So I have been kind of quiet and reserved about our mother's day winners because in typical Larissa fashion I chose two families. The first family was nominated by two faithful clients who have a tender heart for the family. When you get two nominations for the same person, you pay attention. Robin & Jim Larabee have a beautiful family of four boys Jonas, Lucas, Aiden and Logan. On Saturday, only 2 weeks ago, I made the rainy drive to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. What a beautiful hospital. I made my way to room 777 to visit Logan, a 3 year old, sweet, little angel managing Neuroblastoma cancer. Before they permit you on the unit, you enter a set of doors and wash your hands. The next set opens and what I found was a beautiful family in the midst of the toughest thing a family could face.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Neuroblastoma most commonly arises in and around the adrenal glands, which have similar origins to nerve cells and sit atop the kidneys. However, neuroblastoma can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and in the chest, neck and near the spine, where groups of nerve cells exist. (mayoclinic.com) Neuroblastoma affects children under the age of 5.
Mom was busy and was in the midst of making things happen for her son. Her will is strong and her force is to be reckoned with and yet she maintained tears in her eyes. She is the woman who you would want to fight for you. She's clever, witty and ready to face what ever this unseen illness throws at her little boy. The 3 older brothers are amazing!!! AMAZING!!! They play games, interact, smile and are keenly aware of this situation. They are boys and brothers with their silly, wonderful moments. They are brothers and are concerned for their little brother.
They were getting ready to leave the hospital to enjoy a week at the parks near Orlando. The little guy was having tummy pain having just finished chemo therapy. Mom was preparing to get his case moved to possibly 3 hospitals who have permission to conduct the protocols necessary to save his life. See, they had overcome cancer. They beat it. When he initially was diagnosed in Nov. and lost a kidney, they came back from it. In March 2014 he was cleared and sent home. They did the happy dance. It was over.
At the end of March, he experience some tummy pain and the scans showed an even more aggressive tumor near his kidney. His one intact kidney. And All Chidren's Hospital does not have the protocol to treat him so mom did not care where the hospital that accepted her case was located which meant flying to Atlanta, Philly or Cincinnati. And she was ready at the drop of a hat to fly there to start the life saving treatment. She knows the statistics. If his case gets accepted there, he has a 40% chance.
To make it.
But they are not going to accept his case. And this evening, I maintain some tears in my heart for his family. I'm praying peace for Logan and his family.
I cannot say enough about the Ronald McDonald house where the Larabee's reside while Logan is fighting cancer. They have food, meals, toys and volunteers that are just wonderful. The house itself is well appointed, warm and friendly. It's one less thing the family has to be concerned about while they concentrate on supporting their family member. When you drop your change at McDonald's, you can know that your donation is really helping families that need your support.
I'm praying for a cure. This particular cancer strikes those that are 5 and under. I wrote this a few evenings ago. Mom gave me permission to post because she believes the more awareness the better. Kids cancers are generally overlooked.
I just found out that he passed away today. I'm shocked and my heart is aching for this family. I'm honored to share his story. Logan fought this battle so tough with his family by his side. There are so many touched by his spirit and his ability to bring joy to others despite his pain. We will keep this family in our thoughts. Rest in Peace Logan.
If you would like to support the family, please contact me because they have not been working these past few months. I also want to put a nice book together for the family and will need a few sponsors to provide them with a quality book with the photos from the session. Keep a look out at LDE (join our newsletter below) and if/when there is an event for them, I can let you know.
All my best, Larissa