Local Children Dealing With Life-Threatening Illnesses
INDIAN TRAIL, NC- Two families… both learning to cope.
"We immediately moved from Texas to North Carolina to be closer to family because we needed the support," Deanna Bourgeault, Indian trail resident.
Not because of unemployment, high gas prices, or financial struggles.
These families share one thing.
"There's really no words to explain it when a child.. let alone someone his age is diagnosed with cancer. Life isn't fair, and we found that out the hard way, unfortunately," said Brian Fudge, Matthew’s resident.
Children under two years old with life threatening illnesses.
Liam Bourgeault is 13 months old. He has a rare form of cancer called hepatoblastoma, causing a tumor to form on his liver.
Liam’s friend Kaitlyn is 21 months old.
Kaitlyn was diagnosed a year ago with Niemann-Pick, a disease affecting only 1,200 people in the world.
"The typical life expectancy is between only two and four years old and Kaitlyn will be two in July," said Deanna Bourgeault.
Both families have changed their lifestyles.
Dawn Fudge is on leave from her job as a CMS teacher.
Deanna is now a full-time care giver for her daughter.
"The things we took for granted or complained about prior to having her diagnosis seem so trivial now,” said Bourgeault.
The two families came together for an event at Kate's Skating Rink in Indian Trail.
The organizer of the event hopes to not only raise money... but to send a message to be grateful for life.
"In the last six months, he's had two surgeries.. six rounds of chemo and 12 ."
Hospitalizations,” said Dawn Fudge.
For the Bourgeaults, they're cherishing every moment they have with Kaitlyn.
And the Fudge's say there's a blessing in all of this.
"He'll have his big scar on his belly and we'll be able to tell him one day in the future... hey man, you beat cancer," said Brian Fudge.