Julianna's Journey - Praying for a Cure

For: Julianna Sayler
Walla Walla, WA
Organizer: Stephanie Compston
of $250,000 goal.
Raised by 382 donors
17% Complete
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The Story

We never thought we'd have to ask for money, but when it's your own child and you only have a limited salary of a pastor, being able to seek this advanced care is almost financially impossible, especially when it comes to treatment like this. We believe that with God everything is possible and with your small financial contribution, you could help give Julianna a second chance to live - A cure may only be possible with your help.

Please Read ==>
Why are we asking for financial help in addition to our existing insurance?

The conference insurance has helped with initial radiation treatments and we are very grateful for everything they have done. However to continue with the treatment necessary to help Julianna we must travel out of the US - our coverage will not cover this kind of treatment which will cost us around $250,000.  If just 10% of our friends and fellow Adventists could open their hearts for even just $1 each, we would make our goal and give Julianna a second chance.  Sadly insurance cannot cover this in any way and that’s why your help is so important.  We’ve put our trust in God and hope and pray that if this is God’s will, we will receive the funding we need. These funds are used to help pay the necessary expenses to help Julianna receive treatment and care for her. We have no words to express our gratitude for all your help and support.

Even a few dollars can go a long ways to help cover Julianna's medical expenses - Pastor Sayler and his family cannot extend enough gratitude for all your help so far, we couldn't do it without your support.

Julianna's story:

Julianna is a happy, confident and caring little girl. She started out life as a preemie being born by emergency c-section at 34 weeks. From the beginning she has been a fighter! After spending 14 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit she was welcomed home at 4 pounds. Although it was a very stressful and scary experience for her family, they knew she was a miracle and that God had a plan for her life. 

She is the middle child of Eric and Stacie Sayler of Walla Walla, Washington. Anyone who has met Julianna knows she has a contagious smile and infectious giggle. Julianna is involved in a local 4-H club, loves soccer, gymnastics, dolls, and playing with her brother, sister and animals on the family’s small farm.

Less than one month after Julianna celebrated her 8th birthday her parents noticed her right eye did not move past midline. They rushed her to the emergency room where she was then transferred to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington for an MRI of her brain. In an instant, the family’s world was forever changed on Nov. 20th, 2016, when the words no parent should ever have to hear were spoken: “Your child has brain cancer."

Due to the slightly different presentation of her tumor the family sought out a second opinion at Seattle Children’s Hospital. There it was decided a brain biopsy, although very dangerous due to the tumors location, was needed to confirm the diagnosis. The day after Thanksgiving the heartbreaking news that the tumor was indeed an inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) brought the world to a standstill for the Sayler Family.

The family temporarily moved to Spokane, Washington for the standard radiation treatment. Thirty treatments were given over 6-week that began on November 29th and concluded on January 12, 2017. Since the diagnosis, the family has been exploring every possible form of post radiation treatment in the US and Europe to save their daughter’s life. Many treatment options are experimental, expensive and not covered by insurance, so your support is needed to give Julianna a fighting chance!

On March 5th, Julianna underwent a 6 1/2 hour brain surgery, at the Harley Street Clinic in London, to implant a port that is connected to 4 micro catheters. The port is used to infuse medication directly into the brainstem (pons).
Every 4 weeks Julianna will need to return to London for medication infusions. These trips will be costly but very important in aiding her to fight DIPG!
As a family who is working with a specialized team of oncologists, Julianna's family is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure she receives the best treatment possible. They need you to join the fight against Childhood Brain Cancer. Eric and Stacie appreciate all the prayers and support from their local community, family, and friends around the world.

Even a few dollars can go a long ways to help cover Julianna's medical expenses - Pastor Sayler and his family cannot extend enough gratitude for all your help so far, we couldn't do it without your support.

For further details about Julianna's Story visit: www.juliannasjourney.com

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 16, 2017

Posted on March 16, 2017

On March 5th, 2017 Julianna had a 6.5 hour brain surgery at the Harley Street Clinic in London to place a port and 4 catheters, which will deliver medication directly to the pons.

On March 6th Julianna had her first infusion of medication through the port. The infusion lasted 6 hours on Monday
and was again repeated on Tuesday. As you can image receiving medication directly into the most sensitive and important area of your brain is not easy and without side effects. The nurses have all commented on how brave, strong and determined she has been today despite not feeling well. Being stubborn is a good thing when you are fighting DIPG!
Juliana stayed in the hospital for 4 days and is currently recovering from the surgery and regaining her strength. Her next infusion will be the first week of April.

Thank you Team Julianna for your continued financial support and prayers!

Posted on March 4, 2017

Posted on March 4, 2017

Thursday March 2, 2017 Julianna had her first appointment at the Harley Street Clinic in London. Late morning we met with Dr. Zacharoulis, the oncologist who oversees the chemo infusions through the CED devices. We had spoken with him once before through video conference back when London was just a theoretical option. It was kind of surreal to step into his office and talk face-to-face with him. All the planning, hard work, generosity, and prayer had brought us to London!

After a general discussion about the next week's plans we walked across the street to the hospital where we were admitted and placed in a room in preparation for a super-important highly-detailed MRI. This scan would officially determine whether we qualified for the CED treatment. Had the tumor grown? Was there bleeding? Water collecting on the brain?

After some time in the play room painting with Stacie, Eric and Julianna went down to imaging where he held her as she was given gas to help her ease to sleep.

Two hours later Julianna awoke in recovery, groggy, cranky, and hungry.

Her mood lightened amazingly, however, when she arrived back in her room to find a four-legged visitor waiting for her: a French Bulldog therapy dog named Evie! As soon as Evie was placed next to Julianna on the bed she snuggled in like they belonged together. This was the perfect thing to end a day in the hospital: connecting with a precious, intuitive creature who knew exactly what Julianna (and Eric and Stacie) needed.

As they headed home the question of the MRI results ached in the hearts of all who love Julianna.

Next morning Stacie's mom took all three kids out for an activity while Eric and Stacie walked back to the Harley Street Clinic to go over the results with Dr. Z.

Nearly the first words from his mouth were "Good news!"

The MRI showed slight shrinkage of the tumor, no bleeding, and no hydrocephalus! We are officially a go for the operation!

If you want to learn more about the CED device and it's implantation you can listen to Professor Gill, the neurosurgeon performing her operation, describe it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNs-vpxWskk&feature=share

This has been a long yet blindingly fast road we have traveled to get here. We have seen God do amazing things all along the way. There are far too many instances of blessings to be able to discount them as accident or happenstance.

As I recently pointed out in a sermon we have seen God work most obviously through you. You have been Christ's hands, carrying us through tumultuous times. It's because of you that we are even here in London: some of you are looking after our precious animals, some are picking up extra church responsibilities, some are able to donate funds to pay for Julianna's medical needs and travel, and I know that, most importantly, thousands of you are lifting Julianna up in prayer.

Thank you.

Many of you have wondered if we have reached our fundraising goal. Good question.

We successfully raised enough money to begin Julianna's treatment, to pay for the MRI, surgery, and first infusions.

That said, there are significant continuing costs: monthly trips to London for $7200 infusions. These will continue for as long as they are effective or until a better treatment or cure is found.

Because of this ongoing need we will continue to solicit and welcome donations.

We initially put $150,000 as our goal. We believe, and hope, our needs will be higher than that. We hope because it means that the treatment is controlling tumor growth.

The reasons we haven't posted totals or updated needs are because 1. We have been focusing on traveling and taking care of Julianna, and 2. Because we are assessing how accurate our cost estimates were for visiting London for treatment.

At some point we plan on sharing a revised goal after we are able to analyze cost and crunch numbers.

We thank you for your continued prayers and support,

Eric and Stacie

Posted on February 15, 2017

Posted on February 15, 2017

~To London with Love~

This morning, on Valentine's Day, we awoke to find an email from the Harley Street Clinic in London. One week ago we had our first post-radiation MRI which we promptly sent to London, praying that Julianna would fit into their treatment plan.
We had been told to expect an approximately six-week wait after acceptance before an opening would be available.

Opening the email this morning we read that Julianna is an excellent candidate for CED and then we were shocked to see an invitation to fly to London in about two weeks! We need to be there by March 1 for her treatment to begin on Thursday, March 2.

Because of this our fundraising will intensify. We have raised about $59,000 but our target to get in the door is $85,000 excluding travel, housing and food while there for a minimum of two weeks for the initial surgery and first infusion. We will be returning monthly for repeated infusions costing $7,500 each.

We have been praying that if London is the right place that God would open doors and that seems to be happening.

Thank you for sending Julianna to London with Love through your prayers and support!

-Eric and Stacie

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