KSON is Going Gold for Catherine Scarlett

September 1, 2017

It's September which means we are once again going gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the month we will be celebrating the lives of kids affected by cancer. 

We're kicking it off with Cate. Read her story from mom Stephanie below:

Our daughter Catherine Scarlett was a healthy, funny, feisty 5 year-old who was taking the summer by storm in 2015.

She was learning how to surf, attending camp at the San Diego Zoo and excited to start kindergarten. 

Cate is the type of little girl who is always on the go.  She could be found wearing a pink sparkly tutu riding a Big Wheel in cowboy boots.  She is equal parts "girly girl" and Tom boy.  She adores manicures, jewelry and Lush Bath Bombs but loves to run with her Labradors, collect roly poly bugs in the backyard, chase butterflies and play a mean game of hide and seek with her two brothers. 

So in July 2015 when she started to fatigue easily, we noticed right away. She started to suffer from occasional high fevers, headaches, severe muscle aches and a waning appetite. 

Three weeks later on August 7, after another night of high fever and severe night sweats, her pediatrician sent to her Rady Children's Hospital for a complete blood count.  Hours later, our lives would be forever changed when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She was immediately admitted to the oncology unit at Rady Children's Hospital to start treatment that very night. 

Hearing your child has cancer sets off an internal mental and emotional tsunami with nothing but fear and panic in its path.  While we were stunned and devastated, we also knew we happened to be 15 minutes away from a nationally acclaimed resource that could save our daughter's life ... the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.  And we could not help but feel utterly fortunate and grateful much needed help and support was so nearby. 

Cate is currently fighting her way through a two and half year treatment regimen.   Recently reaching her second year of treatment milestone meant she has endured nine inpatient admissions, 45 overnight stays, eight emergency room trips, over 60 outpatient clinic visits, 10 blood transfusions, 20 spinal taps, and
45 rounds of  IV chemotherapy sessions and countless doses of steroids and pain medications and nightly chemotherapy. 

She has battled back from severe neuropathy and myopathy pain leaving her unable to walk for a short duration, lost her hair twice, missed an entire year of schooling and endure more than we ever thought possible. 

Her diagnosis shattered our family's life as we knew it. When you are forced to sit with your pain...change is inevitable. Trying to find our new rhythm these days feels different, because it is different. You can start putting the pieces back together but the pieces don't always fit. It's like forcing a butterfly to crawl back into a cocoon.  So, there is no choice but to keep looking forward. 

Cancer waits for no one. Time marches on.  Gapped tooth smiles and too tight shoes serve as constant  reminders all three of our children are growing and changing every day despite of this disease. We are the parents of three children who need us despite of this cancer.  Our boys have struggled and sacrificed. They too are fighters in their own right. We try to heal the wounds that cancer has left on them as well.

We have 2.5 months left to go to reach Cate's last chemotherapy treatment in October 13, 2017.  While uncertainty still occupies our future, we, nevertheless
are here.   She is a fierce warrior.  And we are in awe of her courage, grit, grace and resilience. 

We may be bruised but we are also blessed. We are two years in and two years stronger. And with the help of her incredible medical team at the Peckham Center, our cherished family and beloved friends, and our two Labradors Sam and Coral, we will continue to move onward as a family to fight for her.  

And we will continue to fight for all children who suffer from over 300 types of pediatric  cancer and families.  We aim to spread awareness and the desperate need for more research dollars find better treatment and ultimately cures for these kids. 

Thanks for helping with that mission KSON! 

Learn more about Cate and how you can help on her Facebook or GoFundMe page.