Be Brave, Lila - Help Lila Usry Beat Leukemia

For: Heather Usry
West Point, MS
Organizer: Ivey Ivy
Be Brave, Lila - Help Lila Usry Beat Leukemia (Heather Usry)
of $50,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 296 donors

The Story

How quickly our lives can change. Last week, Lila was at school playing with her friends and getting ready for Thanksgiving holidays. Today she is in Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic receiving her first round of chemo. Lila was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on November 13, 2017. Our entire community is rallying. This is OUR child.

If you know Lila, you know a spirited, fiercely loving, happy child. She is the child who notices when a friend feels left out. She’s the student who forgoes the prize box so someone else can enjoy. She’s the daughter who writes her mom love letters. It is our mission and prayer that she will be fully healed and that she and her family will find the strength to endure this journey. This is how we help.

In times of crisis, we all feel a little helpless, like there’s nothing we can do. But this is not one of those times. The financial burden will be immense for this treatment. More than any one of us alone would be able to carry. The first 6 month of Lila's treatment plan will have to take place 13 hours away from home at the Mayo Clinic. Lila’s family should not have to worry about how they will afford these medical expenses. Their energy and focus needs to be on staying near their baby girl.

Lila’s mother, Heather, is a generous, courageous person. She is a champion for the vulnerable and a cheerleader for the underdog. She is also fierce and strong and worthy of every blessing coming her way. West Point is her home, and that will prove to be a bigger blessing than she ever realized. We are an amazing community of people who look out for each other's wellbeing. We mow each other's yards, we help raise each other's kids, and we go to our knees in prayer when one of our own is suffering.

Let’s do this. Be brave, Lila. We’ve got you covered.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

“Just as life will upend you, so will LOVE.” – Christine Caine

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 6, 2018


Posted on March 6, 2018

From Heather:

There’s a blizzard in Minnesota right now. It’s a  white out, 8 inches in 4 hours. It’s tremendous. 

When Lila was outpatient between her first and second rounds, we were walking from St. Mary’s to the Ronald McDonald House and I was afraid she was going to slip on the snow and I kept ordering both her and Miller to “STEP WITH PURPOSE!” I told Dr. Roman about that and it, ironically, stuck with her and since then whenever there’s been bad weather she’s reminded me to be careful and step with purpose. She reminded me tonight. 

My purpose in life is to be my children’s mother. It always has been. And all the steps I took to become their mother, were all purposeful because they brought me to the intersection of love, time and biology to make those miracles. Those steps along the way, though, to think back on them, how can you ever know what’s ahead? How can you ever predict how your path with mold you? How the relationships you have and friends you make will affect you or how you’ll need them? Shouldn’t you always try to step with purpose? But isn’t it only really in the looking back that you see how purposeful it all was?

I remember the exact moment when I knew one of the absolute most important things I wanted to give my children was a home and a place they could claim and call it theirs. And I knew in my heart, I wanted West Point to be their place, their home. I wanted to give them that gift. 

While we are in this tremendous storm of uncertainty, I know we aren’t alone. We can’t see the obstacles in front of us, but I know we aren’t taking these steps alone. I thank God for my friends.  I thank God for my town. I thank God for my family. Thank you for taking each purposeful step with us. We love you, we are humbled by you, we thank you. 

“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

#stepwithpurpose #bebravelila #acutemyeloidlukemia #welovewestpoint

Posted on February 9, 2018


Posted on February 9, 2018

Round 2, Day 47: Discharged! Lila is outpatient!! We are so excited!! Her white blood counts shot up overnight so we were discharged this morning. We are safe and sound at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, Inc until at least Monday. We’ll go for blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy on Monday, possible readmit for round 3 then. Thank you all for your prayers and support!! It helps keep her spirits lifted and her mind set on her goal of getting back home, safe and healthy. #bebravelila #ourfriendsarefamily #welovewestpoint

Posted on January 3, 2018


Posted on January 3, 2018

“But just as crucial is finding something powerful in regular life, an ordinary year lived, an exchange of dialogue, a memorable song, or even just a mother’s glance.”

I read that and then the word “microscopic” popped into my head. I thought about how right now, every day, we’re talking about and focusing on microscopic things, white blood cells, lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, hemoglobin. But what each of those things mean, is the exact opposite of microscopic. What they mean and represent is huge. And then that quote above made me think about how our days are filled with microscopic moments that create indistinguishable stretches of time but how monumental these moments feel in the context of this new life path we’re on. But then I thought, weren’t they always? Aren’t they still? I thought how much I want ordinary back. But all that ordinary was always extraordinary anyway. Right?

Here’s an update on Lila and where we are. She’s done with chemo medicine for the second of five rounds. Her white blood cells are at zero, her hemoglobin is just above 7, her platelets are at 19. What that means is that she’s confined to her room again while her bone marrow regrows her cells. That could be around 3-4 weeks. We watch for fevers while she’s neutropenic, and treat with big antibiotics if she gets any. So far, she’s reacted to this second round of chemo dramatically different from the first round. She’s been so much better. Her nausea has been so much more manageable. Her nutrition is improving and contributing positively.  She’s felt so much more like herself and been so much more like herself. 

So, from when she got out of the hospital right before Miller’s Birthday, to Christmas, to New Year’s Eve, to now, we’ve had some of the most memorable, microscopic, monumental, meaningful moments ever.  Our entire family’s gratitude for the efforts and support of our friends and family cannot be measured. We love you! 

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