Evelyn Moore uses her handmade wheelchair in a clip from CTV News.

Parents, Kimberly and Brad Moore, Use Pinterest to Make Their Daughter a Wheelchair for $100


Kimberly Moore wanted to find a way to help her 1-year-old daughter, Evelyn, get around.

After being diagnosed with neuroblastoma at four months old, Evelyn became paralyzed from the arms down. Doctors told her parents the toddler would likely pull herself with her arms in an “army crawl” until age 2, at which time she would have grown enough to use a wheelchair.

But Moore, of Alberta, Canada, didn’t like that answer, so she turned to Pinterest for a solution. What she found was a DIY wheelchair fashioned from a Bumbo floor seat. Moore enlisted her husband Brad to help build their own version of the Pinterest chair for Evelyn.

It took Brad an evening to attach a secondhand Bumbo seat to a cutting board, and then rig the contraption with casters and small wheels.

Just like that, Evelyn was tooling around in her new wheels – learning how to move backwards, mastering maneuvering forward and then turning corners.

“She’s pretty fearless,” Moore told ABC News. “Now we have a speed bump in our living room because she goes that fast.”

Moore added that the makeshift wheelchair, which Evelyn has been using for about seven months, gives her daughter the same freedom and mobility as other kids her age.

“Her true person comes out when she’s in that chair,” Moore told ABC News. “She [now] has the same interactions as any other child would, being at eye level and exploring the world on the ground… That’s what she is able to do in moving around. It’s pretty exciting.”

Evelyn’s oncologist, Bev Wilson of Stollery Children’s Hospital, told Canada’s CTV News that she’d never seen anything like it. “It’s been one of the most powerful stories I’ve had to deal with in 25 years of being in this business,” Wilson said.

To top it off, Evelyn has been in remission for three months, following eight weeks of chemotherapy sessions.

“She’s been through a lot and she’s just trying to get back to what normal looks like,” her mom said.

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A baby girl resting in hospital with wires connected to her nose and stomach

To the Parents of Children With Serious Illness — Being Sad Doesn’t Mean Giving Up


Today, as I waited on pins and needles for our oncology doctor to call with results, one memory kept playing over and over in my mind:

I was a week or so into treatment at the Carolina House eating disorder treatment center, sitting across from my new therapist. I was working hard to choke back tears and finally muttered, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I am so sad.”

She quickly replied:

“I can give you many reasons as to why you are sad and why you have every right to be sad: You are in treatment, during Christmas, and away from your family. You are grappling with the fact that you have a severe eating disorder that has stolen years of your life. Your sadness is beyond valid. Feel it. You need to feel it.”

That memory has always stuck with me. It was one of the first times someone flat-out told me be sad!

My daughter Marjorie’s scan results seem to bring up the same feelings of devastation and sadness, but I outwardly want to say, “I don’t know why I’m sad. The scans were good.” Then I replay that memory  and I embrace the hurt, sadness and utter disappointment.

I received the news today that Marjorie’s scans were the same as the last. No new growth and no regression. Just the same.

So, yes, while yay for no new cancer growth, my heart is shattered. I want it to go down, I want the cancer to be gone!

Marjorie’s cancer continually proves that life  and cancer — isn’t always black and white. And I stomp my feet and say, “I want black and white, d*mn it!” I want the doctor to call and say, “Congratulations, your daughter is cancer-free!”

But she is not  and yet at the same time, she is. It is a weird world. So here is the science of what’s going on, deciphered by me. I am doing my best to understand it all with my marketing and television background:

Marjorie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, Stage 4S. Her cancer was not in the cortical bone (outer layer) or bone marrow  which was awesome! Marjorie’s tumors significantly shrank following her two chemo treatments. And because of the huge regression, we were able to stop chemo and let her body fight off the cancer. The scans since our post-chemo scan have been nothing out of this world. Yes, there was a tiny regression on the last scan, but it was still there. This scan  no regression and no new growth.

Our insanely fabulous, kind and caring oncology team completely validate and understand our parental confusion, frustration and heartache. Marjorie’s specific diagnosis seems to carry a wait-and-see prescription.

The question our oncology team will begin discussing is whether we go in and biopsy the primary source  her adrenal gland. We were unable to biopsy it after the initial diagnosis. Her liver was so massive, going after the adrenal gland for a biopsy was too dangerous. Doing the liver biopsy alone was beyond complicated..

An adrenal gland biopsy would not come into play for a year or so, but if scans continue at this no-change pace, it might be an option. There are so many questions as to what is showing up in these scans: What is left there? What is going on? It could be anything from cancer cells to a benign tumor. We just don’t know.

What we do know is Marjorie is the happiest, most talkative and loudest baby around (I have no idea where she gets that from). She cracks everyone up with her. And the minute you meet her, you instantly fall in love. Marjorie absolutely adores her big brother and would rather play with a huge garbage truck than a doll. She wants to be in water 24/7 and counts down until bath time. Marjorie can crawl at what feels like 100 m.p.h. and loves to pounce on Lilly, her English bulldog. Marjorie is full of life, and nothing (not even cancer) can stop her.

Marjorie is so much more than her cancer diagnosis. Marjorie is a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, a goddaughter, a niece (and a grandniece) and a friend. Marjorie shares my heart with her brother and dad.

All I know to do at this point is march on. We march on together in laughter and in tears. We embrace the results, as confusing as they are, and march on. We cry it out. We hug it out. We dance it out. We will survive and embrace life until the next scan. Whatever the next scan brings, we will continue to embrace life after that.

We will march on. But before we march, before we take a single step forward, we will be sad. And that’s OK. It is OK not to think happy thoughts. It is OK to be angry at the fact that cancer even entered our lives.

Today has brought a lot of tears and many memories of those first days after our initial cancer diagnosis. Marjorie and I spent much of today without TV or music on  and if you know me you know that is rare! I love my music and always have it on and blaring. Marjorie loves it, too. Today, I couldn’t bear noise. I didn’t have the energy to talk on the phone, and I knew that was OK. I needed to muddle through the sadness.

Today, I let the sadness slowly sink in. I absorbed the hurt like a sponge and processed through it. I laid in a puddle of tears on my floor, thankful that I had the ability to accept and embrace my feelings. I know that tomorrow will be a new day, but in this moment and on this day, I am sad. So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in sadness and muddling in this scan… and that is OK. I won’t be sad forever, and it doesn’t mean I am not beyond thankful her cancer isn’t growing. It just means I am sad today. Sadness doesn’t mean weakness. It doesn’t mean giving up. It doesn’t mean negativity. It just means sad. I get to be sad  and so do you.

baby girl in her bed
McCall’s daughter, Marjorie.

A version of this post first appeared on McCallDempsey.com.

The Mighty is asking the following: Tell a story about a time someone helped you and/or your child when you needed it most. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected]hemighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

A Disease Murdered My Daughter, and I Want Justice


A few days ago, my husband, Luke, and I went on a little date to the movies. As we were watching the previews, the trailer for “Secret in Their Eyes” came on. I had never even heard of this movie before. It’s about a detective played by Julia Roberts who gets a call that there was a woman’s body found in a dumpster. As everyone from her agency rushes to the scene, they find out it’s actually her character’s daughter. She becomes frantic and jumps in the dumpster with her daughter, screaming and crying. She had been murdered.

After her daughter’s death, Julia Roberts’ character became a woman on a mission. On a mission to find the man who killed her daughter and put him away for life. She needed to find justice for her death. You could tell by her face the pain, anger, sadness, fight and exhaustion she was experiencing, but she never quit. She knew who killed her daughter, but for some reason he kept getting off. Years and years she fought for justice for her daughter, and the cure for it all was right there (knowing exactly who the killer was), but it kept getting brushed under the rug. The trailer ended, and I was in full-blown tears.

Luke looked over to me and asked what was wrong. I replied, “I know how she feels.” That might sound weird as our two situations are completely different, and it’s just a movie. But I could feel her pain.

A photo of the author and her husband walking through a forest, holding the hand of a silhouette of her child

Our daughter, Kylie, wasn’t murdered by a person, but she was murdered by a disease. She was tortured by pain, drugs and a disgusting killer who eventually took her life. It made her weak, and it made her suffer. People ask me how I do it. How I keep going every day. Not one day goes by that I’m not fighting. I have an inability to saying no, and I refuse to turn a family away. Since the second Kylie passed, it has become my mission, passion and drive to find justice for my daughter.

I’m angry, sad and hurting that this murderer of a disease is still on the loose, killing more and more children every single day. I’m angry more isn’t being done. I’m angry so many people turn a cold shoulder. I’m angry more and more children each day are being kidnapped by the disease. Their lives taken away and locked in a dungeon (hospital). I’m angry Kylie isn’t here. I’m angry for the suffering. I’m angry it tears families apart. I’m angry that children have to watch their brothers and sisters endure the torture.

I’m not just a mom who started a foundation. I am a mother on a mission to find justice. To fight every day of my life that one day this murderer will be locked away for life, never to be able to hurt another child again. I don’t understand how people can sit back and not do anything. Tomorrow your child could be the one kidnapped and robbed of their childhood. My child’s gone, and your child isn’t mine, but I promise to fight for them, to fight alongside you and to never give up on finding justice for all kids.

Look at this picture. Really look at it. This is my baby. My beautiful 2-year-old baby girl. Now tell me this is OK. I dare you.

Bree's daughter Kylie

In December 2013, Bree Rowand’s daughter, Kylie, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer at only 19 months of age. In an effort to keep her friends and family updated on Kylie’s treatment,  Bree created a Facebook page: “Prayers for Kylie – Gods Little Warrior.” During Kylie’s 14-month battle with cancer, “Prayers for Kylie” grew to have over 200,000 community members in 47 counties. This army of support donated money and sent prayers for Baby Kylie, who sadly passed away on February 7, 2015.

After Kylie’s untimely passing, Bree felt they had gained such a vast and supportive Facebook community for a reason, and she wanted to pay it forward. In the past six months alone, she has raised over $40,000 and is using that money to help families pay their bills, gas charges and mortgages while their child is undergoing treatment. Please follow this link to learn more about Kylie’s journey as well as everything that is currently being done by her family in her honor.

A version of this post originally appeared on the Prayers for Kylie Facebook page.

Watch This 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient Challenge a Police Officer to a Dance-Off


Nothing can stop Colten Guerra from busting a move.

While receiving treatment for neuroblastoma at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital, the 5-year-old from Brentwood, California, challenged a visiting police officer to a dance-off, ABC News reported.

Of course Colten wasted no time in challenging me and of course I couldn’t resist,” Officer Joe Marte told the outlet.

The two then took turns showing off their moves, and the adorable exchange was caught on video and later posted to YouTube.

Officer Marte was there on his day off just to visit Colten, according to NBC.

Watch the dance-off in the video below:

Go here to visit Colton’s GoFundMe page. 

Girl With Terminal Cancer Has the Birthday/Wedding/Prom of Her Dreams


It was a day Lila May and her loved ones will never forget.

Lila May, 5, from Hood River, Oregon, was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in September 2012, according to her Facebook page.

Good morning friends!

Posted by Lila May on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

 

Doctors have said treatment is no longer an option and Lila May isn’t expected to live much longer, KOIN News reported. Knowing her most recent birthday could be her last, Lila May’s family decided to make it a memorable one. They created a spectacular event that was part birthday, part Cinderella ball, part prom and part wedding day — “everything she won’t get,” Heidi Hall, Lila May’s mother, told the outlet.

The community came through for Lila May and her family after a call was put out on social media for help with the party planning. People donated time, money and party supplies to make Lila May’s big day magical.

On July 31, at the Butler Bank Building in Hood River, hundreds of people showed up to watch Lila May arrive by horse-drawn carriage in her custom princess dress, KATU News reported. Everything was donated, from the food to the artwork and the costumed actors who posed as Disney princesses.

Check out some photos from Lila May’s big day below: 

 

We just want to give her everything she deserves,” Lila May’s father, Ryan Schow, told KATU News. “We wouldn’t have gotten this far and been able to fight this hard, without all the help we’ve been given. We’re so very grateful for that.”

Watch the video below for more on the story: 

Visit Lila May’s Facebook page to keep up with her. 

Watch the Beautiful Moment Miranda Lambert Shared Onstage With a 7-Year-Old Fighting Cancer


It takes something special to shake a seasoned performer like Grammy-winning country star Miranda Lambert, especially with a crowd of thousands watching. Last Saturday, however, that something was 7-year-old Brooke Hester.

Brooke was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2010, which is a form of nervous system cancer that had spread to her bone marrow, according to her blog. She has now been fighting the disease for almost four years — more than half her life.

 

Brooke and her mother, Jessica Hester, were looking forward to Miranda Lambert’s September 13th concert at the American Bank Center Arena, in Corpus Christi, Texas, NBC Today reported. They had been given two front row seats to the show by an anonymous donor.

During the performance of her song “Over You,” Lambert made her way over to Brooke, who was wearing a pink cowboy hat and a hospital mask. The two held hands for a long, emotional moment while the country singer serenaded Brooke. Eventually, Lambert became choked up and was unable to sing the rest of the song.

Obviously deeply touched by her interaction with Brooke, the singer could be seen wiping tears away from her face several moments after she had parted with the child.

“It just took my breath away when I looked up, and I got the chance to look at Miranda Lambert and thank her, as she was holding Brooke’s hand, for her complete compassion that she was demonstrating to my daughter in front of all these people,” Hester told the outlet. “You could just feel the love surrounding the moment.”

The video, uploaded a day later by a fan who recorded the whole thing, has already gone viral with nearly 1,000,000 views.

Watch the touching scene unfold below.

 For more information on Brooke, or to donate to her charity, visit her Facebook page

 

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