Kindergartener Diagnosed with Brain Cancer - Hear her story!

05 June 2016
Hello!  I'd like to share a story with you about one of my sweet, sweet kindergarten students (from the Richmond, VA area).  Follow her story on Facebook HERE

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This is Sawyer.  She is a five year old little girl who was enjoying her time in kindergarten when her family and teachers noticed her eyes were bothering her.  She started seeing double and complained that her eyes hurt.  For a 2 week period at the end of April, Sawyer got sick at school (throwing up) and was sent home.  It wasn't until the weekend of April 22nd that Sawyer would not stop throwing up which made her mom rush to the emergency room.  

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After doing some scans, doctors at the ER in Richmond found a tumor on her brain.  Sawyer was then sent to the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville, VA for surgery to remove the tumor, additional testing and a diagnosis. The doctors there diagnosed her with Anaplastic Ependymoma, which is a stage three (very aggressive) brain cancer.  

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Sawyer stayed in the hospital there for several weeks for the team of doctors to develop the best treatment plan for her.  That plan was to get her a spot at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Sawyer Perkins and her father

Sawyer is now at St. Jude's where they have agreed with the diagnosis from UVA but have even added that she has one specific strand that makes this disease even more aggressive.  Because of this diagnosis and the aggressiveness of the cancer, the doctors at St. Jude have said they are not able to treat the cancer.

Jaime and Sawyer Perkins

Sawyer's parents have been given the choice to treat her with radiation which will deteriorate Sawyer's little body or they do nothing and the cancer would take continue to take over.  Sawyer's mom posted about this choice on Facebook and how hard it will be for her to choose what is best for her little girl.




I wanted to share her story for several reasons.  I am so sad for her and her family but so hopeful we can get a miracle!  But also, because her Mom and Dad are no longer earning an income in order to stay home with Sawyer.  Her mom, Jamie, is a teacher in Henrico County here in Richmond.  She has used all of her sick leave and is now on leave without pay.  Her dad, Nathan, is self employed and does not make money unless he is working.

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Some of their friends have created a Go Fund Me page to help support their financial needs.  The local community here is also taking meals by their house every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

There have been many fundraising efforts here in Hanover County!
VA State Police Brian Butchyk helps raise money for iPad for girl with brain cancer. (Source: Kimberly Butchyk)


Here is just one of them

Please take a moment to visit the Prayers for Sawyer page on Facebook to keep up with her story.  You will be able to see posts from her mom about her progress as well as posts like the one from Friday where our class FaceTimed with Sawyer on her ipad!  It was so fun!

Best of luck to all of those teachers ending this school year and here's to a very relaxing summer!

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