Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Join Us, Help the Children

Every child deserves another birthday
We are blessed to have the Wolfson Children’s Hospital in the very city we live in. The hospital is celebrating its 55th anniversary next month, and as part of the “One to Grow On” celebrations they have arranged a 55 mile ultra marathon, a candle ceremony with a goal of 40,000 candles to commemorate the 40,000 children they cared for this past year, as well as other special events and ceremonies. Please join with us in supporting the hospital that supports the children in our corner of this great country.

About us

On December 4, 2007 we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our family. His name is Hayden Jackson Phillips. When Hayden was 4 weeks old, he became congested and we thought that maybe he was catching a cold. We took him to our pediatrician's office, who advised us to take him to the children's hospital for blood work, just to be safe.
The blood work prompted an overnight stay at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The next morning, our little Hayden had a seizure. The doctors treated him immediately and began further tests, which determined he had a mass inside his brain. After further imaging and planning, came the first surgery where the surgeons were able to remove approximately 50% of the tumor. Samples of the tumor identified it as AT/RT (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor), a very rare extremely aggressive type of cancer.
Our brave little Hayden continued to fight, so we chose to fight with him and arranged plans for chemo therapy since traditional radiation wasn’t advisable, and even the Proton Beam therapy wasn’t a fit for his particular condition. Unfortunately, Hayden developed a type of blood clot within the brain which placed his condition in a very precarious situation. Treating the clot could allow the tumor site to bleed, which could lead to seizures or stroke or worse. Not treating the clot would mean the surgeries needed to prepare Hayden for the chemotherapy would be delayed or prevented. So, faced with certain death if we did nothing and almost no chance of recovery with treatment, we chose to help him fight a little longer despite the small odds. We started low dose anticoagulant treatments to slow or arrest the growth of the clot, and low dose chemotherapy (which didn’t require the preparatory surgeries). Neither would solve the problems, but we hoped it would give Hayden more time to fight, more time for another option to emerge, more time for a miracle.
Our brave little Hayden fought so bravely for so long was growing tired. His condition was slowly worsening. Each day held new challenges, new evaluations, and new pain. We truly felt he was fighting so hard to stay with us long enough to know we would be okay when he was gone; so we began working with hospice. The hospital and staff could not have been better and were there for us from the very beginning on both good days and bad. Our friends and family supported us tirelessly. In the early morning hours of February 16, 2008, our brave little Hayden gave up his heroic fight. Only through God’s love, the love and support or our family and friends, and the compassionate care at the hospital allowed us the bear the immeasurable weight of our loss.

How You Can Help
We recently started organizing the first “Hayden’s Wagon of Love” to help other children and families at the Wolfson Children’s Hospital and to remember our brave little Hayden. The plan was to collect toys and distribute them to the young patients in the hospital this holiday season. However, with the flu season in full swing and the more recent threat of the swine flu, we discussed options with the hospital and concluded that this year our efforts could be best utilized in another way…
So, this year “Hayden’s Wagon of Love” will be asking everyone to contribute to the Wolfson Children’s Hospital “One to Grow On” celebration by donating to the 40,000 candles celebration. Here’s how it works:
-go to to see the details and donate online.
-every $10 donation equals one candle
-every candle represents a child treated last year at Wolfson Children’s Hospital
-every donation supports and gives hope to children at Wolfson Children’s Hospital
-feel free to combine money for donations (e.g. office of 10 people can each give $2 to make an office donation of $20, which will light 2 candles).
-feel free to make donations in memory of Hayden, or any child you know who has been treated at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
Thank you for your help,
The Phillips Family