About Me

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I have been stamping and scrapbooking for the past 10 years. It is my favorite hobby and I sure do miss it when life gets way too busy. I have 3 amazing children, and a wonderful, supportive husband.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Going Grey Challenge - Card for a Child

Good Morning Everyone...Happy Tuesday!!! Its time for another GREAT challenge over at Going Grey with ScrapCreations. This week we are having a very special challenge. Our challenge this week is Make a Card for a Child and of course to use Basic Grey. You are probably wondering why I said this is a special challenge. Well I am not sure if you read this story on Kristen's Blog but I would like to share it with you.
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!

My eyes fill with tears reading this story. We WOULD love if you joined our challenge this week to create a CARD FOR A CHILD or just mail these two very special children a card. Also Kristen is offering a BLOG CANDY to those who mail these two beautiful children cards. You can find all that info HERE.

So for my creations today I decided to do two cards, One for Ethan and one for Bella. I used Lime Rickey Basic Grey Paper for Ethan's Card and this adorable Wags N Whiskers Image Speed Racer... I used Green at Heart Basic Grey paper and this ADORABLE NEW Whimsy Stamps Digi in the Meljen's Design Collection called Woodland Fairy. for Bella's card. I am also entering Ethan's card in the Wags N Whiskers Challenge Distressing!!! Hope you enjoy my creations!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday!!!


Annika said...

It is a heartbreaking story. :( I hope your beautiful cards will bring some smiles into very challenging lives. Sending all my best wishes to them!

MrsANS said...

Wow, I will see what I can do to make them cards. Yours are so wonderful, they are going to love them!! I am praying for these children.

Annette Bowes said...

Wonderful cards Crystal, sure to bring a smile to these two very special children, our thoughts are with them, take careX:)

Karen Wilson said...

2 beautiful children and 2 heartbreaking stories. What a wonderful idea with the cards though. Thoughts and prayers are with the children and their families.


Cindy Haffner said...

Heartbreaking Crystal, many prayers for these Children. Your cards are DARLING. Hugs Cindy

Jodi Collins said...

OK...I am crying at work Crystal! I will get cards out to both of them asap!!!

Diane said...

I've sent them cards as well,they are true heroes in my eyes!
Your cards are super cute,I'm sure they will love them Crystal!

Dianne said...

Crystal, these stories are so heartbreaking. They make you so thankful what you have. The cards you made are beautiful and will bring smiles to their faces. I will remember them in my prayers. God has a special place for them.


Julia Aston said...

Oh my gosh Crystal - what brave children these are - your cards are just wonderful and I'm sure they will bring a smile to these lovely faces. - I'll gather up some cards to send off -

Allison Rankin said...

You did such a wonderful job on both...I am sure they will bring a smile!

Basement Stamper said...

The woodland fairy is so cute!!! Great cards and the kids will love them I'm sure!

Marlene said...

Heartbreaking stories, indeed....I have my two cards done already for them, and will be mailing them off tomorrow.

Deb Neerman said...

Omigosh, what beautiful children ... and such heartbreaking stories.

It's just wonderful that you're making and sending such beautiful cards, Crystal. Sending prayers to these beautiful kids and their families.

Have to see what I have in my stash to send off as well.

Have a great day, Sweetie!

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

Oh Chrystal!!These stories are so heartbreaking!!These cards should certainly put a smile on these childrens faces!!I love your cards!!They are stunning and i'm sure they will love them!!

Kerri said...

It's just so difficult and scary to imagine what these families are going through/have been through. Your cards are adorable, and will definitely bring a smile:)

Sue said...

Two gorgeous cards hun, they will certainky bring a smile to a little ones face hun, sue,x Such a sad story, i have nothing to complain about!!! sue,x

jdmommy - Anne Harmon said...

How blessed those of us with healthy children and grandchildren are. These are wonderful bright and uplifting cards for these children who face things we cannot dream of.

Beth said...

Love you cards Crystal, for two special children who have been through so much!

Peggy said...

These are perfect!!! I am sure they will brighten the kids day.

Stef H said...

my heart breaks reading their stories. your cards are just fabulous! those swirls on the pink card are totally awesome. do you get the impression i like swirls???? lol.

Nancy L. said...

OMGoodness!! Just heartbreaking!! I'll definetly will be making cards for both :) Your cards will be really fun for both :)

Mary C said...

I love these two cards Crystal. Ethan and Bella are also going to love them! That car is super cute and I love the little girl you colored. Fantastic job on the challenge this week so glad you suggested this theme.

Teresa Kline said...

thanks for sharing these stories Crystal...I will get a card out...have a wonderful week!

enjoy *~*

Christine Riley said...

Oh what heartbreaking stories, both children will be in my thoughts and prayers! Hugs!

Tammy said...

Om gosh Crystal this is just heartbreaking!! Your cards are going to put a huge smile on their faces!! Many prayers for these children and their families!

Lisa Lara said...

Oh Crystal, these are heart tugging stories. Goodness. Just when I feel a bit sorry for myself I see there are others that have far worse trials than I. Thank you for the opportunity to send a card to them. I love your cards. Hugs

Patti J said...

Thanks for posting this, Crystal. What sadness for both children. Prayers and blessings go up to them both. I will work on some cards tomorrow. Thanks again, Pj

cabio's craft corner said...

Cute and sweet cards. Crystal and of course you are so sweet too for doing these cards :o)

Amy Johnson said...

Such heartbreaking stories. I can't even imagine watching a child go through something like that. Your cards are wonderful! I especially love Ethan's card, its so bright and cheerful.

Debbie said...

Two Beautiful cards Crystal for such a worthy cause,My heart goes out to these 2 families,Hugs debbie x

Dawn B. said...

They are both such sad stories.. I hate it when kids have to endure this.. I will find some cards to send out.. Hugs

Lacey Stephens said...

Wow! What horrible stories to hear! It really makes me grateful for the health of my two children!! My heart and prayers go out to these families and I will surely get cards out to them.
I am also touched that you would use an image designed after my son to send to this little boy!!
Thank you so much for joining in our challenge last week. As you know, we have a blog hop and release on friday. We hope to see you there!!
I also need to get you information about your guest spot with us!! It's just been a little crazy over the past few weeks.
Wags 'n Whiskers Co-Owner

Lacey Stephens said...

Congratulations!! I am back again to let you know that you are the winner for last week's challenge!! I totally forgot to do this on friday. Please email me with your stamp choice.
If you can get a card done by friday and can use digis, would you like to be a guest for our blog hop? Let me know asap...the blog hop starts at 12:01amEST early friday morning.
Wags 'n Whiskers co-owner

Erin... said...

Thanks for sending smiles to Bella. Please join us again on Tuesday for week number 2 of the hops for Bella.