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A special wish for little Chase

Submitted by on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 10 Comments

chaseAs is the habit of kids a year and a half old, little Chase Schlenker had the world by the tail last fall during a trip to California for his aunt and uncle’s wedding in California.

His dutifully fulfilled his role as ring-bearer before throwing himself into the festive reception with a joy that comes naturally for toddlers but that we seem to lose as adults.

A few weeks later, he bumped his head on the playground back home in Missouri. The black eye looked nastier than it should, so his mother had his pediatrician take a closer look.

It didn’t look good to the pediatrician, either, who sent Chase for blood tests. Within 24 hours, Chase was on his way to St Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

The diagnosis: Neuroblastoma. It’s a type of cancer found mainly in infants and small children. Rarely does it strike those older than 10. It hits the nerve system, and sometimes the tumors disappear as mysteriously as they appear. That’s not what happened with Chase.

The little boy remained at St. Jude’s in Memphis, almost 300 miles away from the home his young parents, Candice and Nick, had bought just before he was diagnosed. His 5-year-old sister, Kaylee, keeps watch over him as well, demanding that any doctor entering the room tell her what’s going on.

Candice dropped out of nursing school to nurse her baby. Nick, a Navy veteran, worked in Missouri during the week and rushed back to Memphis on weekends to be with his family.

Late last week, there was hope for a new treatment. Doctors gave Chase massive dose of chemotherapy, a load high enough to kill off all his white cells. The next step would be a transplant of his own stem calls in hopes they would  take over. It was to be a painful procedure – it would make Chase very sick and force him into isolation afterward.

Instead, he began having seizures. A series of tests discovered tumors on his spinal cord and the lining of his brain. Chase has been sleeping under heavy medication since due to the intolerable pain he is in.

So now the Schlenkers are focused on making Chase’s remaining time comfortable and on fulfilling his dream – a trip to Disney and to visit his grandparents in California’s Central Valley.

Chase is too young for the Make A Wish Foundation, so his dream needs our help.

Candice has set up a Pay Pal account to accept donations to help pay for the trip.

Those who don’t feel comfortable donating online can mail checks made out to Nick Schlenker to 3364 Silverwood Dr. Escalon, CA 95320 – it’s Candice’s sister’s, Melissa’s address. She’s played an instrumental role in keeping family and friends updated online about Chase’s condition when Candice isn’t up to doing so.

Nick and Candice just want Chase “to be a kid again, no hospitals, no IV’s, no treatment,” Melissa wrote recently.

I don’t blame them at all. I think that’s what any parent would want for their child in that same situation.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • MtnMom said:

    I am so sad for this precious family. I will donate for the trip and pray. It’s so hard to understand why such little one’s have to get sick. The American Cancer Society is so very helpful. Maybe they can do some of what the Make a Wish Foundation cannot. This is just heartbreaking.

  • MtnMom said:

    The PayPal link did not work for me. Is there a glitch?

  • Genevieve said:

    Oh wow — my heart and love go to this boy and his family. I will spread the word. Let’s get this boy his wish!

  • Debra said:

    The link was my bad, MtnMom. Bad break in the URL behind the scenes. I think it’s fixed now – it’s worked three times in a row for me.

  • Cynthia Manuszak@yahoo.com said:

    I would be happy to donate my services to do photographs, portraits, family and single portraits. Please let me know if you would like this.


  • Debra said:

    Thanks, Cynthia. I’m passing your generous offer along to the family

  • Kelly Jones said:

    It’s not working for me, either. I’ll keep trying, might just send to address. Poor family. Thanks for the link.

  • Debra said:

    I’ve tried and tried on fixing that link. It’s up, it’s down. I’m hoping to get a better, reliable link, but I’d advise snail mail for the time being.

  • Leslie K. said:

    BLESS YOU ALL! Chase is my cousin’s nephew. He stole our hearts when we met him at their wedding and I can never EVER express my gratitude to all of you who are helping his family. YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!!

  • Leslie K. said:

    TEAM CHASE wants everyone to know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Chili’s will be donating a portion of their profits to St Jude’s, where Chase receives treatment…and if you eat there on September 28th, they will donate 100% of the profit to St Jude’s.