Meet Difference Maker: Caroline Schaler
Caroline was diagnosed with Stage 1 Embryonal Orbital Rhabdomyosarcoma in early December. She is currently undergoing a 12-week outpatient chemotherapy treatment at Riley Children's Hospital. After those 12-weeks, Caroline will head to Chicago for Proton Radiation for 5-weeks, and will return to RIley for 10 more weeks of outpatient chemo. Caroline's parents are hopeful that at the end of treatment, she will be free of cancer.
A Message from Caroline's Family
So this is the hardest post Lauren and I have ever had to make. We noticed Caroline had a puffy eye last week and thought it was a clogged tear duct, as she had one in the past. Then, this past Saturday, December 9th we took her to the doctor and received news that our beautiful, sweet Caroline is a little more sick than we hoped... As it turns out, she has the C- word; cancer. This is not an easy word to say, read or hear, but unfortunately it is a new normal for our little family. In fact, we are embracing the word and showing that we are not afraid of it as we prepare to go into this year-long battle.
The official diagnosis came in yesterday and it’s called Embryonal Orbital Rhabdomyosarcoma, Stage 1, Clinical Group 3. That’s a mouthful, but here is the lamen version: this is the lowest risk cancer possible and best case scenario we could have asked for. I like to call it, “the best news you can have for this worst case scenario” we are facing. She has a 90+% survival rate and a very good chance of having no long term issues with her vision. We start Chemotherapy today and will be doing 12 weeks of outpatient treatment here at Riley, then 5 weeks in Chicago for Proton Radiation, then 10 more weeks of outpatient chemo here at Riley. Hopefully at the end of the next 6ish months of treatment she will be free of cancer and back to a normal life. Thank you so much for the support and prayers! We love each and every one of you and know we will be strong and get through this with the help of our support system. We know everyone will probably have a little bit of shock after reading this, but we would like to ask that we keep the texts/calls/questions to a minimum over the next week or so. At least until we have a little stabilization and a good idea of what our new normal will look like. Obviously we would love to hear from everyone and we are not going to be upset by receiving texts and what not, but please don’t get offended if we don’t respond right away.
We do have a donational account already set up at my work, First Merchants Bank. This is an account we will use to help cover medical expenses and, if we receive more than we need, we will donate it to research. If you’d like to donate, please contact us or just go to a local branch and they will be able to help you. Also, we will have some wristbands available to people as they make donations. If you would like a shirt, please contact our sister Alyson Spille and she can get you the details. Our hashtag and motto throughout this journey will be #CarolineConquers because we know our girl is a fighter and she will conquer this thing with no problem.
Again we thank you all for your support!
The Schaler Family