Apr 29, 2013 9:32 AM by Tracy Wirtz

Annalise's St. Jude Story

There are so many children from right here in Acadiana currently undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It's hard to imagine the strength it requires being the parent of a child with a life-threatening illness, especially when it's a toddler.

Tara Arnaud and her husband Drew know that feeling all too well. Tara says the initial shock was devastating, but a feeling of peace quickly came over her, thanks to a strong faith in God. However, 14 days after her daughter began chemotherapy treatments, her hair starting falling out, and it fell out fast. Tara says nothing prepares a parent for that shock.

Annalise was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma in January. She had a tumor the size of a soda can on her liver. Her only symptom was a hardness in her upper abdomen. Radiologic tests showed that there were small portions of it that spread to her lungs. Thankfully, surgical procedures and chemotherapy have shrunk the tumors, but another surgery will be necessary to remove the remainder of the tumor from Annalise's liver.

Tara, Drew and Annalise have made several trips to Memphis. Tara says they have never once questioned their decision to have Annalise receive care from St. Jude. She says they have had a plan every step of the way and describes St. Jude at "God-sent."

Annalise was scheduled for surgery on April 25th but, because of issues with her blood count, the doctors felt it prudent to postpone the procedure until she was stronger and her counts were more stable.

There are several children in Acadiana just like Annalise who are currently receiving treatment from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. You can help by reserving your St. Jude Dream Home ticket by calling 1-800-724-1918 or clicking the link here. If you reserve a ticket by Friday, May 3rd, you will also be in the Early Bird drawing for $2500 in groceries from Rouse's!



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