Fundraiser on medical costs for Canby girl
If that sounds familiar, it's because last month the Canby Herald published a story about two children battling aggressive types of bone cancer — Asher Davies, a fourth grader at Trost Elementary who is receiving treatment for Osteosarcoma, and Jessie Cross, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Philander Lee Elementary who is fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for the second time since being diagnosed in February 2014 when she was just eight years old.
One month of fundraising efforts for Davies have been successful, judging by a GoFundMe page set up in his name showing that 189 people, believed to consist mainly of Canby community members, according to Ryan Oliver, donated $19,620 of the Davies family's $15,000 goal.
A GoFundMe page established for Cross shows that during the same period, by comparison, 45 people had donated $3,190 of her family's $10,000 goal as of press time February 13.
"They have insurance but we're trying to help out with unforeseen costs," Oliver said. "Their (insurance) deductible is a big chunk. They are up at Doernbecher's missing work, spending a lot on the additional gas it takes to get there and back to Canby every day — the incidental stuff that most people don't think about is what we are trying to help them get through — and that's true for both families."
Cross, who is raised by her single mother, Crystal, has endured many treatments over the last few years.
After her original diagnosis in 2014, Jessie received chemotherapy over the course of about two-and-a-half years, and endured complications that included paralysis that caused scar tissue to form on the frontal lobe of her brain, according to a written explanation on her GoFundMe webpage.
The Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia came back even stronger and more aggressive when she relapsed this past November and unfortunately the resulting treatments at Doernbecher's Children's Hospital lead to even more complications than before, including an incredibly painful blood infection Jessie suffered.
In December, one night when Crystal was not able to be with her daughter at OHSU, Jessie experienced a grand mal seizure that lasted 10 minutes.
Her doctors decided to put her into a medically-induced coma and transferred her into the intensive care unit where she remained for several weeks, including through her 11th birthday.
Doctors slowly brought Jessie out of the coma and she began making discernible progress with the help of biopsies, surgeries, physical therapy and medication. Jessie started new chemotherapy treatments in January and underwent another surgery to remove and test nodules from her lung.
Now, the family is waiting for the results of that test, which will determine the course of Jessie's treatments — eventually she will require a bone marrow transplant, done by using a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of a donor's pelvic bone.
Bone marrow donation is an outpatient procedure done under anesthesia and causes little to no pain, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Meanwhile, Crystal continues to work two jobs while raising Jessie's brother, Damien, a sophomore at Molalla High School, but spends just about all her free time at Doernbecher's by her daughter's side, Oliver said.
"Whatever treatment Jessie goes through will be intense and at that time Crystal will be there with her full time," he said.
Hopes are that the community will rally to help Jessie with a bit of that "Canby community magic," Oliver said.
"If people want to help but can't afford to financially, another option is to consider donating blood or getting tested to be a bone marrow donor," he said. "Anything anybody in the community can do would be fantastic."
Jessie's GoFundMe page provides details of her battles and treatments, and additional information about her brother and mother. To visit the webpage and donate go online to: www.gofundme.com/bills-due-to-jesse-in-hospital
Davies' GoFundMe page is called "Asher's Warrior Fund." It provides details about his battle, treatments and how the family originally discovered the Osteosarcoma in his leg — it happened during basketball practice last November. To visit his GoFundMe page and to donate go online to: www.gofundme.com/ashers-warrior-fund.
To contact the Wayne Oliver Foundation, go online to Facebook at: www.facebook.com/WayneOFoundation/ or call 503-266-2715.