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Monday, February 22, 2016

Help for a local family

I first met Yvonne Whitehead over 10 years ago through a parenting group, similar to GSOFamilies, but before GSOFamilies existed. We bonded immediately as single moms, raising our kids and really striving to be excellent parents.

Yvonne has four children, ranging in age from 6-22, and her oldest son Donovan was recently diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2. This is a rare hereditary condition most often associated with acoustic neuromas. He currently has a total of 4 brain tumors, 2 of which are inoperable, plus numerous tumors up and down his spinal cord. He has trouble walking, seeing and has lost his hearing. 
Yvonne and Donovan
Donavan has a very long road ahead of him as he begins treatment. There are numerous doctor visits scheduled in the coming weeks as they assemble the best team for his care, and he had the first of potentially several surgeries this past week. Donavan's surgery went well, however, he is unable to breathe on his own so he is in the ICU heavily sedated. The doctors are concerned with him not moving his extremities. He has been battling a fever since surgery, but has responded to Yvonne's touch. 

Photo shared by Yvonne Whitehead, with the caption "Keep fighting baby!!"
All of this means that both Donovan and his mother will be out of work repeatedly and indefinitely.  The medical bills will keep adding up, even with insurance. Some of Yvonne's close friends set up a fundraising page for the family to help relieve some of the financial stress. Every little bit collected will help offset their expenses and lessen the tremendous burden they are now carrying.

Personally, I am sharing this story and asking anyone who is able, to please keep Donovan, Yvonne, Donovan's twin sister Dominique, and Donovan's younger siblings Dorian and Dakota, in your thoughts. They need all the positivity and people pulling for them as possible. Life is precious, and I can't imagine the turmoil they are going through as Donovan was active and healthy prior to this diagnosis just a few weeks ago. Feel free to share this story with your friends and family, there's power in numbers!

If anyone is inclined to make a financial contribution, the fundraising page is:  https://www.gofundme.com/donavanw

There is a meal train set up for the family here, if you'd like to help with a meal: https://mealtrain.com/dldo76

Yvonne also said gas gift cards and grocery gift cards would be a help to her family, as she is trying to care for her three children at home, her son in the hospital, and herself. Please mail to Yvonne Whitehead, 118 Knott Street, Winston Salem  NC 27105. Perhaps your children could create a cheerful picture to mail to the family as well? 

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