Jena Doak, [email protected]
Rock Springs, Wyoming — There is nothing worse for a parent than receiving their child’s cancer diagnosis. There is nothing worse for a baby than having surgeries and chemo, only to have the tumor resurface each time.
After another recent surgery, four-year-old Ivie Tate’s parents, Mercedes Guilford and Antwon Tate, believed that their beautiful, happy little girl had finally beat the very rare Wilms tumor. They walked into the clinic with high hopes and happiness. What they were told was the most terrifying news a parent could ever receive.
In just a few short weeks, a perilous tumor had once again developed. It is behind her sternum near a lung, and has attached to her spine.
“It’s been very tough, and nobody expects to hear that,” said Ivie’s grandmother, Stacie Anastos. “It is hard enough as a grandparent. I cannot even fathom what my daughter and son-in-law are going through.”
“She can no longer be cured,” were the words of Ivie’s doctor. The doctor said that although the goal was once to save their precious child, now the goal was to keep her comfortable. The only option to hopefully extend Ivie’s life is to put her under radiation for two weeks, which began on January 31.
“We really don’t have any options,” said Ivie’s mother, Mercedes Guilford. “We hope the radiation will extend her life as much as possible.”
“Right now, we’re just trying to give her the best we can to make sure her last few months with us is the best it absolutely can be,” said Anastos.
In a recent Facebook post, Guilford wrote, “I want to make the next few months extremely special for Ivie because we truly don’t know what her journey holds, or when and if it will come to an end.” Guilford and Antwon want to take their beautiful, lively, little hero and Ivie’s two sisters to Disneyland and Sea World in California. They hope to do so in March.
“Ivie knows she is going to meet Mickey Mouse,” said Guilford.
First, after Ivie’s two weeks of radiation, the family will spend time in Mississippi with Antwon’s family, who have never seen the three little girls.
These vacations will be costly, and Guilford will need to take time off work in order to help make Ivie’s little life as fun for Ivie as possible.
The family needs the community’s help. Little Ivie’s Gofundme account, “Ivie’s Tate’s Fun Fund,” is one of the places where people can go to contribute to Ivie’s life.
“All donations go to making sure Ivie has fun and gets the best out of her little life,” Guilford said on Facebook.
There is also a bank account and a Venmo account for donations. Interested residents may go into Trona Valley Bank in Rock Springs to deposit money into an account under the name of Ivie Tate.
Guilford’s Venmo address is @mercedesrenee8.
Their Cash App address is $MissTate8.
Also, the family has a few fundraisers planned to benefit their little hero.
The family is hosting a Sunday morning brunch for $10 a plate, February 6 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Rock Springs, located at 211 B Street, between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
A bake sale fundraiser will take place the weekend of February 12. This will also be at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Rock Springs, located at 211 B. Street.
“Ivie’s Birthday Bash,” a belated fourth birthday party, will be held on Sunday, February 20, at 12:00 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles. There will be a large piggy bank on the table for donations. The family does not know if Ivie will make it to her fifth birthday.
“There are so many people who know Ivie through her Facebook page, but I wish everybody knew her because she is really amazing,” said Anastos. “She’s a warrior. There is nothing that has brought her down, not her surgeries, not her chemo. She’s just a bright little girl. She’s our hero.”
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