Help Isabella battle Brain Cancer

For: Claudia Koziner, Darren and Isabella Masucci
Orlando, FL
Organizer: Jill Carlen
$100,087
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 1102 donors
100% Complete
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The Story

Isabella Masucci is a beautiful 18 month old toddler. Daughter to Claudia Koziner and Darren Masucci. She is currently battling a very rare type of brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, better known as AT/RT. Only 1% of pediatric brain tumors are qualified as AT/RT.
On January 13th, 2017 doctors found a tumor in Isabella’s brain. That same day she was admitted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for further testing. The next day, it was confirmed that Isabella had a tumor, the size of a golf ball at the base of her brain and was going to need surgery.
On January 24th Isabella underwent a 9 hour brain surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, FL. Luckily the doctors were able to remove almost the entire tumor from her brain without compromising any type of neurological functions. They stayed in the hospital for 10 days helping Isabella recover. Not 5 days after returning home, Isabella started vomiting again and was having fevers in the 103/104 grade. They rushed to the ER in Orlando and then were transported by ambulance back to Miami where they monitored and did more studies on Isabella to assure there was no additional pressure on the brain. After 6 more days in the hospital, Isabella was allowed to go home.
Unfortunately Isabella will need further treatment. This consists of chemotherapy, radiation and possible stem cell transplant. This means that Claudia and Isabella will be “moving in” to the hospital for the next 6 months since during that time she will be inpatient. The remainder of the treatment should be outpatient which would allow them to be home. This will start next week.
Of course this is beyond devastating for the family. Claudia has been out of work since this all started and Darren has practically used all his PTO. Medical bills are already starting to come in and they need help. Isabella is their only child and the joy of their lives. They are prepared to do whatever it takes to give her the best opportunity of survival.

It's unbelievable how in the blink of an eye everything has changed for this beautiful family.  Claudia, Darren and Isabella are in the for the fight of their lives.  As her friends and family, we struggle with how to help. Knowing that they are in for sleepless nights, time apart, painful treatments, scary moments and the fear of what's to come, we must stay strong and positive for them.  We've started this account as a way to do something helpful for this beautiful loving family during this impossible time of struggle and challenge.  We call Isabella "The Little Lioness" because she is a fighter. Please pray for Isabella's healing and consider contributing whatever you can to help during this frightening time.  No amount is too large or too small and any is truly appreciated.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 22, 2017

Posted on March 22, 2017

WOW!!! #isabellawarriors just WOW. In almost 4 weeks we've been able to get soooooo close to our goal. This is incredible!! Thank you for all the SHARES, the donations and awareness you are creating. Claudia and Darren are truly grateful and humbled by your involvement. 
Its now been 23 days since they first arrived at the hospital. From Claudia's last post, it's clearly been a tough ride for them. However, things are looking up! Isabella's blood counts are slowly starting to rise again, fevers and vomiting have stopped and her stomach issues are starting to get better. Isabella has been smiling, playing and more like herself the past couple of days. This has given the family a lot of relief and joy. They are still in isolation but have managed to negotiate one walk a day outside. Again, giving Isabella and Claudia some much needed reprieve. 
Isabella was supposed to start her second round of chemo tomorrow but this has been postponed due to her body still being too weak to tolerate such an aggressive treatment. So they continue to wait for her counts to increase and for her body to get stronger. 
Life at the hospital has been challenging to say the least. Your words of encouragement, messages, gifts, packages, food, fundraisers, all the love you have shown Darren, Claudia and Isabella have made it a little bit more tolerable and it gives them strength, support and love.
We have a long road ahead #isabellawarriors this battle has just begun and Isabella will continue to need your prayers and well wishes. Thank you so much for everything. Please continue to SHARE their story and together let's create more awareness on this matter. Together we are #isabellastrong

Posted on March 18, 2017

Posted on March 18, 2017

A message that come directly from Claudia:
RAW FEELINGS ALERT***
It's been 19 days that we've been in the hospital. I wish I could say I'm ok...I'm not. I wish I could say Isabella is doing ok...she's not either, nor is Darren. This week has been the hardest so far. We just completed the first round of chemo and Isabella is struggling. Her body is trying so hard to get better but her lack of immune system is beating her up. I can't explain the anguish I feel. The frustration, anger, sadness and fear I have is so real and raw...something I wish upon no one. The vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, the cries every time she needs to take medicine or get blood drawn, the tough medical decisions, the internal battle of knowing that although this treatment is made to cure her, it also can make her even sicker...all of this will forever haunt me. I sit in a chair with Isabella the majority of my day. She sleeps, watches movies or videos and copes with the pain and isolation. We aren't allowed to leave the room so we are forced to create entertainment here, together. I have no idea what's going on in the world other than what my phone tells me. Nurses come in every hour with medicine, doctors come in trying to find a solution to her slow recovery from chemo...and she's supposed to start round 2 on Wednesday, which won't happen until her counts are back to normal.
I still have difficulty wrapping my brain around this. How can Isabella possibly have cancer? Why are we here, in this hospital? Why her? Isabella is the love of my life...I can't bare the thought of loosing her. I know it's something I should say or think about, but cancer is a nasty monster, some kids make it, some don't. I pray a lot, I cry a lot and a lot of the times I feel nothing. I celebrate the small moments in time when Isabella feels like playing or singing with me. Those are the moments that keep me going.
I believe in Isabella's strength, I believe in mine, In Darren's, in my family's and friends. I believe in God, although I struggle with feelings on abandonment and anger. I believe Isabella will come through, not because she is better than any other kid on this floor, but because she HAS TO. There is no other option other than SURVIVOR.
Thank you everyone who continues to support, send messages, food, create awareness, pray...I am truly humbled by the kindness. It is overwhelming how much love we get from you all. It makes me feel not so alone. I have strengthen current friendships and have gained many new ones in my #isabellawarriors. May God bless every one of you. You keep us #isabellastrong

Posted on March 13, 2017

Posted on March 13, 2017

Hello #Isabellawarriors. Wanted to give you an update on how Isabella is doing.
Unfortunately, the past 3 days have been extremely hard for her. She is neutropenic, meaning she has no white blood cells to help fight infection. She has been very sick. High fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low energy and just recently got a baterial infection which has put the family in isolation for the next 2 weeks at least. Isabella is not allowed to leave her room. Claudia and Darren can only leave if it's to leave the hospital, so they are stuck in there. This has been very hard of them since one of Isabella's favorite thing to do is walk around the floor and play in the playroom.
She has had an MRI, an X-ray, multiple transfusions, blood cultures..and that was just this weekend alone.
Isabella is still fighting, but she is weak. Claudia and Darren are frustrated and worried but have faith in their doctors, nurses and the process.
We are so close to our goal #isabellawarriors. Please continue to SHARE and create awareness. We also want to continue the MEAL TRAIN. This week is covered but there are a lot of slots open for the upcoming weeks. It's more important now than ever since they are quarantined to their room.
Thank you very much for your constant support and love. You are awesome! Let's keep it up #isabellawarriors. Let's keep #isabellastrong

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