I’ve known Izzy and her mother for a long time now. I first met them when I was working retail, her mother (Elly) was my manager. We quickly became really good friends. Periodically, Elly’s daughters would come visit (Izzy and AW) at the store, so I had met them several times. I babysat a few times, because Izzy was only about 7 and AW was only about 4 years older. Then, when Izzy was 9, they asked me to be a nanny. I nannied her for about year before my wedding. We spent a ton of time together, and it was fun watching her grow up.
We lost touch for a bit (well, we followed each other on social media, but hadn’t talked in person in a long time) due to a series of moves which included her moving out of state.
Then, at the beginning of this month, we got a chance to have lunch (Dan and I met up with Elly and Izzy, AW was still out of state). I found out that Izzy had been struggling with atrocious migraines that would last for a week or longer and had been severely impacting school, and had required several ER visits. Since Elly was having a hard time taking all the time off to take her to all the doctors and ER trips, I offered to help (since I work for myself).
The lunch was a Saturday. The next Tuesday I found out that I needed to take Izzy to the ER for medication side effects that were causing a lot of problems, and possibly to abort a migraine had her medications not worked. Luckily, her migraine was gone when we got there. Then, on Friday, I found out she had another migraine. That Saturday, they went back to the ER and she had some MRIs done (which I actually found out about later).
“Izzy has an aggressive brain tumor.” Was all the text said on Saturday. I just stared at it and I think my heart may have actually stopped for a moment. I have only experienced that world-grinding-to-a-halt feeling one other time. Elly called me once she’d called family, and explained a bit more.
Turns out, they had done the MRIs at a satellite campus, and they called Elly while they were still in the ER and told them to get up to the main campus immediately to go over the MRI results. Obviously, if you get a phone call like that, you go as fast as you possibly can. She has an aggressive brain tumor on the anterior portion of her pons (it’s pretty much directly in the middle of her brain, behind her eyes). Due to its location, the tumor cannot be surgically removed – removing it could damage her ability to breathe, compromise her heart beat, or kill her instantly. The tumor is also extremely rare, with only about 300 cases in the USA each year, and is almost exclusively found in young children. Sadly, the prognosis for tumors like these is not usually good. However, there is always hope!
Izzy is a bright, contagiously bubbly, extremely loving young lady. She is way too into k-pop (Korean pop music for anyone unfamiliar with the term) to be healthy 😉 She loves to make everyone around her smile and laugh, and she has been contagiously upbeat through this entire process! (It has been a whirlwind week for all of us.)
They are performing a biopsy of the tumor on Monday, the 29th of January. The results of the biopsy will dictate treatment and the course of all of our lives for the foreseeable future. AW is moving back to Colorado to help out, and AW and I will be the primary drivers to help get Izzy back and forth to appointments and treatments as Elly has to work to maintain health insurance. Obviously, this is going to be an extremely difficult battle for all of us, but especially for Izzy, Elly, and AW.
Because this is going to be so difficult, we are humbling asking for your assistance. You can assist us in this battle in various ways, and I’ll outline them below.
YouCaring (GoFundMe as of May 29, 2018)
We have setup a
YouCaring GoFundMe fundraiser to help pay for medical bills and other necessary expenses during this difficult time. Currently, the goal is an estimate for the biopsy procedure and the necessities for this next week only. Once we know what the treatment plan is, the goal will increase appropriately. Every single penny makes a huge difference for us, and we thank you so very much! Even if you can’t donate, please share the fundraiser.
If you would prefer to send gift cards (or cards in general), we have set-up a PO Box so that you can do just that.
Gift Card Ideas:
- Kroger grocery cards (our local Kroger branch is called King Soopers)
- Kroger gas cards (our local Kroger stations are called Loaf-n-Jug)
- Walmart or Target gift cards – these will help with other necessities
When mailing anything, please address it to either “Izzy White” or “Elizabeth Bulfer.” If you are sending a card to Izzy, please be sure to write “To Izzy” on the envelope so that I don’t accidentally open it!
PO Box 631655
Littleton, CO 80163-1655
We are working on setting up an Amazon WishList for Izzy and her family. Items on the list are things that will either make the time in the hospital or at treatments (or the time recovering at home) more comfortable for Izzy, or items that will help her family so that they can focus their time on her instead of on running errands.
Once the list is set-up (after the biopsy), I will link it here.
Alternative therapies are often encouraged as part of the treatment plan for cancer patients. Since I currently work doTERRA essential oils, and spend a lot of time researching them, I will be donating essential oils and natural products to the family to help them through this time. If you would be interesting in donating with the specific purpose of contributing towards essential oil products, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: “doTERRA for Izzy”) and we can talk about it. This is the lowest priority on the “please help” list, as the funds for medical bills and physical items would be the most help to the family.
Thank you so very much for all of your help through this difficult time!!!!!