Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big Blog Candy For a Good Cause

This will stay at the top of my blog until end of blog candy!

Blog Candy consist of: 1 pack of Basic Grey Green at Heart 6x6 paper

1 pack of Pink Paislee Queen Bee 6x6 paper

1 Penny Johnson's Stampavie Champagne Bears

1 Dee Dee from the Greeting Farm

1 Stamping Ayna from the Greeting Farm

1 Penny Johnson Stampavie bear with flowers

4 packs of Rhinestones: pink, purple, turquoise, green

So, what do you have to do to win this blog candy? it's simple, share Ethan & Bella's story on your blog. You have my complete permission to copy and paste their photos and stories. Once you have posted your blog post come back to my blog and leave me a comment that you have shared their story. This is just so important to me, I am praying for a big turn out for them.

Let me tell you about two amazing kids. Ethan & Bella

Ethan is my cousin's son. He is 8 years old .Ethan was diagnosed with Neuroblasto​ma Stage 4 on March 5th, 2005. This devastating news came just days after his 3rd Birthday. The doctors told us that Ethan’s overall chance of survival was only 25%. Who would have ever thought that his leg pain and unexplained fever was cancer.

The worst of the worst…a deadly form of cancer where there is no specific treatment meant just for Neuroblasto​ma. Instead, trial studies and experimental​l therapies were in our future.

Etha​n underwent 6 rounds of extremely high dose chemotherap​y, surgery to remove the tumor in his abdomen, a stem cell transplant and 12 rounds of radiation to the tumor site. This trial study was followed up by an experimental​l therapy at Sloan Kettering in New York called 3F8 Antibody Treatment. Ethan received 5 rounds of this treatments before becoming “Hama” positive, which means his immune system is trained to fight neuroblasto​ma cells.

Today​, Ethan is cancer free and is back to enjoying all the childhood fun and games that was taken from him for over a year and a half. Doctors have also increased his overall chance of survival to 50% (considering​ the high rate of relapse).


In November 2007, a lump was found on Ethan's left shoulder​er to be diagnosed as osteochondr​oma, a benign tumor growth in the bone. This is in part, a side effect of having Total Body Irritation for his Stem Cell Transplant.​
Around June of 2008, several benign tumors were discovered on Ethan's liver.

On Nov. 21, 2008, we found out that Ethan's cancer had returned, Recurrent Neuroblasto​ma. MIBG uptakes were discovered in one shoulder, his leg, his spine and chest...alo​ng with in his bone marrow. There were a total of 12 spots at re-diagnosi​s

Ethan underwent 2 rounds of high dose chemo followed by a set of scans. The scans showed that the chemo was not acting effectively.​
Ethan then underwent o​ne round of maintenance chemo before becoming the first patient in a New England hospital to receive MIBG therapy (aka liquid radiation).​ The first round was scheduled the week of Ethan's 7th Birthday (feb 17th). Follow up scans show a HUGE improvement​, leaving residual uptake on MIBG scan and small traces in the bone marrow. Then Ethan underwent a 2nd round at the beginning of May 2009, scan results show "stable with limited improvement".​

At this time, Ethan only had two more spots to take care of. So he underwent more chemotherapy​y, using irinotecan, carboplatin and temodar...followed up by a much needed stem cell rescue. Results "stable with no improvement".​ At that point, we decided to allow Ethan's body to rest and put him on a treatment known for stability called ABT-751 at the beginning of Sept. 2009. However, in November 2009, Ethan's cancer showed 2 new spots of progression and we had to discontinue the use of the ABT-751.

Fro​m there, Ethan began a treatment using Temodar and Thalidomide​, which consists of taking pills at home...ever​yday. Also, at this point, I added Harmazone, a form of"Essiac" to Ethan's daily routine. La​ter, I added the use of a DHA supplement.​ Thus far, the DHA has proven to rid Ethan of his mood swings and temper tantrums.

Af​ter 4 rounds of Thalidomide​/Temodar treatment, On March 18, 2010 scan results showed massive "widespread" progression throughout Ethan's entire skeletal system, from his shoulders down his arms, down his spine and chest cavity, to his pelvis, and down his legs, right down to his ankles.

We then decided to try out a new phase 1 protocol using both IV and oral cyclophosph​omide, with Avastin and Zometa. This treatment is primarily used for bone metastesis.​ Unfortunate​ly Ethan's LFT's remained too elevated to remain on protocol.

Sc​ans were conducted in Vermont, as preparation for a new study. Results show even more progression to several area's in skull and soft tissue mass on spine. Radiation was conducted to the orbital area and spine, along with etoposide and velcade treatments.​ Biopsies were perfomed for DNA and RHA testing for Personalize​d Medicine Study in Vermont.

Well, today we received devastating news. The Brain tumor has more than doubled in size and is now causing focal seizures. They will do radiation for comfort only at this point. Things are not looking good for Ethan and he is in need of prayers and whatever happiness we could give him. Ethan & his sister sierra love to receive cards. If you could find the time to mail them a card, I am sure it would bring a smile to their face. Particularly Ethan, as he is in Boston Children's Hospital continuing with radiation. If you would like to mail them a card you may do so to:

Ethan Smith and Sierra Smith

27 Donna Street
Nashua, NH 03060

If you would like more info and would like to stay up to date with Ethan you can visit is journal here:

Meet Bella Tucker
Bella Tucker is an 8-year-old girl who attends South School Elementary in Londonderry, New Hampshire and is a member of the Phantom Gymnastics team. Bella came down with a near fatal infection on Easter Sunday. Doctors gave little hope for this third graders’ survival, but after five days in a coma she miraculously survived Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).

Unfortunately, her survival from this infection was not without significant cost. The infection caused extensive tissue damage, and on April 27, 2010, Bella underwent quadruple amputation surgery and is currently facing an extremely long and hard recovery at Children’s Hospital in Boston with extensive rehabilitation to follow, as she learns to live life without her limbs.

Fortunately, Bella has the love and support of her three older brothers and younger sister during these trying times. The family is suddenly faced with significant challenges, many of which can be eased with financial help. For example, their home in Londonderry, New Hampshire will need extensive modifications to accommodate a wheelchair. Bella's mother, who is also her primary insurance holder, must be by her side during the extensive rehabilitation process and therefore she will be unable to work, causing the family to lose significant income. Since her mother will be with her during this process, the family needs funds for daycare of their other children. Lastly, she will be faced with medical challenges for the rest of her life.
Bella loves receiving cards and they would be sure to make her smile. I am currently awaiting her address, but you may mail her cards to my address until further notice.

Kristen Catalano

c/o Bella tucker

5 Baymeadow Dr

Nashua, NH 03063

You may visit Bella's webpage at :

I know we all have some cards sitting around, it would mean so much if you could get one out to Ethan and Bella. They need all the smiles they can get right now!

Thanks so much


Country Mouse said...

I will be blogging this tomorrow..I think it's a wonderful thing to do!

Lorraine A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorraine A said...

I have posted about this on my blog . I sincerely hope these children receive a mountain of cards. I will post cards tomorrow xx

you can see my blog post here

Lols x x x

Diane said...

They are both heroes in my eyes,to go through what they are going through! Makes you wonder why these things happen.
I've posted about it on my blog and hope all of us can add some smiles toh these childrens faces!

Let's shower them with cards folks!

Here's my link to my post

Unknown said...

Awww ... Lorraine did say we will need tissues.. it really saddens me to hear such stories especially when kids are involved. I have posted to my blog here and will definitely send them a card xxx

Michelle Quinno said...

Kristen, I'm so sorry to hear the bad news about Ethan. I will keep both of these kids in my thoughts and prayers. I'll try to get cards out to both this week.

Mummylade said...

This truly is for a good cause! I read it and wept, posted it on my blog and will send some cards tomorrow.
Bless you

JayLynn said...

I posted about Bella and Ethan on my blog
and I'll be sure to send my cards out to them asap!

It breaks my heart to hear about children suffering.

Kate's Makes said...

Kristen i heard through Helene's blog, i have posted on my own and asked people to send love and thoughts via post. I volunteer for Post Pals and know how much cards and post can make a poorly child smile - i am thinking of Ethan and Bella. Kate x

Rhonda Miller said...

I have posted this on my blog and will be getting busy on some cards for these kids. I hope you can get many cards sent to them.

Karen McAlpine said...

Kristen, thanks for sharing Ethan's and Bella's story. I have posted the link to my blog. I will also be sending some cards out to each child. I will also keep them and thier families in my prayers. God Bless.

Kristine said...

Oh my goodness... thank you for sharing this and I will get some cards in the mail as soon as I pick some out or make some appropriate ones. I will post this on my blog right now though. I can't imagine what these families have gone through and have to go through in the future, but God gives us HOPE for each day and an everlasting hope and I pray that these families draw close to Him--He'll get them through. ((HUGS))

Lorraine said...

hi Kristen what heartbreaking storieslike Dianne said these children are true heros to go through so much at their young ages.I have put a post on my blog

and will be sending them cards at the weekend thankyou for putting up the candy huni xx

Noreen Yun said...

This is a great thing to do. It is heartbreaking to see these children are going through so much at such early stages. I posted your story on my blog and will post the cards tomorrow. Thanks for doing this :)


Ashley Newell said...

I have posted about these sweet kids on my blog:

I will be sending out cards to both of them tomorrow and I will be keeping them in my prayers!

Helen said...

Hi, Kristen. You are so awesome for doing this! What a blessing you are to these families by requesting cards for these brave kiddos! I will post this on my blog and get some cards gathered and in the mail by the end of this week. Thank you for letting the Lord use you and your blog to bring joy into these children's & their families lives!

Ceal said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am a cancer survivor myself and I will pray for these children
here is my post

marilynwillauer said...

I do not have a blog site, tho I do have a facebook site, so I put the link on it with a note to all to read. . . .I'm sure it'll get the word out. . . .may you be blessed through this difficult time in your life.

Whimcees said...

The stories of these two beautiful and brave children have touched my heart. I will be posting this information to my blog tomorrow with a link to your site.

God bless and watch over Ethan and Bella. Thank you for sharing!

Wishing you well.

Barbara Diane

Anita Christine said...

I'm praying for these kids, may God give them the strength. The story have touched my heart.

I've post about them at my blog :

God Bless

Julye said...

Hi Kirsten, cards have been posted and are already on there way so hopefully won't take too long to arrive. Have just posted their stories on my blog and though I don't have many followers hopefully some will read it but have directed them to your blog too. I hope they get sackfuls of cards enough to make the postie grumpy then we will have done our job. My son got some cards from the kind folks of blog land when he had surgery and was immobile and non weight bearing earlier this year and it gave him a real boost , I hope our fellow blog land crafters can make these children float with elation by recieving so many cards. Hugs and good wishes to all the families too. Julye

Basement Stamper said...

I posted and am going to be mailing my cards out as well. Thoughts and prayers are with the families of both of these young ones!

Nikki Schmaltz said...

I have posted a link to this story on my blog and made a card. I'm not interested in the blog candy, just spreading the word and trying to bring a smile to a child's face. Thanks for the awareness:)

Bev said...

I posted this on my blog...will try and get the word out about the cards. I know I am making some and sending them....and I hope a lot of others do too!

Thoughts and prayers to these families!

Gloria Westerman said...

I just found your blog thru Critter and read your story.....I will be mailing cards out heart just ache for these childrens and their parents.....I will pray for them....will post it on my blog....

Gloria Westerman said...

I try to copy and paste but my blog wouldn't.....but I did post about them and a link back here....

Tina said...

Kristen, thanks for sharing this information. I have 4 kids of my own and can't imagine how I would handle something like this. These kids and their families are so incredibly brave and I would love to send out cards to the kids and their families. I have posted this on my blog and I hope that others will do the same.


Kathy and Lucky said...

Kristen, I was more than happy to get this on my blog and will get started on some cards for Ethan and Bella, I know my daughter who is 10 will also want to get something out to them right away. Our prayers are with the children and family. I linked back to your blog, but have their pictures on mine.

Noreen Yun said...

Kristen, I have posted both cards on my blog. Please come and have a look.

Thanks again for doing this.


MrsANS said...

I have made a post for Ethan & Bella. I am praying for both of them and also hope to get cards out by the weekend. I hope they are flooded with caring thoughts and support from all over the world!

Sheila said...

What a beautiful way to give Ethan and Bella a touch from our cards.

Thanks so much for sharing,


Snowmanlover said...

I hope you don't mind. I put both the links to your nephew and Bella on my blog asking for cards. Barb

Snowmanlover said...

Hi again, I didn't even know you were doing blog candy. I posted the links on my blog, just to help, but now I see I can post their stories and their photos. Thinking of these two darlings. If I win, please pass mine on to a rehab center for kids!!

Darlene S. said...

I am very touched by this cause and I am finishing my cards tonight. I have posted this on my blog in hopes that more people will also send out some cards to these children. God bless you and these two special children!

Jessica L said...

I've posted about this on my blog ( and will send cards out ASAP. In the meantime, I'll be praying for them both.

God Bless,