The Inspiring Fight of Princess Kailynn
That is my adorable 4 year-old niece and goddaughter Kailynn. It was a major shock when we all found out my sister in-law Lisa was pregnant for her. I think it's safe to say, she was an unexpected gift to our entire family. There is about a 10 year gap between Kailynn and her brother Jake. I was so thrilled when my brother asked me to be the godfather. It was the first time anyone ever asked me. (I totally get why)
Kailynn has an amazing, hilarious personality as a result of many older cousins, brothers and being the youngest, she has been a performer from the beginning.
About a month ago, I got the gig as MSU Hockey public address announcer and went to attend the off ice officials meeting with MSU Hockey Coach Tom Anastos. On the way there, my mom called to tell me Kailynn had a brain tumor and it was bad. I knew I couldn't do anything but pray but I had to attend the meeting. It was the most quiet I think I have ever been. Every time I spoke, I was afraid I was going to lose it.
She has been diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, Grade III. In layman's terms it is a brain tumor located in her Posterior Fossa. She has already undergone two brain surgeries which combined lasted approximately 36 hours. However, the surgeon was only able to remove 85% of the tumor. Kailynn will have to undergo Chemotherapy to try to shrink the remainder. Kailynn has also begun Occupational Therapy to help her re-learn how to talk, feed herself, and to simply swallow. She will require a lot of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and prayers to help her regain her strength to be able to walk on her own again and hold herself in a sitting position.
This diagnosis came on suddenly for Kailynn. From her first doctor's appointment for the symptoms to her surgeries it all happened in less than 3 weeks. It was a shock to us all.
Kailynn is home now trying to regain enough strength to begin chemo and her next battle. I gave her my game puck from my first MSU game, they won 5-3. I called it her good luck puck. She proudly showed it to her cousins when they visited after me.
While at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, she was visited by current Wolverine quarterback Devin Gardner. My family said Devin was very nice and before he left, asked for a picture with Kailynn. She kept refusing because even a 4 year-old Spartan knows: You NEVER want your picture taken with a Wolverine! Devin and my family got a kick out of her spirit and eventually they talked her into a picture. The inspiration for the name Kailynn came from former Spartan Kalin Lucas according to her mom.
Last year around this time, I had the pleasure of taking her and most of the ladies in my family to see Frozen. We also went to see Santa. 2 out of her 4 years, I got to see her sit with Santa.
It is really easy to bury your face in your hands and just cry but it doesn't do anybody any good. Work has been a great escape for me and I am grateful to all my friends who are aware of what is going on and keep offering support and prayers.
There is a Facebook page for Kailynn called "Prayers for Kailynn" click here to see it.
We have a benefit dinner November 9th at Ellie's Country Kitchen in Williamston. Click here for all the details and the Facebook JOIN page. KICKIN' IT FOR KAILYNN. We will be selling t-shirts, there is a delicious dinner and lots of raffle items. Like cd's and concert tickets to see Luke Bryan and Fleetwood Mac. WMMQ listener JJ Mercer heard the story about Kailynn and donated the tickets he won for us to raffle off. This act of generosity touched me to my core. I can't tell you how much it means to me.
We have a Go Fund Me account set up for her here.
The t-shirts are awesome and when I showed them to my brother, it was the first time I saw him break down since this happened. My brother would NEVER ask for help. I will.
I love the U of M hospitals. They saved my life in 2000. Click here if you don't know that story. This year, when we were visiting Kailynn, it was our first trip back since I was in the Trauma Burn unit in 2000. Just the smell was overwhelming. Mrs. Pants broke down as a lot of memories came back. I kept telling her, "they saved me... They can save her."
Kailynn has had a rough weekend at home and lost some use of her left eye. When I went to see her yesterday, she had an eye patch covering it. We are calling her our pirate princess. Please help my pirate princess if you can.
If you would like to donate a raffle item to the benefit, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on Facebook here.