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)
$147,665
of $1 goal.
Raised by 1529 donors
100% Complete

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 September 14, 2017

Posted on September 14, 2017

9/13/17
Day +135

Kelsey has experienced a couple of recent setbacks in her recovery process. A couple of weeks ago, Kelsey developed a cough and a full body rash. Her lungs sounded clear and she didn’t have a fever, so they attributed the cough to a common cold. During this time, she also had a skin biopsy to test her rash. Her skin biopsy results are being sent out for a second opinion, but her doctors believe that she has some form of graft versus host disease of the skin due to the timing of rash correlating with stopping her immune suppressing medication. She is now back on her medication and the rash has subsided. For more info on gvhd, copy and paste the link,
https://bethematch.org/for-patients-and-families/life-after-transplant/graft-versus-host-disease--gvhd-/

Kelsey's cough got progressively worse. All of her viral tests continued to come back negative and she had two chest x-rays, which were clear. However, on Friday she developed a fever which automatically admits her into the hospital.

Additional tests were done at the hospital to figure out the cause of the cough and fever in order to treat it. A CT scan indicated that she has dispersed nodules throughout her lungs. For the first time, all of her doctors and members of her team, openly discussed how concerned they were with the pictures from her CT scan. The concern was that if this infection wasn’t viral or bacterial, it was fungal. Fungal infections are extremely difficult to treat and can become life threatening to someone who has a compromised immune system. At this time, Kelsey’s immune system is about 20% of a normal functioning immune system. A BAL (Bronchoalveolar lavage) procedure was done to take samples of the mucus inside of Kelsey’s lungs to determine the type of infection.

We’re extremely thankful that the preliminary results show no sign of a bacterial or fungal infection. However, it can take up to two weeks for a fungus to grow. So now we just sit and wait and hope and pray that nothing grows. Kelsey is on medications 24 hours a day to prevent and treat bacterial and fungal infections and she’ll have a repeat CT scan in two weeks. We are praying that nothing grows and the nodules in her lungs go away.

Thank you for your love and support. It means so much to our family.

With gratitude,
Chris & Lisa

#kelseyskrusaders


Posted on August 23, 2017

Posted on August 23, 2017

8/23/17
Day +114

We are absolutely thrilled to share with you that Kelsey’s recent tests have come back negative for MRD (minimal residual disease) meaning that she is still cancer free!!! Her most recent chimerism test shows that Kelsey is maintaining 100% donor cells, which is also great news! We realize that Kelsey has a long, uphill battle on her road to a full recovery, but we will happily celebrate these small milestones as they come!

Kelsey’s next scheduled bone marrow biopsy is scheduled for 6 months post-transplant, or around Day +180. In the interim, they will be weaning Kelsey off some of her immunosuppressant medications. While this will hopefully help to improve her blood counts, it also makes her more susceptible to long-term complications caused by graft vs. host disease (when the donor cells attack her good cells). Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to her!

We can’t thank you enough for all your prayers; they’re definitely helping!! Thank you again for all the messages of support that we received. They continue to give us strength and it always puts a smile on Kelsey’s face when we share pictures of her supporters wearing their Kelsey Krusaders T-shirts!

Thank you for continuing to keep Kelsey in your prayers. We will be forever grateful to you all!

Chris & Lisa




Posted on August 16, 2017

Posted on August 16, 2017

8/15/17
Day +106

Thank you for all the recent messages of support for Kelsey. We’ve received numerous inquiries about Kelsey’s bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture. She is scheduled to have both procedures done tomorrow morning. Please say an extra prayer that the results come back cancer free!! We don’t anticipate getting the results before next week, but we will post an update as soon as we have more information.

We so greatly appreciate all your thoughts and prayers for Kelsey!

With love,
Chris & Lisa 

#kelseyskrusaders #kelseycan

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