Posted 05/22/2017 by Alexa Pack
The last month has been marked by a great deal of waiting. For the past four weeks, Alli has returned to the clinic every few days expecting to be readmitted. Each time, she has been sent home for various reasons. Her counts have been too low to proceed, and she also had a strep infection.
It hasn't been all bad though! This prolonged period at home brought several fun experiences for her. Two weeks ago, Alli went to Charleston with her mom, and this past weekend, we enjoyed time together in Murrells Inlet.
Alli returned to the clinic this morning, and was readmitted. After accessing her port today, she'll begin a high dose methotrexate, followed by a lumbar puncture tomorrow. The methotrexate causes severe side effects for her, and typically requires a two week stay in her case. Please pray for her to tolerate this well.
Sadly, Alli was hoping to be out of the hospital for her prom on Wednesday. With this delay, it's not a possibility.
She is so beautiful and so brave. We are in awe of her serenity and courage, and equally grateful for our entire village.
Much love, Jennifer and Will
Sometimes We Just Make Lemonade (Jennifer)
Posted 04/02/2017 by Alexa Pack
Alli's oncology team decided on Monday to give her another week off from chemo. While this may set her finish line back a bit each time this happens, it is a much needed mental health break. Alli has enjoyed a few outings with friends throughout the week as she's felt up to it. Unfortunately, her temperature rose today, and she had to return to GHS for monitoring. It seems that the interactions of the week may have lead to her having a positive flu test. We remain hopeful that it's a mild case of the flu, as she has not been terribly ill from it thus far. She is back home at Kristen's and being treated with Tamiflu.
Also, it was an eventful week for Will and me. My cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) was previously scheduled for April 11th, but it became quickly apparent that surgery needed to happen sooner rather than later. I was worked in as an emergency on Thursday and am now home recovering. My parents have had the little girls since Thursday, and Will's parents are meeting him tomorrow on I-26 and taking them home to Myrtle Beach for the week while I'm on bedrest.
We have no needs, other than to keep our strong girl in your thoughts!! xoxo
Many, many thanks from Jennifer
Posted 03/20/2017 by Alexa Pack
What a weekend!!! Our All Daye Strong Blood Drive for Alli exceeded every goal we could have imagined! Will and I keep replaying all of the sweet faces we saw waiting in line - some for up to an hour - to donate blood in Alli’s honor. We will never forget this special day for our family!! Thank you for giving so generously. Thank you for helping us raise awareness for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. And thank you, thank you for supporting Alli. We had a great time texting her pictures throughout the day of friendly faces as they were lying in bed hooked to a bag of blood...just like she was that day when she was receiving blood!!!
The Blood Connection coordinator called me afterwards. He said our drive collected SIX TIMES the amount of blood as an “average” drive. Make no mistake: our village of family and friends is FAR from average!! And our brave girl is certainly not average either. You guys stocked the blood mobiles - two of which ran out of room in their storage coolers! - with 140 complete units of blood!!!! 167 people attempted to donate, and 88 of the total number of donors were first time donors. Those numbers just blow us away!! Whether we had a chance to speak or not, we have smiled several times as we’ve seen your name signing-up online or on the check-in sheets. We will never forget the kindness shown to us.
If you wanted to give blood but could not make it yesterday, Spartanburg Day School is hosting their drive for Alli on Wednesday. Please email email@example.com to schedule a time between 8:30am-12:30pm and 2-4pm. Also, you may donate anytime at any Blood Connection location in the Upstate and reference Alli Hoy’s account. The nearest location to friends and family in Spartanburg is at North Grove. There are signs directing you as you enter the parking lot.
Alli is nearing the end of the second round of chemo. Unfortunately, she remains in the hospital during this time when she would otherwise be outpatient. Her body just doesn’t want to expel the methotrexate after her chemo; the levels start to drop at first, but then plateau. The lingering methotrexate levels in her body cause the mucositis (ulcers of her mucus membranes). She’s been in a lot of pain this weekend and is back on pain medicine for that. Since it’s very difficult to speak or swallow, she’s receiving her nutrition via IV for now. She continues to receive frequent infusions of both whole blood and platelets - both for low hemoglobin and to promote healing.
In closing, we want to circle back on our earlier prayer request for her bone marrow biopsy. Alli’s recent biopsy revealed that the chemo, while horribly difficult to tolerate, IS killing the cancer!! Praise God!!!
**So much gratitude is owed to ALL the special friends who made the drive possible, most especially Jennifer Bauer and her team at Pig Out BBQ. Every time I called her to ask “Hey, can we bring ANOTHER blood bus??” she always said yes. No hesitation. Just yes. Her sweet daddy, Joe Crook, fought his own courageous battle with cancer, and he is smiling down from Heaven at Jennifer’s generosity. Please go eat some ribs with them this week!!
Overwhelmed - From Jennifer
Posted 03/14/2017 by Alexa Pack
Friends, Will and I are overwhelmed at the support for our upcoming Blood Drive for Alli. It will be held this Saturday, March 18th, at Pig Out BBQ #2 on Drayton Avenue. We set a goal of 80 units of blood for the drive. We will exceed that thanks to your generosity!!!
***With the large anticipated turnout, we are seeking friends to help us direct traffic in the parking lot at the event. Our dear friend, Lisa Norris, is coordinating a schedule of one hour shifts between 8:30AM and 3:00PM. If you are willing to help with traffic for an hour or two, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her what shift you would like. Shifts start on the half hour.
If you are planning to give blood, please be sure to hydrate well the 24 hours prior.
We encourage carpooling to Pig Out. Also, if you are able bodied, please park at the adjacent Drayton Mill parking lot. It is located on the same side of the road as Pig Out and just across the bridge. There is a sidewalk on the bridge, but please be aware of oncoming traffic. Disabled folks should park at the restaurant, and families with small children can park next door at the post office after Noon. We hope to keep traffic flowing well, but we need to reserve the restaurant lot for the blood buses.
We hope to see you!!
March 7, 2017 from Jennifer
Posted 03/08/2017 by Alexa Pack
In a previous post, we mentioned a bone marrow biopsy that would occur. That biopsy was done today (Tuesday) in conjunction with a lumbar puncture for her spinal chemo. The results of this biopsy will determine the current percentage of bone marrow involvement (cancer in the blood). At the time of her diagnosis, it was 30-40%. The oncologist and we are prayerful that these results will say ZERO. While that’s not an absolute zero at the cellular level, it will provide reassurance that the cancer is responding appropriately to the treatment.
Also, Timmy the (abdominal) Tumor, as affectionately named by Allison’s friends, is no more. A scan last week showed no trace of the tumor, which was an overgrowth of lymph nodes. Burkitts is a leukemia with lymphatic involvement so that’s why the tumor was lymph nodes and there are also cancer cells in the blood. Again, this is confirmation that the treatment is doing what it’s supposed to do. The chemo into the spinal column and cerebral spinal fluid will kill any cancer cells lurking in there as well.
Alli still has a hard road ahead. There are a lot of dynamics that are incredibly sad for her, particularly when she’s home from the hospital and more alert. However, we are encouraged by Timmy the Tumor’s death and trust that good news will be delivered from today’s biopsy!!
Posted 03/06/2017 by Alexa Pack
After a week at home, Alli has been admitted back to GHS (same room, same address) to resume the second round of her chemo. Please pray that this second round isn’t as hard as the first.
We are so grateful for all the love.
The address for cards and/or posters is:
Greenville Health System
900 W Faris Rd
5A, Room 5101
Greenville, SC 29605
Attn: Allison Hoy
New Meal Dates Added: April
Posted 03/02/2017 by Alexa Pack
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to bring a meal to the Hoys! It truly is overwhelming to see how many friends and family have come forward to help. What a blessing! New dates have been added for April.
Please note that a cooler is waiting outside on the driveway next to the garage. Dropping off the food between 5pm and 6pm whenever possible would be best (including the breakfast items). I am certain that Jennifer and Will would love to see and hug and thank each of you personally when you come by, but please resist the urge to call/text/knock. If they are at home the biggest gift you can give them is the gift of peace and rest by not disturbing them.
Thank you again!
Call for Donors from Jennifer
Posted 03/01/2017 by Alexa Pack
As you know, our oldest daughter Alli was diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia in January, and has been at GHS Children’s Hospital since then undergoing a very rigorous treatment. Will and I are hosting a blood drive in her honor on Saturday, March 18th at Pig Out #2. Regardless of blood type/match, all donations at this event will credit to Alli’s account. As part of Alli’s treatment, she is receiving regular infusions of both plasma and platelets. We would like to pay it forward and restock the blood bank in her honor AND there is a benefit to her account there as well. We have a lofty goal of 80 units. Will you help us reach that?
The Blood Connection asks that you sign-up for a time at the below link at your earliest convenience. Register here: https://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/102393 Walk-ins are accepted, but there may be a wait. They also request advance sign-ups so they know how many technicians to schedule for us.
The Facebook event page also provides additional information: https://www.facebook.com/events/303432090059850/. **Also, please feel free to forward this email and flyer.
Please give - for your children, for ours, and for all of our friends and family!
A Way to Help
Posted 02/23/2017 by Alexa Pack
Thank you to everyone who continues to inquire about ways to help Alli, Jennifer, Will, and their family. What a blessing you all are! If you've been searching for a tangible way to assist them, I may have the perfect opportunity for you!
On March 18th, The Blood Connection will host a blood drive at the Pig Out #2. Please consider donating blood on this day in honor of Alli. Not only will your donation assist someone in need, your blood will also contribute financially to the deficit accrued with Alli's frequent transfusions. What a wonderful way to relieve some pressure from the Hoys - at no monetary cost to you!
If you are in the Upstate of SC but unable to travel to Spartanburg or unavailable to donate on March18th, you can still be a part of this wonderful effort! Simply donate blood at any The Blood Connection center and indicate that it is for Alli Hoy's account.
Immediate action items:
1. Please go to the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/303432090059850/) for this blood drive and indicate that you are GOING;
2. Please SHARE the Facebook event to your own timeline in the hopes of getting the most support possible - be sure to add a personal comment about why Alli and the Hoys mean so much to you and how you plan to support this effort; and,
3. Don't forget to register for a donation time on the day of the blood drive by visiting The Blood Connection website at https://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/102393.
The Hoys have a goal of having 80 participants -- let's blow that away!! - ACP
From Jennifer and Will
Posted 02/22/2017 by Alexa Pack
You hear that saying and that hashtag (#cancersucks) on social media often, but wow, it’s so true.
Allison is still in the hospital. It’s been a hard 8-10 days. Her goals this week are to take a few steps each day and to eat a few bites of a milkshake. They are working to dial back the morphine so that she’s awake more during the day. She remains on oxygen for now.
Yesterday was a catch-up day from the spinal chemo she missed last week when not feeling well. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it happen, and will try again on Thursday under guided x-ray. This would finish her chemo for this round (I think).
Day 29 is an upcoming landmark for her. The bone marrow biopsy that day will determine how successful the chemo has been in killing the cancer. We need this new number to be very low, and have trust in God that it WILL be!
Logistically for us: today was the little girls’ last day of preschool. We made the decision to pull them out for the next 6 months to help mitigate some of the germs. Each new sniffle, cold, strep throat, etc. quarantines us for a week each time, and we want to be with our girl. We are grateful that Allison’s mother has been able to avoid germs and has stayed well!! We have a sweet Mary Poppins who will begin helping us in the next couple of weeks. If your child is exceptionally healthy, we would welcome playdates for the girls as they are going to be sad to miss their beloved “pea-school.”
For folks wishing to donate blood in the Upstate of SC, The Blood Connection has set-up an account in Allison’s name. Every donation - regardless of blood type/match - will credit back to our account. She is receiving a couple bags of blood every couple days. We would love to pay it forward to help replenish the blood bank, and there is also a monetary sum credited to our account for each donor who lists Allison when they give - either at a Blood Connection location here in SC or at an existing Blood Connection blood drive at a church/business/etc. Please reference “Alli Hoy”, and it will link to us. Will and I are also working to set-up an Alli specific blood drive in March. We hope to have details soon.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:28-29
An Update from Jennifer
Posted 02/13/2017 by Alexa Pack
Alli’s methotrexate levels were finally low enough to safely discharge her midday on Saturday. Unfortunately, she was only home for about 5 hours before her fever rose. She was readmitted back to her same room at GHS that evening.
Alli has a severe case of mucositis, which is the inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract and a common side effect of chemo. Her Dr described it as a cluster of ulcers. Allison’s are located down her throat, beyond the ability to reach with the prescription mouthwash and numbing gel. She cannot eat, drink or talk without extreme pain. **A very special friend of Alli’s returned home from a trip today, and jumped into action to make a boiled custard for her. The protein in the custard should be good for nutritional purposes, while still being easier to eat.**
She’s now on a morphine drip which also has her on oxygen constantly. Her discomfort level is extremely high.
Her next chemo treatments are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday. It seems as if she’ll remain in the hospital for awhile now.
Please pray specifically for Alli’s comfort - whether in the form of healing the ulcers or just the ability of the medicine to fight the pain.
Otherwise, our family currently has no needs. We are well cared for, but do covet your prayers for our strong girl.
Posted 02/09/2017 by Alexa Pack
We've come to learn that a "plan" in cancer treatment really means what we hope will occur if the stars align and the moon is right.
This past week, Will, the little girls and I have had a virus - thanks to our little preschool Petri dishes. We have been so sad not to be able to see Allison, but couldn't risk infection. Kristen and her mom are there, and sending frequent updates.
She's had a long week with IV chemo almost every day. On Tuesday, during her lumbar puncture, they attempted 11 times but couldn't get good cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) return in order to administer the chemo via the LP. Having 11 lumbar punctures in one sitting was certainly less than ideal. For now, the "plan" is to wait a week for her CSF to rebuild before attempting the next LPs.
Additionally, if everything works out, the plan is for her to go home on Friday for up to two weeks. She'll commute to the GHS chemo Clinic, but can be monitored on an outpatient basis while giving her some time at home.
Alli has now entered the phase where germ precautions are at their highest. Visitors will have to be at an absolute minimum. The little girls still haven't been able to see her either, but have enjoyed Facetiming and fighting over the phone.
If you've texted Alli and she hasn't responded, please know she's reading them. Your continued encouragement means the world.
Rumor has it that the amazing faculty at the Day School have put together "All In For Alli" tshirts for their AWESOME basketball team (can anyone say #1 high school recruit in the country??) and Alli's sweet, fellow cheerleaders to wear during warm-up tonight and at tomorrow's home games. If you're there and see them, please snap a pic and post to social media using #alldayestrong so we can show Alli.
So much love to our sweet friends!!
Posted 02/03/2017 by Alexa Pack
The oncologist laid out the chemo roadmap today. It will be 21 weeks of intensive chemo. Alli should be able to go home between some of the rounds. Some hospital stays will be 4-5 days and others will be 3-4 weeks. There is a total of 12 prescribed lumbar punctures, of which she's completed 2 already. Lots of medical talk, lots of knowns, and some unknowns. The goal is to have her home for a bit in about 2 weeks.
She received another blood transfusion overnight, and will continue to receive blood and platelets throughout the process. To the family and friends who have donated blood in her honor, thank you!! You have ensured that another person will also receive this precious gift!
We continue to be surrounded by so much generosity, and will have to work the rest of our lives to find ways to pay it forward!! - Jennifer
A Note from Will
Posted 02/01/2017 by Alexa Pack
I'm sitting at my desk with tears rolling down my face. First time I have actually logged on to look at this [Meal Train website]. I just can't believe it. Our biggest little girl is going to win this fight, and our littles are going to witness the power of love from so many. May God bless everyone who has said even the tiniest of prayers.
Reminders for Meal Drop-Offs
Posted 02/01/2017 by Alexa Pack
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to bring a meal to the Hoys! It truly is overwhelming to see how many friends and family have come forward to help. What a blessing!
Please note that a cooler is waiting outside on the driveway next to the garage. Dropping off the food between 5pm and 6pm whenever possible would be best. I am certain that Jennifer and Will would love to see and hug and thank each of you personally when you come by, but please resist the urge to call/text/knock. If they are at home the biggest gift you can give them is the gift of peace and rest by not disturbing them. <3
New Ways to Help (Diapers/Wipes/Breakfasts)
Posted 02/01/2017 by Alexa Pack
Good evening, everyone: Wow! What an awesome response from the Hoys' friends and family. I am sure they feel your love, prayers, and positive energy.
I have updated the calendar with more opportunities to help over the next two months, if you'd like to contribute.
For diaper/wipes dropoff: Please bring a small package (no need for Costco-sized boxes) of wipes and diapers on your chosen day. The Hoy girls use these brands and sizes:
Pampers Size 6 *Swaddlers or Movers style
Aldi Brand Size 6
Pampers Baby Dry Size 6
Pampers *Sensitive* Wipes in the white bag/box
If you would like to bring *small* breakfast foods, please do and leave them in the cooler outside of the door. Although large casseroles are very thoughtful, there just isn't space in the fridge. So, small disposable tupperwares of breakfasts foods and fruits would be best. Just enough for a day or so.
Again, thank you all for helping! This is awesome. #alldayestrong
Live Outside of Spartanburg?
Posted 01/31/2017 by Alexa Pack
If you live outside of Spartanburg but still would like to provide meals for the Hoys, please consider contributing to a group gift card to Hub City Delivery.
Hub City Delivery (www.hubcitydelivery.com) is a local business owned by friends of the Hoys. This service delivers food from local restaurants. By contributing to this group gift card, you will be giving the Hoys the freedom to order a delicious meal whenever they need it from a restaurant of their choice.
The Hub City Delivery staff is aware of this situation and is ready to help you. They will be keeping track of everyone who contributes so that Jennifer and Will can receive a list of participants. All you need to do is give HCD a call at 864-909-3793 or 844-HUB-CITY. Be sure to specify that you are giving toward the Hoy gift card ending in 1505.
A Note From Jennifer
Posted 01/31/2017 by Alexa Pack
Thank you ALL so much for all the love for Alli, Kristen, Will and me. It is felt especially in the most quiet of moments. All of the calls, texts and emails are so appreciated, even if we haven’t answered yet.
Updates will likely slow down as now it’s time to dig in and FIGHT THIS, so we wanted to send some logistical and actionable information.
Alli received her first dose of chemo via IV/port and via spinal tap (sedated) yesterday. The plan for this week is to repeat that, and the sedation, Wed and Fri. Now that chemo has begun, visits will slow down. While she loves the visits, her pain has increased. She’s also getting adjusted to her new normal. If anyone wishes to arrange a FaceTime or a visit, they should text Kristen at 398-9183. However, the best way to encourage Alli now is via text and cards.
“The Alli” merchandise line was launched last night by our friends at Fin First (www.finfirstmb.com). Alli loves their shirts and was very tearful last night when the design was unveiled. It incorporates her favorite things of mermaids, bonfires and the ocean. The company has pushed our first run of these shirts ahead of their other production, but the lead time will be approximately 2 weeks. If you would like to purchase a shirt, the link is here: https://www.finfirstmb.com/search?q=the+Alli, or can be found by searching “The Alli” on their website. There will also be a bumper sticker coming soon. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the BiLo Children’s Charities at GHS which funds many of the activities in Peds Oncology.
The address for cards and/or posters is:
Greenville Health System
900 W Faris Rd
5A, Room 5101
Greenville, SC 29605
Attn: Allison Hoy
Much love to you all,
Posted 01/30/2017 by Alexa Pack
As many of you know, Allison has been diagnosed with Burkitt leukemia with lymphoma. The treatment plan for now is chemotherapy. And lots of prayers from all of us.
Of course almost all of the Jennifer and Will's attention is now on Allison and her care. We would like to lessen their load by helping with meals and other daily activities where possible. Please check this meal train often for updates on ways that you can help.
We will also be updating this meal train with information on Allison's condition and treatment as it becomes available. The goal is for this site to become the place to visit for updates; we want to try to take the weight of communication off Jennifer and Will's shoulders. Please help us pass along updates where appropriate, and request that friends try to refrain from texting the Hoys for now. In that small way we can help them remain focused on Allison's care.
Thank you so much!