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(10,442 posts)
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 12:14 PM Jun 2023

My Family Needs Your Help

Never did this before but the life of my granddaughter hangs in the balance. Certain events humble you. This is one of them.

Cassandra, my three-year old grand baby was diagnosed with liver cancer four months ago. She has received 5 rounds of chemotherapy and withstood every medical intervention and insult with an elvish smile and silent giggle. The ‘silent’ part is due to the ventilator and trach she has endured most of her short life. As a preemie, she was handed a rough hand—defective heart (corrected), damaged lungs (healing) and now this: cancer.

But as Dickinson wrote: Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Though initially turned down for a liver transplant at Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital (CHOP), Cassandra is scheduled to be evaluated by Pittsburgh’s pediatric team of surgeons and oncologists. They believe they can get this done.

We’ve gone from grim days to hopium days.

The problem is financing the outside medical costs. Insurance covers a goodly portion but most people know, what’s not covered can break a family’s back—medical transport, food, lodging, etc.

So, I’m asking for any assistance the DU community might be able to offer. A friend of my son and daughter-in-law has started a GOFUNDME page. You’ll see a pic of Cassandra there. We’ve nicknamed her the Warrior Princess. It’s a name the child has earned a hundred times over.

Anything donated will be deeply appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Peggysue, aka Nan to this sweet but remarkably fierce baby


My Family Needs Your Help (Original Post) peggysue2 Jun 2023 OP
Done and sending love! MLAA Jun 2023 #1
Thank you so much, MLAA peggysue2 Jun 2023 #2
Don't look now, but your sweet reply made me dig deeper MLAA Jun 2023 #3
You're making cry all the more, MLAA peggysue2 Jun 2023 #16
I'm crying already, Peggysue/Nan.. Cha Jun 2023 #11
Thank you, Cha. peggysue2 Jun 2023 #19
Done! Hugh_Lebowski Jun 2023 #4
Thank you, Brett peggysue2 Jun 2023 #21
Done. Wish I could affford more but I know you will reach you goal. That little girle deserves ratchiweenie Jun 2023 #5
Thank you, ratchiweenie peggysue2 Jun 2023 #23
Done. marybourg Jun 2023 #6
Thank you, marybourg! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #24
Knr GPV Jun 2023 #7
Thanks, GPV peggysue2 Jun 2023 #26
If she gets accepted into care in Pittsburgh, contact Family House-- Wingus Dingus Jun 2023 #8
Thanks, Wingus peggysue2 Jun 2023 #28
Done mgardener Jun 2023 #9
Thanks so much mgardener. peggysue2 Jun 2023 #29
I scrounged up a little. pandr32 Jun 2023 #10
Much appreciated, pandr32 peggysue2 Jun 2023 #36
Done. Wish it could've been more. catbyte Jun 2023 #12
Anything donated will be received with utmost gratitude, Catbyte peggysue2 Jun 2023 #37
Marta and I just kicked in Omaha Steve Jun 2023 #13
Thank you, Steve and Marta peggysue2 Jun 2023 #30
Your welcome Omaha Steve Jun 2023 #42
Done Mickju Jun 2023 #14
Thank you, Mickju peggysue2 Jun 2023 #38
Donated and shared to my Facebook page radical noodle Jun 2023 #15
Thank you, radical noodle peggysue2 Jun 2023 #39
Please keep us up-to-date radical noodle Jun 2023 #59
I promise! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #61
Also done people Jun 2023 #17
Thanks, people! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #40
Done! Glad I can help little Cassandra. ♥ nt CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2023 #18
Awww, thank you Peggy peggysue2 Jun 2023 #41
K & R...nt Wounded Bear Jun 2023 #20
Thanks for the support, Wounded Bear peggysue2 Jun 2023 #48
K&R Bayard Jun 2023 #22
Thank you, Bayard peggysue2 Jun 2023 #49
Done. Give warrior princess a gentle hug for us. Best wishes, ED Evolve Dammit Jun 2023 #25
Thank you, Evolve peggysue2 Jun 2023 #50
My youngest daughter is the same way! Evolve Dammit Jun 2023 #66
Donated. CHOP cared for my kids when they needed it. Best wishes. TheBlackAdder Jun 2023 #27
Thank you, BlackAdder peggysue2 Jun 2023 #51
Pittsburgh's a great hospital. It stinks it would take you guys 5 hours or so to get there. TheBlackAdder Jun 2023 #62
Done. May she look back on this as the beginning of a long, healthy life. nolabear Jun 2023 #31
Your lips to God's ear, nolabear! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #52
I only wish I had more to give UpInArms Jun 2023 #32
I promise to kiss her loads on the next visit, UpInArms peggysue2 Jun 2023 #53
Donated. Every little bit helps. Jump in DUer. usaf-vet Jun 2023 #33
Exactly, usaf-vet. Every little bit adds up and helps peggysue2 Jun 2023 #54
I donated and hope she comes through with flying colors. ♥️ ♥️ ♥️ a kennedy Jun 2023 #34
Thanks a kennedy peggysue2 Jun 2023 #55
Donated, and.... SergeStorms Jun 2023 #35
Hey SergeStorms! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #73
Done Cadfael Jun 2023 #43
Every little bit adds up, Cadfael peggysue2 Jun 2023 #56
This grandmother sends much love. redwitch Jun 2023 #44
Yup, Grands and Nans and Mom-Moms need to stick together peggysue2 Jun 2023 #57
I went from zero grandkids to 6 in the last several years. redwitch Jun 2023 #65
How lucky for you, redwitch! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #68
Done and wishing all of you the very best. tanyev Jun 2023 #45
Done, Nan PeggySue :) halobeam Jun 2023 #46
Yes, Nan Peggysue is who I am now peggysue2 Jun 2023 #58
So very welcome! ❤️ halobeam Jun 2023 #67
I see you've posted almost 10,000 times. Seems legit. I've donated just a little. LAS14 Jun 2023 #47
Hard to believe I've posted that many times, LAS14 peggysue2 Jun 2023 #60
Done leftyladyfrommo Jun 2023 #63
Thank you, leftyladyfrommo peggysue2 Jun 2023 #69
done; K&R for the fierce baby! Skittles Jun 2023 #64
She is that, Skittles peggysue2 Jun 2023 #70
kickass gene is a real plus in us gals Skittles Jun 2023 #76
LOL!! peggysue2 Jun 2023 #77
Donated sellitman Jun 2023 #71
Thank you for the donation, sellitman peggysue2 Jun 2023 #74
Kicking and Rec mvd Jun 2023 #72
I will most definitely pass on the healing vibes to our baby girl, mvd peggysue2 Jun 2023 #75
Best of luck to Cassandra and her family FakeNoose Jun 2023 #78
Thanks for that, FakeNoose peggysue2 Jun 2023 #79
Kick Sky Jewels Jul 2023 #80
Thanks, Sky Jewels! peggysue2 Jul 2023 #81
You're welcome! Sky Jewels Jul 2023 #82
Kicking for exposure. redwitch Jul 2023 #83
Thanks once again for your support, redwitch! peggysue2 Jul 2023 #84


(10,442 posts)
16. You're making cry all the more, MLAA
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 01:50 PM
Jun 2023

Thank you for the generosity and love. Won't be forgotten.


(291,476 posts)
11. I'm crying already, Peggysue/Nan..
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 01:22 PM
Jun 2023

your Granddaughter's brave struggle is so eloquently written.. I wish her and your family the very Best Healing & Recovery for the little one.


(10,442 posts)
19. Thank you, Cha.
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 01:59 PM
Jun 2023

This child deserves eloquence. Her struggles have been mighty but her deposition is extraordinary. If anyone had the right to wave tiny, angry fists at the Universe, it would be Cassandra. Instead, she smiles and dances to her favorite songs. She loves, loves music, even in the hospital. The nurses come in for periodic dance parties with Cassandra in the lead, of course. Anything with half a beat gets her up on her feet. Which is probably a good thing.

Thanks for the good wishes and blessings!


(7,689 posts)
5. Done. Wish I could affford more but I know you will reach you goal. That little girle deserves
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 12:30 PM
Jun 2023

a real chance after all she has been through.


(10,442 posts)
23. Thank you, ratchiweenie
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 02:12 PM
Jun 2023

I agree, btw. Our fierce baby girl deserves a chance; she's certainly worked for it, over and over. Cassandra has surprised family and friends, even the medical teams that have worked on her behalf--she refuses to give it up.

She's my new pint-sized hero.


(10,442 posts)
28. Thanks, Wingus
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 02:29 PM
Jun 2023

My daughter-in-law heard about The Family House from someone associated with Pittsburgh Children's. Her worry is how long of a stay she might need once Cassandra's accepted (and yes, she's firm that acceptance is a happening thing ). Certainly beats the scattered chances of the McDonald House which we understand is first come first serve and btw, we're always full.

The logistics of these things can drive you nuts. But we'll get it done, one way or the other.

Thanks for the support!


(10,442 posts)
29. Thanks so much mgardener.
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 02:31 PM
Jun 2023

Trust me, my son and his wife will be ever grateful. As am I.

And yes, I'll keep the community updated.


(10,888 posts)
10. I scrounged up a little.
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 01:21 PM
Jun 2023

It makes me so angry that health care in this country is as it is. So many are in the shoes of your family.
Sending positive energy your way. I hope your granddaughter gets through this with flying colors.


(10,442 posts)
36. Much appreciated, pandr32
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 03:58 PM
Jun 2023

Every bit helps. And yes, the healthcare system in the country is appalling and can be overwhelming, financially and emotionally, particularly when you're looking at catastrophic medical care.

Btw, the positive energy is valuable, too.


(10,442 posts)
37. Anything donated will be received with utmost gratitude, Catbyte
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 04:11 PM
Jun 2023

My son and his wife have been living a 'rob Peter to pay Paul existence' since Cassandra's birth. Most of us have been there but when the bills are never-ending whoppers, it begins to take a toll. This is the first time my son and daughter-in-law have reached out beyond the family. After three years, the prospect of ever-more medical expenses is keeping my son wide awake at night. He keeps saying he's going to have a heart attack from stress alone. I try to brush those comments off but still I worry; he will always be my baby boy.

So, long-winded way of saying: every dollar helps and is truly appreciated.


(10,442 posts)
61. I promise!
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:54 PM
Jun 2023

After everyone's generosity and kindness, it's the least I can do. This community has a big heart. Love you guys!


(10,442 posts)
50. Thank you, Evolve
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 09:41 PM
Jun 2023

Though Cassandra doesn't go for gentle hugs. It's big bear hugs and sloppy kisses. She's that kind of warrior.


(10,442 posts)
51. Thank you, BlackAdder
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:05 PM
Jun 2023

CHOPs is a damn fine pediatric medical institution. Which was why it was so disappointing to have Cassandra turned down, a gut punch. Oddly enough, my son insisted on a chat with the head surgeon; he wanted to know the specific why of the matter.

Shortly after the outreach from Pittsburgh and Boston, my son and the surgeon did have that conversation. And surprisingly, the surgeon walked back the initial assessment. The difference? He met Cassandra in the flesh and was astonished at her energy, her vitality after 5 rounds of chemo. She was bee-bopping down the corridor with her shopping cart and headphones (nurse in attendance, of course). Then the surgeon reexamined the child's file--her blood work, tumor markers and scads of imaging after which he decided he'd made the wrong call. He admitted this to my son for which I think he deserves a good measure of credit. By then, the plans were in motion.

So, Pittsburgh it is. Who knows? Maybe it was fated to be Pittsburgh all along.

Thanks for the support and good wishes!

Btw, one thing this journey has done is refresh my memory about how critical it is for any patient, child or not, to have strong medical advocates pushing for the best care and asking the hard questions. My son and daughter-in-law get an A+ in that department.


(27,595 posts)
62. Pittsburgh's a great hospital. It stinks it would take you guys 5 hours or so to get there.
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 03:41 AM
Jun 2023


I misread the initial post, thinking you were going to CHOP.

I hope I did not come across as being callous.



(10,442 posts)
52. Your lips to God's ear, nolabear!
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:06 PM
Jun 2023

It's what the family has been hoping for from the start. Thanks so much for the support and kind wishes.


(10,442 posts)
54. Exactly, usaf-vet. Every little bit adds up and helps
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:16 PM
Jun 2023

Thanks so much.

Btw, I spoke to my son earlier this evening and he was astonished by the donations. In a happy, relieved sort of way.


(18,423 posts)
35. Donated, and....
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 03:03 PM
Jun 2023

wishing little Cassandra all the love and best wishes I can give.

Good luck to her entire family!


(10,442 posts)
73. Hey SergeStorms!
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 01:30 PM
Jun 2023

I know I wrote you a thank you but I obviously forgot to hit the 'post' button. My brain before my first cup of coffee, perhaps.

In any case, thank you for the support. Much appreciated!


(14,871 posts)
44. This grandmother sends much love.
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 07:49 PM
Jun 2023

Just donated a wee bit. May Cassandra soon dance in excellent health


(10,442 posts)
57. Yup, Grands and Nans and Mom-Moms need to stick together
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:34 PM
Jun 2023

Got a report tonight. Cassandra was cruising the corridors again with her shopping cart and Taylor Swift on her recorder.

Thank you for the kind words and support.


(14,871 posts)
65. I went from zero grandkids to 6 in the last several years.
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 06:29 AM
Jun 2023

Two now teenage girls from DIL’s previous marriages, a 3 year old girl and triplets( 2 boys and a girl)born almost a year ago. I would give them my last breath if they needed it. I can’t bear to think of any of them going through what Cassandra is going through. Please keep us updated when you can, we are all sending so much love to your family!


(10,442 posts)
68. How lucky for you, redwitch!
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 09:10 AM
Jun 2023

I, too, have two grandchildren (sons) from my daughter-in-law's first marriage. Cassandra, however, is the first child between my son and his wife. Don't tell the boys but . . . this baby girl holds a special place in my heart.

Promise updates!


(10,442 posts)
58. Yes, Nan Peggysue is who I am now
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:39 PM
Jun 2023

Waited long enough for this baby girl. No way am I letting go.

Thanks for the support, halobeam!



(13,629 posts)
47. I see you've posted almost 10,000 times. Seems legit. I've donated just a little.
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 08:12 PM
Jun 2023

How do the rest of you judge the legitimacy of such appeals?


(10,442 posts)
60. Hard to believe I've posted that many times, LAS14
Thu Jun 29, 2023, 10:51 PM
Jun 2023

Think I joined DU during the 2016 primary (big Hillary fan here). I'd need to check the record. However, I've often shared your concern about legitimacy on some appeals. Think you just have to follow your gut and heart in these matters.

Appreciate the support!


(10,442 posts)
70. She is that, Skittles
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 09:18 AM
Jun 2023

Fierce! I doubt most adults could/would handle what she's been through with such aplomb. Maybe there's a stubborn gene I passed along to my son, and then to Cassandra.

I knew that gene would come in handy!


(152,104 posts)
76. kickass gene is a real plus in us gals
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 03:49 PM
Jun 2023

I'm sure Cassandra will sail through with gusto, what a sweetie pie


(10,442 posts)
77. LOL!!
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 04:44 PM
Jun 2023

Kick-ass gene! I like that even better.

Thanks for the note. Made me laugh, always a good thing.


(65,025 posts)
72. Kicking and Rec
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 12:10 PM
Jun 2023

I just chipped in some. I really wish I could have donated all the way to your goal. Best wishes to you and your family and sending healing vibes to your precious girl.


(31,336 posts)
78. Best of luck to Cassandra and her family
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 04:56 PM
Jun 2023

The doctors in Pittsburgh are extraordinary and sometimes they're even miracle workers.

Your DU family cares and wants to help. Thank you PeggySue2 and may God bless!


(10,442 posts)
79. Thanks for that, FakeNoose
Fri Jun 30, 2023, 05:22 PM
Jun 2023

Message like this always makes me tear up.

In fact my son said last night: I can't believe all these people giving donations, most of whom I don't know, who wouldn't know me from Adam.

My reply was that DU has a very big heart and extended that heart to me, to you, but more importantly to our baby girl.

Can't tell you how grateful we are. Hopefully, my personal thank you notes are an expression of that.

And yes, Pittsburgh has sterling credentials. We're counting on Cassandra's quick acceptance (with bated breath, of course). However, the initial feedback on her scans, tumor markers and blood work has been encouraging.

Thanks again!

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