HOPE for Wesley

For: Wesley Dean Nixon
Organizer: Brenda Danel
HOPE for Wesley (Wesley Dean Nixon)
$24,480
of $25,000 goal.
Raised by 204 donors
97% Complete

The Story

After not responding to treatment for what was diagnosed as pneumonia, Wesley was taken to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, CA on November 10, 2016 where he was found to be severely anemic.  While in the ER the doctors also found Wesley had an enlarged liver and spleen.  Upon discovering this, they recommended he immediately be flown to UC Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento, CA for a blood transfusion and further evaluation. 

After arriving, he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) so he could be more closely monitored due to the rapid deceleration of his vitals, difficulty breathing, severe swelling of his abdomen and face, along with unexplained bruising and excessive sweating without fever.

Friday morning Wesley had his blood transfusion and seemed to be doing a little better but as Wesley's test results started coming back his doctors prepared us for the chance that this might be a cancer of some sort that was causing these symptoms.  Further tests were preformed and he was officially diagnosed with leukemia on November 11, 2016 and that leukemia was classified as childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on Saturday, November 12, 2016. 

From here the doctors worked quickly to get him stable so he would be well enough to start his treatment.  

The first step of Wesley's treatment is a surgery to put in a central line and port so his chemotherapy can be administered.  During this procedure they will also do a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap to further confirm and understand the type of ALL Wesley is fighting, these tests help decide the treatment he will need.  Wesley’s first surgery is scheduled for Monday, November 14, 2016.  He has been fighting a fever and is in a lot of pain due to the size of his abdomen. The leukemia cells have enlarged his liver and spleen so much that they are pushing on his lungs and stomach causing difficulty breathing and lack of appetite.  He also has needed 2 additional transfusions of blood cells and platelets since being here in preparation to have the surgery and to try to keep him stable.  Getting him stable is important before putting him under general anesthesia but, obviously, stable is a relative term.  After recovering from his first surgery, Wesley will begin his chemotherapy treatments (Day 1 and 4 are his first dosing days) followed by a repeat bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap on Day 8.  His chemo will continue from this point with an additional bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap on Day 29 followed by a long road of chemo and other treatments.

Wesley has been very fortunate to be surrounded and supported by his family and amazing doctors and nurses.  He has been so brave and so strong during this entire ordeal.  The day he was born, his Uncle Trav said he looked like a superhero and that is exactly what he is.  He is our little superhero who is fighting this cancer with everything he's got.  Please keep him in your prayers.

As much as his parents appreciate the outpouring of love and support from their family and friends, they also are very overwhelmed and exhausted.  They are trying to be as strong, supportive, and as present as they can be for Wesley, so please be considerate of that when contacting them via phone or text.  Kind words of encouragement and support are encouraged and can be sent to [email protected] or [email protected]  Cyndi's sister, Brenda, is also a good resource for general information about Wesley.  She can be reached at (530) 262-1985.  Please feel free to share Wesley's story. Let's flood him and his family with love, support, prayers, and positive energy!

Money donated through this website will be used to help with travel expenses to and from UC Davis Children's Hospital, housing in Sacramento while Wesley is in treatment, food and parking expenses, and Wesley's medical bills. 

Please check back here, as Wesley’s story will be updated as his treatment continues.

Thank you so much!!!!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 23, 2016

Posted on November 23, 2016

UPDATE November 23, 2016
For those of you who don't know Wesley personally, he is a BIG fan of heavy equipment (backhoes, dump trucks, excavators, tractors, you name it).  His Papa Tim is the owner/operator of a small trucking/backhoe business in Willow Creek, CA.  One of Wesley's very favorite things to do is to go on rides with his Papa in his backhoe.  When Wesley was first admitted to the hospital, his Papa went to the local Case dealership to get Wesley a new backhoe toy that is an exact replica of his Papa’s backhoe.  Wesley loved it and ever since has been asking if he could go back there with Papa to see the BIG backhoes.  

Today, Papa called the Case dealership and asked if Wesley could go out with him on a test run with one of the new backhoes.  The dealership agreed but after hearing Wesley's story asked if they could contact the local news first, so they could share Wesley's story.  

Wesley has had an amazing day today, filled with lots of smiles, laughter, and fun!  We couldn't be more grateful!  For those of you who are interested, his story will be featured on the local Sacramento news tonight at 4:54PM on channel 13.


Posted on November 23, 2016

Posted on November 23, 2016

UPDATE November 23, 2016
Apologies for the lapse in updates.  A lot has happened in the last 5 days.  November 19th and 20th were really hard days for Wesley.  He was not feeling well and was sick from the chemotherapy meds so he wasn’t hungry and his spirits were pretty low.  He didn’t really want to talk to anyone or do much. He asked multiple times “Where’s Mom’s car?”, “Where’s Dad’s Dodge?”, “Where are Dad’s keys?”, “Where are Mom’s Keys?”…in Wesley’s world these questions translate to “Can you PLEASE get me the heck out of here! I’m done.  I want to go home.”
Mom and Dad did their best to keep him in good spirits but it wasn’t really until Sunday night that Wesley started feeling better.  His appetite returned and he seemed in a little bit better spirits.  While he played some games in bed with Amma Bevy and Papa, he had another blood and platelet transfusion to prepare him for his 2nd procedure on Tuesday the 22nd that would require him to go under anesthesia.  

Saturday, the doctors informed us that although the original test on Wesley’s cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) came back negative for any leukemia cells an additional test they ran on his CSF, that had taken longer to process, unfortunately came back positive for leukemia cells.  This was not news we wanted to hear at all BUT we are very grateful we know about it now and not later.  Without this additional test, Wesley would have gone through his first 29 day chemo treatment series without having his CSF treated with any anti-cancer drugs.  This would have more than likely resulted in a relapse down the road, so we are very grateful to the doctors for doing the additional testing and finding this out now.  What this means for Wesley is a few more procedures under anesthesia to have those anti-cancer drugs inject into his CSF.  When there are leukemia cells in the CSF it sometimes means that patients will need radiation in conjunction with chemo.  The doctors told us, although they can’t promise it won’t ever be necessary, right now it doesn’t look like Wesley will need radiation.  Please pray that this continues to be the case for him as his treatment progresses.  

Monday was a better day for Wesley, he was in a better mood and asked to walk around for the first time since being in the hospital.  He also got to ride in the toy truck around the pediatric floor again.  Sister Riley even got to get in a car, so they drove around side by side ‘racing’ each other.  Mom, Dad, Amma Bevy, Papa, and Gramma Billie had their hands full with those too.  They all had a good time.    Wesley also was allowed to eat lunch outside with Dad, which was the highlight of his day!  Getting out of the hospital and getting some fresh air for a few minutes was exactly what he needed. His appetite is definitely back in FULL force.  The doctors told us the steroids would make Wesley very hungry.  Oh man, they weren’t joking.  This kid can put away some food.  

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was pretty hard for Wesley because he was hungry.  Before he goes under anesthesia they have to have him fast for 12 hrs so he doesn’t get sick during the procedure or in recovery.  Explaining to a 2 year old, who is steroid induced-HUNGRY, why he can’t eat is not for the faint of heart. Mom and Dad are troopers. At noon Wesley went in for his procedure and did much better than he had the previous Monday when they placed his central line and port.  Wesley woke up feeling good and wanting beans and chips, so that’s exactly what he got.  Because he didn’t have any respiratory issues after this procedure and his vitals were looking stable we got some GREAT news from his doctors.  After 11 days in the hospital, Wesley was granted a 2-day discharge.  We couldn’t be more excited for him to get out of the hospital for a few days! He has been so strong and so brave but his parents and the doctors felt that discharging him for a couple days so he can feel like a kid again is best for him right now.  He will have to be back on Friday for another procedure, so even though it isn’t for long, we are very excited.  After what felt like a college semester amount of information and training on home care for Wesley, a lot of shopping for supplies, and a THOROUGH cleaning and sterilization of his new living quarters, Mom and Dad were cleared to take Wesley ‘home’ to an extended stay Residence Inn, just a short distance from the hospital.  BEST NEWS EVER!!!!!  We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Today Wesley woke up in a great mood.  He really likes the place where he is staying and loved the complementary breakfast even more.  Let’s just say, he’s getting his money’s worth at the breakfast buffet line.  Mom, Papa, and Amma Bevy are having fun playing with him and helping him remember what it’s like to be a kid without being hooked up to machines 24-7.  Auntie Bren and Gramma Billie are shopping today so we can have a our version of a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow afternoon with the entire family in the hotel.  It’ll be a Thanksgiving unlike any we’ve ever had.  There won’t be fancy table clothes, cloth napkins, nice dishes, or a meal that took 2 days to prepare but we will all be together in one room spending time together, laughing and playing and that’s ALL that matters.  We are so very grateful and thankful for this blessing.

I would like to say thank you again to everyone who has been apart of this journey with us.  It has been an extremely crazy 2 weeks but with the help from so many people, we are getting through this.  It would take forever to individually name everyone who has stepped forward to help us and Wesley in some way, but we want everyone to know how very grateful we are to each and every one of you. 

Please keep those prayers coming!!!


Posted on November 19, 2016

Posted on November 19, 2016

UPDATE November 18, 2016:
Wesley had a really great day yesterday. The best day he has had since he got to UC Davis Children’s Hospital (UCD) last Thursday. His hematology-oncology team came to see him in the morning and the doctor said his liver has already started to shrink back down. (GREAT NEWS!!!) Unfortunately, his belly is still growing in size from other factors, so he is still very uncomfortable.  They are currently measuring the circumference of his belly twice per day to keep track of this, hopefully it will start going down soon.

Papa and Uncle Trav were up to all kinds of mischief with him yesterday. Papa noticed there was a construction site outside where they had excavators, backhoes, dump trucks, and all kinds of equipment.  Wesley was intrigued so Papa and Uncle Trav completely re-arranged his room, wheeling his bed right up next to the window so he could see outside.  The doctors and nurses all got a kick out of coming into his room and not finding his bed where it should be but said that whatever makes Wesley happy is fine with them…and happy he was!  Whether the construction workers knew it or not Wesley was up on the 7th floor of the hospital watching their every move and supervising the entire job site.  He loved it!!!! 

A big accomplishment yesterday was the fact that Wesley finally ate some food.  So far, his only caloric intake has been through IV, so eating real food was awesome to see.  He wasn’t too convinced at first but with Papa, Uncle Trav, and Auntie Bren’s convincing he ended up eating quite a few sweet potatoes fries, a couple chicken nuggets, and a few bites of grilled cheese…ALL dipped in ranch.  The doctors and nurses warned us that foods Wesley used to like may not taste right to him anymore because one of the side effects of the chemo drugs is parageusia or dyspepsia (a change in taste).  We noticed a little bit of this already but yesterday he seemed unfazed by it.

Yesterday after Wesley ate and while the construction workers took their lunch break, Wesley got to ride around in a toy truck, with his IV in tow, round and round the pediatric ward.  When it was time to start his platelet infusion, the nurses even let Wesley stay in his truck.  We just pulled right up to the nurses station like it was a jiffy lube.  He got his platelet infusion hooked up, Papa distracted him while he ‘fueled up’ his truck, then he was off again, round and round the pediatric floor.  He met a friend who was riding around in the same truck so he joined us for the last few laps before Wesley got tired and decided he wanted to get back in bed.  They started his new chemo drug (Asparaginase) after his platelets were done, which made him pretty tired so he stayed in bed the rest of the day watching movies and eating strawberry ice cream.  

Today he was pretty worn out.  He was sick this morning and threw up but pretty soon after that he was asking for ‘chicken and fries with dip’ so that’s exactly what he got.  His appetite wasn’t as good today as it was yesterday but that is to be expected the day after a chemo infusion.  Sister Riley showed up today to see Wesley in her stroller and as soon as Wesley saw it, he said “I wanna go for a walk too”.  Poor little guy wants out of the hospital so bad.  Mom got him in the stroller and must have walked 100 laps around the 7th floor with him until he fell asleep.  I’m sure the familiarity of being in his own stroller was comforting to him.  He did get to discontinue his antibiotics today which was a good thing, but he is still on quite a few other meds to help manage the side effects from his anti-cancer drugs.  He isn't a fan of taking meds orally so the doctors are looking into getting some of these switched over so they can be given through his IV.  Of course getting him better is the number one goal but also keeping him happy and not upsetting him is also very important to the nursing staff and doctors, which makes us very happy.  He’s been very lucky to have some really great nurses and wonderful doctors taking care of him.  Some of the nurses in particular have been outstanding.  We are so appreciative to them for helping Wesley through this tough time.

On a side note, we have been getting a lot of people asking where mail for Wesley can be sent.  Because Wesley is going to be needing continued care down in Sacramento, the Nixon’s are moving.    PG&E was gracious enough to grant a transfer for Wesley’s dad, Will, so they are in the process of finding a place to move in the Sacramento area ASAP.  Please don’t send any mail to their Eureka address, as it will be awhile before they are able to get it.  If you want to get something to Wesley, please call or text Wesley’s Auntie Bren at (530) 262-1985 or email her through this site.  Thank you so much.  Keep those prayers coming!

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