THE 2010 RIDE-4-KIDS EVENT IN ANN ARBOR IS THIS FRIDAY AUG. 29. PLEASE DONATE NOW!!!!!!!
August 23rd, 2010
Katie started High School today! Thank you for whatever part you have played in helping her to achieve that milestone . Whether it be through your prayers,delivering us meals, cleaning our house, watching Brian, listening to our fears, crying with and for us, visiting us at the hospital, donating to the PBTF or the countless other things you have done. We know we couldn't have made it this far without you.
Earlier today I sent an e-mail to Katie's neurosurgeon to thank him and let him know of this recent milestone. He replied with the following comment: "You are so blessed...and fortunate enough to engage in the teenage years." I'm not sure I would have put "fortunate" and "teenage years" together in the same sentence. After a moment of reflection, I decided that even with all of the teenage drama and attitude we truly are fortunate. Many of our PBTF friends have lost their children to brain tumors. Many before or during their teen years; some before their first birthday. So yes, even though Katie and I often have MDS (Mother-Daughter Syndrome) we are truly FORTUNATE!
We want to thank you with all our hearts for helping us to achieve another major milestone.
Team Proctor ~ Rob, Denni, Katie & Brian
It’s hard for us to imagine, but Katie will be starting high school this fall. She is 15 and in many ways, a typical teenage girl. She swoons over the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber. Katie and her girlfriends shriek like wild animals when the subject of a teen hunk comes up. And she can text with the best of them when it comes to using her cell phone.
But her life will never be like a typical teenager’s. Although she does a great job of making accommodations, Katie has issues every day of her life because of her brain tumor. Katie has to deal with the partial deafness and eyesight loss. She manages to handle the balance and muscular coordination issues to the point where she continues to take dance. She puts up with the staring and sometimes the ridicule due to her facial paralysis. And then there are the headaches.
Since the fall of 2008, Katie has suffered headaches. Some days are better than others, but she has a headache every day. The 6 inch L-shaped scar on the back of her head has become hypersensitive and causes pain as well. On a good day, she has mild pain and goes about her business. When they become unbearable she has ended up in the hospital getting pain medication and I-V drips to combat them. Due to the paralysis in her throat, she continues to choke frequently. We are so used to it that it hardly phases us, but she can create quite a stir at a restaurant when folks think she is choking on food! The doctors aren’t sure exactly what is causing her recent issues and we are optimistic she may eventually grow out of them. Until then, she’ll deal with everything just like she has for 10 years now. We think the word “courageous” describes her best.
Katie still grieves at the loss of her step-grandmother Holly Cook, who died of a brain tumor at age 53 last year. Holly was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest of all brain tumors and survived only 11 months before losing her battle. Katie is now old enough to understand just how devastating brain tumors can be – at any age.
Katie is excited about going to the Ride-4-Kids in Ann Arbor this August. The group of survivors is very much like a family. In the last few years, several of the brain tumor kids Katie has grown up with have died and it has truly impacted us all. Guy died at the end of his freshman year at Stanford at the age of 19. Shortly after we saw them last August Kevin and Matthew died within 2 months of each other. Matthew was 10 years old and had an infectious laugh that lit up a room. This year his laughter will be noticeably absent.
For 2010 our goal is to raise $10,000. We are no longer shy about asking for money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). Since Katie was diagnosed in January 2000, many things have happened – the events of September 11, the internet bubble and stock market decline, unemployment, the housing market collapse, etc. Good times and bad times come and go. But there is a constant. Every day, about 10 families discover that their child has a brain tumor. And in 2010 – in today’s modern medical environment, still about 1 in 3 of those kids will never make to adulthood. Brain tumors indiscriminately kill kids of every age, color and gender more than any other type of pediatric cancer. It has to stop. But we will only defeat brain tumors through continuous research and there is also one constant thing about research. Research costs a lot of money.
So we have learned there is no “good time” to ask people for donations. The research has to continue. Doctors and scientists need the resources to combat these killers regardless of the economy, the stock market, or the value of our houses. We ask that you thoughtfully and prayerfully consider a donation to the PBTF. Donations of any size help. If you can give $5 – great; if you can give $100 – great. It all adds up. This summer Denni and I are participating in several Sprint Triathlons and we are hoping some of you will be willing to sponsor us in the form of contributions to the PBTF.
Please help support the work of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. This isn’t about us “hitting a goal”. It’s about raising as many dollars as we can so brain tumor researchers can find the causes and eventually the cure of brain tumors. You can donate securely online at: www.firstgiving.com/katieproctor2010 or send a donation to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (Gift for Katie Proctor & Friends Fund) 302 Ridgefield Ct. Asheville, NC 28806. The PBTF is a 4-Star rated charity and donations are almost always tax deductible.
Thank you for your support. We appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Rob, Denni, Katie & Brian Proctor
Katie's Make-A-Wish trip to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics was the trip of a lifetime! She went to the Opening Ceremonies, mogels skiing, figure skating, the gold medal ceremonies and a ton of other stuff. It was a fantastic experince for our whole family.
Overall, Katie is doing well. She had a good year in school and is getting ready for high school next fall. She has some hypersensitivity in the back of her head and does have daily headaches, but the medicine seems to be keeping them under control. She goes to Cincinnati Childrens for her MRI scans and check-up on June 17. We pray for an uneventful visit with he doctors.
KATIE'S STORY: (If you don't know Katie, here is a brief account)
In 2000, Katie was diagnosed at age 4 1/2 with a brain stem glioma. She had 3 surgeries at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati. What remains of the tumor is a button-sized mass that is located at the brain stem where her brain, cranial nerves and spinal cord all come together. As a result of the surgery Katie is deaf in her right ear, has limited vision in her right eye, paralysis of the right side of her face and half of her throat, and she has some limited abilities with her right-side muscular coordination. Katie has had physical, speech and occupational therapy and plastic surgery for the facial nerve damage. She has spells of cyclical vomiting which sometimes cause her to be hospitalized for dehydration. Overall, Katie has done very well in the years since her diagnosis.
In June 2008 one of Katie's MRI scans showed some new growth in a cyst around the tumor so another scan was scheduled for December 2008. We were told to look for headaches and dizziness as a sign of any changes. In October, Katie developed severe headaches, dizziness and nausea. After what appeared to be some improvement, the dizzy spells and headaches got even worse and she also complained of blurred vision and even stumbled a few times. We returned to Childrens Hospital in Cincinnati where Katie has been seen by her neurosurgeon, a neuro-oncologist, a radiologist and a neurologist. She had a 72-hour I-V drip of a drug that resolved her headaches. Katie now takes medication on a daily basis to control the headaches and she continues on a fairly short time period between MRI scans to look for any potential changes in the tumor or cyst.
ABOUT YOUR DONATION:
The PBTF is a 4-Star Charity and $.83 of every dollar dontated goes directly to PBTF programs, thanks in part to corporate sponsorship from Honda America Corporation. The PBTF funds research at some of the finest pediatric cancer institutions and medical colleges in the country. Your money goes to vastly needed research for new drugs, surgical techniqies and research into the causes of the 120+ types of brain tumors that are killing our children. Note the amount of your tax deductible donation is kept strictly confidential, and you can make anonymous donations as well. If you don't want to donate through this site, feel free to send your donation to "A Gift for Katie Proctor & Friends" • The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation • 302 Ridgefield Court • Asheville, NC 28806.