Organized by: Carrie Burden Tallent
EVENT DATE Nov 05, 2016
If you know Kelly Laco, you know she is a woman who is nothing less than an angel on Earth.
Some of you may or may not know, but Kelly has Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL), a genetic disorder that frequently causes formation of tumors and cysts in many different parts of the body. Tumors may be either noncancerous or cancerous and most frequently appear during young adulthood; however, the signs and symptoms of von Hippel-Lindau syndrome can occur throughout life.
When Kelly was 15, they found a tumor called a hemangioblastoma in her brain. This type of tumor is basically a large bundle of newly formed blood vessels. Right now it has not led to complications and has had little to no impact on her cognitive and motor abilities.
Also at age 15, Kelly had retinal angioma that was found in the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. This type of tumor led to vision-loss in her left eye. She had her left eye removed in 2009 and has a prosthetic implant.
In early 2016, Kelly was diagnosed with tumors and lesions associated with her VHL on her kidneys, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
The tumors on her adrenal glands are called pheochromocytomas, and caused great imbalance of her hormone regulatory functions and body-chemistry. Both of her adrenal glands were surgically removed in September. The surgery was successful and she is recovering well. She is now on hormone-replacement therapy and will take two different medications every day, for the rest of her life.
The lesions on her pancreas are called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. These continue to grow, and there is danger of spreading to the liver and surrounding tissue. There are very serious risks involved with pancreatic cancer, and needs to be addressed soon. In January 2017 Kelly will have another very invasive surgery, called a Whipple, to remove a large part of her pancreas. It is not known until after the surgery whether she will need chemo and/or radiation after the procedure.
Right now, Kelly’s kidneys are functioning, despite the cysts that are present. But in the coming years, her kidneys will likely fail, requiring removal of both. And Kelly will then have a life-time of dialysis treatments to keep her alive.
If you know Kelly and Kelly's family, you know how much they have given back to the community, the autism community, the schools and so much more. Kelly's husband, Joe, is a servant for humanity and this Earth. Working for the CDC, he is deployed frequently to places as far as Africa to stop Ebola. They have two children - Jake and Becca. Kelly, Joe and Becca fight for their son Jake as well. Jake is the sweetest, happiest and always the life of the party with Autism. Fighting for your life, while fighting for your childs rights is something they live with daily.
While VHL is robbing Kelly of her time with her family and her life, it is wreaking havoc on their finances. Insuranced doesn't cover everything, Kelly needs prayers, yes, but she and her family need more. Kelly has given so much to her family, friends and community. She needs our help now!
She can't do it alone! Please! I'm hoping through your action and support, we can help fund her expenses for the next year.
Please, this world cannot afford to lose this beautiful and compassionate woman!