

She’s in the sun,
the wind, the rain
she’s in the air you
breathe with every
breath you take.
She sings a song
of hope and cheer,
there’s no more pain,
no more fear.
You’ll see her in
the clouds above,
hear her whisper
words of love.
You’ll be together
before long, until then
listen for her song.

-Christy Ann Martine

Posted on March 28, 2018

Posted on March 28, 2018

3/27/18
Day +34

It has been an extremely painful couple of weeks for our family. Kelsey started experiencing excruciating pain in her hips and groin area about 2 weeks ago. A MRI of the area showed that at least one of her lesions grew considerably in size. A biopsy of the lesion confirmed our worst nightmare, it is her AML disease.

Being only 30+ days post transplant, her treatable options are very limited at this point. She is currently undergoing focalized radiation to her groin, hoping that if the lesions shrink, it will bring her some relief. Kelsey just completed a 10 day maintenance chemo cycle, which unfortunately, showed no response.

AML is an incredibly aggressive disease and we have reason to believe that her disease has traveled to other parts of her body and is again in her bloodstream. Our primary focus over the past two weeks has been figuring out how to control her pain and suffering. An epidural catheter was placed as a temporary stopgap, which has helped significantly. We continue to have daily discussions with her team in an attempt to bring her as much comfort as possible.

Although we were told that a curable option is not possible at this time, we continue to pray for a miracle. We want to thank everyone for the continued support that has been given to us, for your prayers, and for respecting our family’s privacy during this difficult time.

Chris & Lisa

#webelieveinmiracles #kelseyskrusaders #kelseycan

Posted on March 7, 2018

Posted on March 7, 2018

3/6/18
Day +13

A quick update on our rock star, Kelsey. The actual transfusion of the donor’s cells went very smoothly. Complications can always arise in the weeks, months and even years to follow, but so far so good!

Kelsey officially engrafted with her new cells on Day +12, which was yesterday. To be considered engrafted, Kelsey needs to have an Absolute Neutrophil Count above 500 for three consecutive days. Around Day +30, a chimerism test will be done to determine the percentage of her new donor cells. We hope there will be little to no cells remaining from her first donor. Kelsey’s first disease evaluation since her second transplant will also be around that same time. This will consist of a bone marrow biopsy, lumbar puncture and MRIs of the brain and pelvic area.

We truly marvel at the strength of Kelsey. Although she is anxious to go home, she’s been in great spirits and continues to flash her big, beautiful smile throughout each day. We can’t thank you enough for sharing your pictures on Kelsey’s Krusaders, for your messages of support and of course your prayers. Your support brings joy to Kelsey’s day and means so much to our family.

With thanks,
Chris & Lisa

#kelseyskrusaders #kelseycan

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