Ways to help the Stenson Family

My sweet niece, Charlie, was diagnosed with cancer the week before Thanksgiving. Charlie has had tummy and digestive issues for some time now and has been seen quite a few times to try and find the cause. After having a fever for a few days and not acting like herself, Emily and Derek (Charlie’s parents) decided to trust their gut and take her to the emergency room in hopes to find some answers. After multiple tests, scans, and hospitals, they finally received the devastating news that Charlie has stage 4 cancer. She has a tumor that is about 5 inches in her abdomen and the cancer has spread to her liver.

As of today (12/5) they have done two biopsies on the tumor, the first was non-invasive with just a needle to extract some of the mass, but a few days later they did a more invasive procedure where they did a 3" incision on her abdomen, removed 6-8 small tumors from the liver, as well as her omentum which had a larger tumor on it as well. There are still other small tumors as well as a larger tumor in her abdomen affecting her other organs. They received the official diagnosis on 12/2 that it's a Sacrococcygeal Teratoma. A germ cell tumor that is made up of a combination of malignant and benign tumors.

While it's a rare tumor, only about 100 kids a year get this type of cancer, it's treatable and they have a plan to do 3 months of chemo to shrink the large tumor, then remove the tumor surgically. Charlie will undergo surgery (12/5) for her port and begin 1 of 4 three-week chemo cycles on 12/6.

We will continue to keep everyone as updated as possible as we learn more (please check out Emily Stenson's Instagram/Facebook stories for more updates in real time: @emilyestenson). I know a lot of folks will be reaching out asking how they can help, here is a list of ways to help if you would like to:

PRAYERS: Please, first and foremost pray for Charlie and the Stenson family. This time is full of unknowns and anxieties, as well as watching your kiddo become sicker before they get better. If you can pray for strength and courage for the family, especially Charlie, that is a good place to start. If you don't pray, please send all the healing and positive vibes her way!

GO FUND ME: With hospital stays and treatment also come bills, gas expenses, and additional food costs. If you are able to contribute monetarily on top of your prayers, please do so on their Go Fund Me.

MEAL TRAIN: Next up, they are going to need some help with nutritious meals over the next several days, weeks, and months. I have set up a Meal Train where you can sign up for specific days to bring meals, as well as ideas for gift cards etc. They are going to spend a lot of days in the hospital, as well as a part from their youngest daughter. I will update the meal train as often as I can with their needs. They would love some fresh meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners) and freezer meals are also welcome! Please sign up on the meal train link and you can message Bailey (Derek's sister) baileycgordon@gmail.com to coordinate delivery! Here is a blog post of freezer meal ideas!

VENMO: If you'd like to gift something directly to Derek and Emily to grab coffee, snacks, etc from the hospital, Emily's Venmo is @emilyestenson. Venmo will ask, but you do not need her last 4 digits of her phone number as long as you feel comfortable donating without that. Just make sure to double-check that it's the correct username.

MARY BRIDGE AMAZON WISHLIST: There is an incredible playroom at the hospital where Charlie is receiving treatment and all of the toys and crafts are free for the kids to use in the playroom, bring back to their room, or take home with them. Mary Bridge has set up an Amazon Wishlist if you're interested in donating a toy or craft to the hospital this holiday season.

I will also be working to help the Stenson's set up their own Amazon Wishlist for things they may need while in treatment, but other ideas that are helpful are grocery gift cards, gas gift cards, Visa gift cards, etc.

COMING SOON: Ornaments, shirts, sweatshirts, and vinyl stickers where all proceeds will be given to the family.

HOLIDAY CARD ADDRESS LIST: If you would like to receive a holiday card from the family as a thank you for all the support, please fill out this google form. Only the Stenson family will see your info but they thought everyone would enjoy a photo of Charlie as they pray for her during this journey.

If you have any other ideas on ways to help, please feel free to let me know!



We're the Gordons!

Just a two people in love who also happen to have big traps and great personalities. Oh, and we are parents and want to share our journey with you!

Not great at blogging, but when I do it, it's worth it!

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