Steelees is Sarah's big sister. Steelee is definitely a girly girl. She loves to do her and mine and Sarah nails and hair.
We are the Hardy Family and our youngest daughter Sarah Cole is our Courageous Kid! I want to start by saying how thankful our family is to yours! This has been a tough year for our family and your help is going to brighten it in a huge way. We can never express how truly thankful we are to you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Now a little bit about our brave tumor trooper and the rest of our family.
Sarah Cole was diagnosed with a Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (brain tumor) when she was 19 months old. I, Cassy Hardy, her momma, will never forget a moment of that day and everyday since. She had brain surgery to take out as much of this large tumor as possible as it was the size of a lemon on her tiny brain. The surgeon was able to remove about half the tumor. Surgery went well but when she woke up we discovered she lost her eyesight in both eyes completely. She had low vision at birth but it was there. The tumor began growing in utero and was tangled in her optic nerves. A few days later we found out that her tumor was in fact cancerous. She has had several more surgeries since. She had 5 ½ years of chemotherapy and in 2017 when the chemo stopped working she had 7 weeks of radiation therapy 5 days a week for those 6 weeks. She is mighty and fierce. If you were to meet our girl you wouldn't know she has been battling this disease and the lifelong effects it has left her with for 9 years. Sarah Cole is 10 years old now. I am so thrilled to say that since the radiation treatment in 2017 her tumor has remained stable and if it continues to stay that way for the very first time she will be in remission next year! As much as we celebrate that huge victory for her a slight shadow is cast because of the lasting effects the damage the tumor has caused our sweet girl. The past 3 years she has been battling these new unexplainable seizure-like events that come out of nowhere and can last for hours. Earlier this year we came close to losing Sarah Cole because she developed an ear infection that her body could not properly fight off due to the amount of the damage the tumor has caused. She was on a ventilator for a little over a week but thankfully with lots of prayer and her amazing team of doctors she made a full recovery; only losing some short term memory which has set her back in school quite a bit. She is working hard to gain back the skills and knowledge she lost.
Sarah Cole loves life and has taught me, our family, and so many more around her to appreciate every day, the good ones and the bad. We are a family of four - my husband Eric, our 13 year old daughter Steelee, our ten-year old Sarah Cole and me. We navigate our day to day pretty well now but it was very hard at first. We are blessed beyond measure to be surrounded by our incredible friends and family who lift us up in spirit whenever things get tough. My husband has taken on the role as the main financial provider. I work when I can, selling real estate but my main job in our household is being with Sarah Cole or Steelee when they need me. Being Sarah Cole's primary caretaker, means being away from work quite a bit. No matter how hard it is on Eric and I when Sarah Cole has a rough patch, I think it is hardest on her big sister Steelee. Her entire world was turned upside down when Sarah Cole was diagnosed. Not only was something wrong with her little sister but I was gone too, staying at the hospital with Sarah Cole for months and weeks at a time. Steelee knows that can happen at any time, so I feel like she stays on alert and I hate that for her; we do our best to ease that worry but it is hard. I am so very proud of Steelee! She does what she has to and even though she's scared and worried she carries on. We are so thankful for organizations like courageous kids and all they do for our family and families like ours. We are also so grateful for you and your generosity. Our girls are going to have a very happy and especially Merry Christmas all thanks to you and for that we cannot say thank you enough!!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!!