Where Every Child With CANcer Has A Voice….



Where Every Child With CANcer Has A Voice….

Khyrstin (Kyssi) Andrews was a very cheerful and energetic six year old who resided in Houston, TX, born on October 14, 2008 and has WON her battle, gained her wings and is resting peacefully in Heaven after being diagnosed three times with cancer. She was diagnosed at the age of three with a rare form of cancer called Wilm’s Tumor (kidney cancer) on May 1, 2012.

Khyrstin had NO prior symptoms or pain like many kids who are diagnosed. She was attending daycare every day, playing with her friends and being a perfectly normal 3 year old little girl (so we thought). She had started urinating blood and eventually started to experience some abdominal pain and on May 1, 2012 she was rushed to a nearby hospital emergency room where she was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor (kidney cancer). She was transferred immediately to another local hospital via ambulance for further diagnosis and treatment. Kyssi had two surgeries on May 4, 2012 (removal of her right kidney and the cantaloupe sized cancerous tumor and the 2nd surgery to place a portal catheter (port) in her chest).

Shortly after surgery was performed, she started a very aggressive/extensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment which consisted of 4 different chemo drugs. She had non-stop chemo treatments weekly since her treatments started in May. The last of her treatments were in November of 2012 and she was considered in remission on November 27, 2012 (such a GREAT day).

IMG_1739On March 1, 2013, Kyssi went back to the hospital for what I though would’ve been only her 3 month checkup and scans, not knowing that we’d return home with our lives and hearts changed yet “AGAIN”. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilm’s Tumor that had metastasized from her kidney (in both lungs) and was given 30-40% chance of survival. That was the “report of the doctors”….our heart and mind was made up to wait on the “report of the LORD”. Ever since that day, life has been ever so different for us. She had lung surgery to remove the cancer in her lung (which left her with one partial lung and one whole lung) and later was placed on a totally different chemotherapy regimen, which was so much stronger than before, and it kept her a lot sicker. Kyssi had multiple blood and platelet transfusions, MORE frequent hospital stays, constant abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and also the loss of her hair for the 2nd time due to treatments. She’s definitely the toughest kid that most people knew.

IMG_1740After tolerating chemotherapy and radiation well, on January 17, 2014, I was very PROUD, once again to announce to family and to our supporters that our little Kyssi was in REMISSION and has “Kicked CANcer in the Butt” for the 2nd time. Unfortunately that remission status didn’t last but only three short months. On April 10, 2014 Kyssi was due to have her 3 month scans done and was re-diagnosed with Stage IV Wilm’s Tumor that had metastasized in her lung again for the 2nd time on April 11, 2014 and at that point was given 20% chance of survival. May 12, 2014 Kyssi underwent her 2nd lung surgery (which left her with 2 partial lungs). After surgery, I was informed that here were NO MORE treatment options for her condition other than the surgery that she had just undergone….imagine being told that as a parent. Shortly after careful consideration and research, her AMAZING Oncologist offered (without being able to give any medical or definite guarantees) an “experimental” chemo treatment that is NOT necessarily for the type of cancer that Kyssi has. I opted to have the treatment and she did respond well to it but her doctor (along with other doctors) felt as if she needed more additional treatment outside of chemotherapy in an effort to remove as much cancer as possible from her body. At this point a stem-cell transplant was discussed, agreed on and prepared for.

February 17, 2015 Kyssi had another surgical procedure (central line placement in her groin) for the purpose of collection and harvesting her “own” stem cells. On February 18-20, 2015 the collection process started and ended. March 30, 2015 Kyssi was admitted and had another surgical procedure to have another central line placed and was ready for the month long hospital stay, HIGH dose chemotherapy treatment and stem cell transplant. March 31 – April 5, 2015 HIGH dose chemo was given daily.

April 6, 2015 Kyssi was given her stem cell transplant…..”RESTORATION DAY”!!!!!

IMG_1738April 7, 2015 Kyssi was admitted into the ICU unit because she had gone into renal (kidney) failure and would be required to have daily dialysis treatment. Shortly after being admitted into the ICU unit other major issues started to happen and more extensive treatment was needed. April 26, 2015 things started to drastically change with Kyssi’s health and she was intubated, transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital ICU for more extensive treatment and immediately started continuous (around the clock) dialysis treatment.

June 7, 2015, (7th, the day of completion) at 1:57am on a Sunday morning, Kyssi WON her battle against CANcer, became received her WINGS, became an ANGEL and is peacefully resting with GOD.

Cancer was a very cruel component of Kyssi’s childhood, but she still seemed to find a way to SMILE in the midst of adversity. Anywhere she went, at the tender age of 6, she NEVER met a stranger, she was “QUICK” to strike a pose and SMILE for the camera, she was so polite and very talkative and friendly no matter where she was or who it is that she came in contact with.

Kyssi’s Favorite Slogan:

***I’m Gonna Kick Cancer Right in the Butt***

Although she is dearly missed we are ever so BLESSED and GRATEFUL for all of Kyssi’s REMISSION statuses and the entire world was Blessed to be able to be a part of the daily SMILES, FIGHT, STRENGTH and journey of an earthly ANGEL via her popular Facebook and Instagram social media pages.

Kyssi’s story did not end, her LEGACY continues with the Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. Our organization that was designed with every child that’s fighting cancer and their families in mind. We know and understand from personal experience that a solid platform is needed to be a VOICE for children battling cancer, to provide much needed GLOBAL PEDIATRIC CANCER AWARENESS, happiness to children battling cancer and to help families with specific immediate needs so that they can focus on diagnosis without additional worries….UNITED WE STAND, TOGETHER WE CAN form a foundation that can and will meet the needs of those in need through contributions and fundraisers.