All proceeds go to supporting Katelyn!
Shirts are printed in groups at the end of each month, we will update you when your shirts ship! Thank you for your help!
From the Weirich's GoFundMe Page (Link Below!)
The question that many are asking, including ourselves, is how could such a sweet, silly, beautiful, compassionate, innocent little girl’s life change so quickly? Just days ago, Katelyn was outside playing on the backyard swings, riding her Ziggle down the sidewalk with friends and enjoying sweet summertime treats with her sister Kendall. We learned all too quickly that things would be forever changed.
On April 26 th , the Weirich Family gathered in Powell, Ohio to celebrate the fact that Rich and Bobbie, Jeff’s parents, had just moved back from Florida to spend more time with grandchildren, celebrate family milestones and be closer to family. Jeff, Tara, Kendall and Katelyn joined Uncle Jonny and Aunt Lauren at Rich and Bobbie’s new house to celebrate their homecoming for the first time. Katelyn seemed like her normal self, making silly faces with her Uncle Jonny and following every move of her big sister Kendall. When Katelyn was asked what she wanted to drink for dinner her reply was “What’s Kendall having?” in such the sweetest, innocent, little voice. Little did we know, the next few days would change the direction in all of our lives and we would face a drastic change.
On March 15th, Katelyn began saying that her side hurt and would run a low grade fever in the evenings. This was coupled with general fatigue which often began in the early evening . Katelyn had been seen several times by the family pediatrician and was working through various treatment protocols for commonly experienced childhood and seasonal illnesses. During the ride home from her Grandparents on April 26th, Katelyn complained again of abdominal and back pain, which prompted Jeff and Tara to schedule an additional visit with the pediatrician. They knew this was not normal and this needed to be investigated further. After a complete work-up was ordered, bloodwork returned with abnormalities, which required further medical testing. Katelyn was quickly scheduled to complete additional testing at Toledo Children’s Hospital and the results were devastating.
Doctors at Toledo Hospital determined that Katelyn had a large mass above her kidney, which was later suspected to be a cancerous mass, medically known as Neuroblastoma. Having evaluated medical specialists, children's hospital care facilities, and proximity to family, Jeff and Tara determined that the best location to seek further medical evaluation and subsequent care would be in Columbus, Ohio at the nationally recognized Nationwide Children's Hospital. On a day’s notice, Jeff and Tara packed up the family essentials and relocated to Rich and Bobbie’s new home to begin a series of medical visits the following day.
As the days went on, more and more tests, surgeries and evaluations were completed on sweet Katelyn. Only to complicate things further, this required a swab of the nasopharynx to ensure Katelyn was not a carrier of the Coronavirus. Everything happened so fast, and it seems as if this is a nightmare that we cannot wake up from. As we know now, Katelyn has been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and has already begun cancer treatments to slow the growth and reproduction of the cancer cells to which point the cancerous mass can be surgically removed. Additionally, treatment will include several rounds of chemotherapy, week long and month long hospital stays and costly medical treatment. As Katelyn was faced with the news that she would eventually lose all of her hair, her innocent reply of “It’s ok, it’ll grow back” made it hard to hold back the tears.
Katelyn is a tough little five year old girl. She is a fighter, a champion, one who is strong and resilient and one who will persevere in the face of this challenge. We are confident that with everyone’s love, support and prayers she will beat this terrible disease. We know that God has a plan for Katelyn, for the Weirich Family, and all of her supporters, that will strengthen the entire team in wake of this challenge. We are confident in God’s work as the ultimate healer and continue to pray tirelessly for a speedy and miraculous healing and recovery for Katelyn.
As the days go by, the medical bills begin to arrive for Jeff and Tara. Although they have yet to begin strategizing how to overcome this hurdle, this is a reality that must be faced in the weeks and months to come. In order to lessen the emotional stress and ease the financial burden from medical bills, travel costs to and from the hospital, and a potential permanent relocation from Perrysburg to Columbus and to provide the best treatment for Katelyn; any donation/gift that you are able to contribute is greatly appreciated. If you are unable to help financially, we ask that you please continue to pray for Katelyn.
The timeline for treatment and recovery isn’t being measured in days, weeks, or even months. It is measured in years. The days ahead for Katelyn and this family will not get any easier. With hope and a lot of prayers, each day is one step closer to complete healing. Thank you for your consideration in supporting this cause and we ask that you keep Katelyn and the entire Weirich family in your prayers as they support Katelyn in this battle.
Please consider donating to the Strong Like Katelyn Fundraiser as well here!