Gracie is a 8-year-old who loves to cook, do crafts, read, eat popcorn, wear anything pink, and go to school. She’s an incredibly intelligent girl who has a lot of personality and is a total sweetheart! Her family consists of her parents, May and John and her older brother Jack (9) and little sister, Bella (4).
Diagnosis and Treatment
In March 2008, Gracie was diagnosed with a brain tumor – a low-grade brain stem glioma.
2009 was a year full of treatments at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Ft. Worth, TX. After the diagnosis in 2008, surgery was done to see if they could remove any of the tumor. They discovered that the tumor had grown like a web through parts of her brain, especially around her brain stem and spinal cord. They were not able to remove any of it and recommended chemotherapy and radiation as treatment.
Gracie underwent both chemo and radiation like a champ. Unfortunately neither has stopped the tumor’s growth and the latest MRI showed that it is still slowly growing. The Kelly’s have sought out further advice from other leading hospitals in the country but at this time, Gracie has already received the treatments that could possibly help cure her. As of May 2009, she began receiving hospice care.
In the summer of 2009 the Kelly’s spent time traveling and enjoying time away from hospitals, appointments and tests. They visited Galveston, TX, Orlando & Disney, several places in North Carolina, California, Oregon and Chicago where they spent a lot of time with friends and family.
The Network of Support
They have received an amazing amount of support from John’s co-workers at American Airlines, several churches, including their own (Gateway), their Awana group, the staff and students at Whitley Elementary school, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Forever Trinity Dream Foundation and from so many friends, family, and even strangers. So many of these friends and others have helped raise thousands of dollars to help the Kelly’s with their expenses.
This blog tells Gracie’s story and is updated by her aunt (Leah), May’s sister.
Gracie loves reading your comments so drop a note and say hello! We hope you’ll join us in praying for Gracie. Our hope is in God.
Jeremiah 29:11 -For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As of April 2010: Gracie’s condition is good! She’s physically strong and experiencing less problems physically than she was a year ago. She still has palsy on one side of her body, but she is now able to walk, eat and do many things on her own that she hadn’t before. She also started attending school again! She goes to her 2nd grade class 3 half-days a week and receives tutoring at home one afternoon a week.