Welcome to the Fundraising Page of Isabella Vahanian
Our Little Champion, Isabella, is now celebrating 7 years in remission following 8 months of in-hospital chemotherapy to treat for AML Leukemia. Many of you know Isabella also has Down's Syndrome and had a successful open-heart surgery at 4 1/2 months old. At the beginning of 2016, our Little Champion was hospitalized for viral pneumonia for 12 days.
This year, we've happily been back to the hospital only for follow-up exams which have all gone great. While viruses have kept Isabella home for about 90% of rpast school years, we've seen change since the 2016/2017 school year. On a medically recommended modified school day of about 2-2 1/2 hours per day, Isabella set new attendance records. This year she's nearly doubled her time in school with consistent 3 1/2 to 4 hour days. She’s learning, she’s having fun and thriving in her school experience more than ever.
Our hope is to keep you up-to-date with her life moments, challenges and celebrations. Remember, you can even help by just sharing these posts with your circle of influence.
Please know that your Prayers and sending of Love & Light for Isabella and our family's wellbeing is always treasured and makes a meaningful difference!
Heartfelt Gratitude ~
Gregory, Wendy, Gabriela & Isabell
The Vahanian Family
My Personal Web Log
Abundant Blessings of The Season
Hope you've been enjoying a nourishing Holiday Season 2017. Each year this season has a way of highlighting the riches of the spirit that seem to flow in our lives so abundantly. Gabriela has her 16th birthday on Friday and has grown into a lovely and luminous young woman. Isabella has been enjoying a 4 1/2 hour school day which is twice what she could handle a year ago.
As Wendy and I shared a heartfelt conversation in the children's room last week, Isabella entered and attuned to the sacred, tender toned and loving nature of our exchange. She found a tissue to dry the tears in my eyes and as Wendy and I stood to embrace, Isabella beaming declared, "Christmas Spirit." She said it clear as a bell. One of the gifts Isabella brings on a daily basis is the presence of Christmas Spirit. Wishing you & yours plenty of that which most nourishes and fulfills you now and throughout the year.
In Gratitude ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Tue, Dec 26, 2017 @ 8:56 PM
Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah!!!
Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah, All!!! Every year we find ourselves residing remarkably deeper in our experience of loving and gratitude for the blessings in our lives. We have a special treat every year when Santa comes to our home on Christmas Eve to join us for dinner before he time warp travels around the globe delivering presents. Last night was sweet with Wendy's dad, Papa George, her sisters, Bambi and Debbie and Santa himself. Gabriela & Isabella got up this morning with great enthusiasm to open up the gifts brought by Santa. While there was an abundance of wonderful and greatly appreciated presents --- the richest gift for all of us is The Presence. The Loving that continues to blossom and grow in a way that nourishes beyond measure. If you're reading this now, may you enjoy the sweet soul nourishment of Love in ways that bathe, blanket and bless you and your treasured ones beyond measure. Your interest, caring and generosity are greatly appreciated!
by Gregory Vahanian on Sun, Dec 25, 2016 @ 11:01 PM
December 22, 2017
Happy Holidays, All!!!
Isabella and Gabriela are home for three weeks for winter vacation. In recent weeks we've heard Isabella articulate some phrases quite clearly which is one of the thrills and benefits of her speech therapy. Two weeks ago she told her sister, "Get off of my balloon." We were astounded by the clarity of her speech. A fun moment! She's missed a few weeks of speech therapy as she and her therapist have each had colds. Soon to resume. The modified school days at a couple of hours at a time are working well for Isabella and her teachers are warm and wonderful. The blessings abound!
by Gregory Vahanian on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 11:24 PM
December 8, 2016
Well, earlier this school year, Isabella set a personal best attendance of 22 consecutive days of school. The combination of doctor recommended modified school days where she's in class just a couple of hours per day plus a significantly smaller group of kids in her class seems to be supporting her greater wellbeing. There have been some cold viruses but they've been much less severe and her recovery time has been much quicker then previous years. Isabella's speech therapist, Leeya, continues to come to our home which is wonderful as our girl begins to articulate her words more clearly in support of getting her needs met. Step by step. Her innocence and great sweetness of spirit continues to delight and inspire us all. Happy Holidays, Everyone!!! Blessings, All. ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 8:49 PM
September 15, 2016
Isabella began school in mid-August and currently has just completed 19 consecutive days!!! This is a huge win for her as in all her previous school years, her record was 7 consecutive days. In the past she's missed as much as 90% of the school year due to health challenges or had medically prescribed home schooling. Her doctor provided a letter before school started encouraging modified days and so she's doing about 2 hours a day and really enjoy it. We're so grateful for her wonderful new school and teachers. We're encouraged by Isabella's building of stamina and increasing wellbeing. We anticipate increasing her class time incrementally. Thanks, as always for your interest and caring. Blessings, All. ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 8:07 PM
July 27, 2016
Following Isabella's hospitalization earlier this year, the Spring was spent largely at home overcoming various viruses. While a significant amount of school was missed, she did great when in attendance. Next month, Isabella starts at a new school with a promising special needs program. Isabella's Speech Therapist has been able to come to our home regularly which has been great. In addition to beginning soon with a new Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist, Isabella will be meeting with specialists over the next few weeks regarding various aspects of her care. We continue to be delighted and enchanted by Isabella's ability to invite not only our own family but most all touched by her life in coming present with great joy and loving. We are blessed! Warmest Regards, All. ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 8:35 PM
February 3, 2016
After 12 days and nights of focused 'round the clock care at the hospital, yesterday Isabella completed her hospitalization. Wendy and I were with her on shifts 24/7 and we all received excellent care. We're all so grateful to now be home together. Isabella seems ecstatic to be here and is already eating all her favorite foods and delighting in cuddles and sitting in her favorite chair. She and her sister, Gabriela, adore each other and there's been lots of hugging as one might imagine. On her first night home, Isabella slept soundly and easily breathing deeply and enjoying a good 12 hours of well deserved sleep. Lovely to see her looking and feeling so well. We'll keep her home from school for the rest of the week as she completes any residual recovery and intend to begin school and her various therapies next week. We were wonderfully well supported through her hospitalization including through all of the FB "likes," comments, prayers and sending of Love & Light. Some have volunteered or contributed in different ways that affirm once again the marvelous support and abundance of the Universe. Thanks, All!!! Blessings & Heartfelt Gratitude ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Wed, Feb 03, 2016 @ 3:45 PM
January 27, 2016
Hi Friends, Today makes it a full week that we've been in the hospital. While it was encouraging to see how playful Isabella had become in the previous 24 hours, how her appetite and thirst had returned and how her fever had subsided, last night her fever spiked and another chest x-ray was taken. What was being treated as viral is now being treated as bacterial with the beginning of antibiotics administered via Isabella's IV line. Our goal today is to support Isabella in continuing not only to receive the oxygen and IV fluids but to stand up and begin to move or possibly walk and through that open her lungs to receive as much oxygen through breathing as possible. She seems understandably exhausted from an intense week. That said, we continue to envision her in the fullness of her health and wellbeing, breathing well and delighting in life in the most wholehearted ways available. As always, we welcome your prayers, kind thoughts, Love & Light. Heartfelt Gratitude ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 3:08 PM
January 26, 2016
Hi Friends, I'm currently at Isabella's bedside as she's resting and enjoying the Disney channel. Her sister, Gabriela, has joined us this afternoon, which brings us both great joy. Her sister's loving and playful presence is one of the best forms of medicine. For clarification, Isabella has had a virus and most likely a viral pneumonia. She's getting great care and shows signs of improvement each day. Significantly, her appetite and thirst has returned allowing her to begin to receive nourishment and hydration the old fashioned way. IV fluids continue to be administered and a weening process will unfold in perfect timing. The considerable mucous in her lungs is loosening up which is good. It also means that her coughing has been quite intense at times. She continues to receive oxygen 24/7 and when she's up for it we'll shift from the mask she's been using to a cannula that'll fit in her nostrils and support weening off additional oxygen until she resumes breathing sufficiently herself. Last night she was in such good humor and we laughed and laughed. She's enjoying occasional foot massages and baths in the bed. Wendy and I are on shifts 24/7 and Papa George,(my father-in-law) came through like a trooper last Saturday for several hours so that I good honor a coaching commitment. We may be here for a few more days and so appreciate the kind thoughts, prayers, and steady streams of Love & Light we experience coming our way. As Always, Heartfelt Gratitude & Blessings, All
by Gregory Vahanian on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 8:07 PM
January 22, 2016
Hi Friends, I'm sitting next to Isabella as she sleeps comfortably in her hospital bed. Our Little Champion has had a virus that shifted into fever and inability to keep food or fluids down. To support hydration and Isabella's wellbeing we went to Urgent Care yesterday in Westwood. After respiratory therapy, blood work and more, we were eventually transferred by ambulance to Santa Monica and received care in the ER until around 10:00pm when we were admitted to a room for additional care. As always our UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital Family is providing excellent care for which we're most grateful. The transport team, 20 or so doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists are delighted by Isabella's sweetness of spirit and graciousness as she communicates her, "Thank You's." As always we welcome your good vibes, kind thoughts, prayers, Love & Light, however you may be called in support of our powerful girl and our family overall health & wellbeing. Heartfelt Gratitude ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 @ 11:25 PM
December 27, 2015
Isabella and our family have been enjoying a mellow few days of quiet relaxation. Hope wherever you are, there is joy and warmth in and around you. In recent months, your generous support has made it possible for Isabella to resume both her Speech and Occupational Therapies. In the New Year, we intend to add to that her prescribed Physical Therapy as well. Thank You! In previous years, we've had to either forgo or interrupt Isabella's services due to funding challenges. We're hopeful now as we complete 2015 and approach 2016 to meet her needs in the coming year more fully than ever before.
When we began our fundraising campaign at the end of August it was with an annual goal of the $42,000. It's been a successful quarter with both fundraising and the meaningful care now available.
As you can imagine her needs continue. Anticipating funding of the upcoming quarter we welcome your "end of year" tax deductible contributions in any amount that support Isabella and our goals for her ongoing care. Either way, please know how much your interest, care and kindness nourishes and encourages us all. Blessings for a most fun, fulfilling and flourishing completion of 2015 and for the New Year... Love & Light, The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Sun, Dec 27, 2015 @ 4:56 PM
December 25, 2015
Happy Holidays, Everyone!!! Isabella enjoyed seeing her Speech Therapist twice last week and folks are noticing her increasing clarity of articulation. She's still early on in her speech development but it's a marvel and delight when her words are crisp and distinctive. It's exciting to watch our girl make progress in her clarity. Isabella always has plenty to say and we are so grateful for her increasing ability to make her thoughts clear. Occupational Therapy had to be cancelled this week due to a health challenge in the therapist's family. Resuming next weekend. Last night Santa came for his annual Christmas Eve dinner in our home after making his rounds and it was as always a delight. Sweet family Christmas day today. Savoring the blessings of compassion and gentleness in our lives. Lovely to see the girls open gifts and enjoy the magic of the day. Thank you, Steven's Hope For Children!!!!! Thank You, Everyone, & Blessings To You & Yours. Love & Light, The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Dec 25, 2015 @ 10:07 PM
December 15, 2015
Isabella and our family had great fun attending the The Steven's Hope For Children Christmas Party on Saturday. She had a great time visiting with Santa and dancing with the children. She's missed the last week of school and her therapeutic services due to either her or her therapists feeling under the weather. Hoping to have speech therapy this week! Blessings of The Season, All ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:14 PM
December 8, 2015
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of those who've contributed to Isabella's Raising Hope Fundraising Campaign, our little champion was recently able to resume working with Leeya, her treasured, Speech Therapist. Leeya has a gift for staying present with Isabella and adapting her support to Isabella's interests while still staying purposeful and productive. We notice greater clarity in Isabella's communication when they work together. We're most grateful! Thanks to the generosity of Steven's Hope For Children, Isabella and our whole family got to enjoy a day of fun and play at Disneyland. It was a great change of pace and opportunity for our princesses to visit with Mickey, Minnie, the Disney princesses and friends. Heartfelt Gratitude. Steady Blessings, All ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 8:09 PM
November 12, 20015
Happy Update! Isabella has begun working with a new Occupational Therapist who she seems to really enjoy. We're so grateful for Neal's support. Isabella's school attendance has been on and off due to challenges she's had with constipation. Thankfully, her immune system has been demonstrably stronger than ever. Following our post celebrating the record making 5 consecutive days of school, Isabella attended 2 more days just after that weekend before needing to recharge. Last week we attended an inspiring There Is Hope luncheon bringing some of the Steven's Hope For Children families and donors together. It's deeply moving hearing about other family's journeys with their own children and the way Steven's Hope and extended family and friends step up in solidarity. Our hearts are filled, as always, with Gratitude. Steady Blessings, All ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 @ 9:29 PM
October 10, 2015
A Significant Win For Isabella!!! This week our Little Champion had a meaningful first in her evolving wellbeing. At 8-years old, Isabella, for the first time in her life, was well enough to attend school 5-days in a row!!!!! It may seem common place, but with the health challenges she has had, this is nearly miraculous. We feel so grateful and excited for her and the promise of increased opportunity for Isabella to enjoy the blessing of shared learning time with children her age and classroom support from devoted teachers. Today we will also be meeting with a prospective new Occupational Therapist for a current assessment. Thanks for your interest, Prayers, Love & Light. Heartfelt Gratitude ~
by Gregory Vahanian on Sat, Oct 10, 2015 @ 3:39 PM
October 4, 2015
Isabella started the week with significant residual congestion. Another development making school prohibitive was her severe constipation which has been a periodic challenge. Even with Miralax assistance our Little Champion spent all week working on her movement. Like Beethoven's 9th, she had her own natural crescendo and climactic resolution last night. Yay!!! We celebrated immediately with Isabella joyfully playing her toy Hannah Montana guitar along with Daddy on his guitar as we all sang the "Poopy" song. She seems much more at ease today and hopefully will be up for school Monday.
by Gregory Vahanian on Sun, Oct 04, 2015 @ 2:11 PM
September 25, 2015
Isabella stayed home this week again still clearing a cold virus that had her congested. Her teacher, Mr. Matt, is going to put a folder together with assignments Isabella can do with Papa Gregory. This will be a big help when she's unable to be in class like the last couple of weeks. We're beginning to coordinate scheduling with her Speech Therapist and a prospective new Occupational Therapist and are excited about that. The Matching Funds Campaign completed this week and went great! We met our goals for current therapeutic support!!! We're so grateful for the outpouring of support that assists our Little Champion in now getting her needs met. Thank You, All! Heartfelt Gratitude.
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 11:31 PM
September 18, 2015
Our Little Champion started the week with a 104 degree fever and throwing up. Fortunately both the fever and the throwing up passed after several hours, but left her very weak and needing to recover. This kept her home the first few days of school this week. We then tried to take her to school on Thursday only to discover she had classmates with active viruses in class that day. After what her system had just fought off, we felt it best to simply take her back home. This is the ongoing dance of weighing the balance of supporting Isabella in having a classroom school experience while keeping attuned to her system and to what she's exposed. We'll hope for the best for Monday!
by Gregory Vahanian on Sat, Sep 19, 2015 @ 1:01 AM
September 11, 2015
Today being 9/11, I'm reminded how precious life is and this opportunity we have to grow in our Loving, Honoring and Cherishing. On 9/11/01 we were excitedly awaiting the December birth of our first daughter, Gabriela. On 9/11/07 we were monitoring two-year old Isabella's heart situation and praying the three holes in her heart would heal on their own. Ultimately, surgery was required to make that happen, but heal she did! Then on 9/11/09 we found ourselves at the hospital with Isabella three weeks into an 8-month hospitalization for life-saving chemotherapy treatment for the AML leukemia she was diagnosed with that August. Isabella triumphantly survived both the cancer and the treatment and we celebrate our precious Isabella's life today, 9/11/15, and every day!
This week, Isabella had a good three days at school. The experience Isabella has gained with the iPad she received last Christmas through Steven's Hope For Children is serving her well. Today, her teacher, Mr. Matt, commented on how adept Isabella is in using the iPads they have at school. He also told me this week how well Isabella is doing in Adaptive Physical Education class, enthusiastically participating as well as cheering on her fellow students. Isabella is a great cheerleader! I hope that with the APE classes at school and the therapies we're now fundraising for, Isabella will soon be ready to take part in the Special Olympics. She wins Gold Medals in our hearts every day!
The Matching Funds Campaign is going great! Thanks to everyone's generous support we've exceeded our initial goal to meet one month of Isabella's therapeutic needs! Yay, Team Isabella! Steven's Hope For Children is offering us an additional week of their matching funds support, now until September 22nd, in service to our new goal of meeting Isabella's care needs for a quarter. Thank you for your interest and support in whatever ways line up in prayer, loving thoughts, financial contribution and spreading the word via social media and so on. Heartfelt Gratitude ~ The Vahanian Family
by Gregory Vahanian on Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 12:50 AM
September 4, 2015
Isabella was able to attend 1 1/2 days of school this week. As she wasn't feeling well, we needed to keep her home the rest of the week. She's been running a fever on and off and we're trusting the Holiday Weekend will allow her an opportunity to recharge and feel better. A significant win; this week we've had a great launch to the Raising Hope Matching Funds Campaign to help Isabella meet her needs! We're well on our way to meeting our initial goal which covers one month of care. Thanks to everyone who has so generously contributed on every level in money, prayer, and getting the word out via social media and more. As Isabella's previous and treasured Occupational Therapist has moved, we're anticipating starting with a new OT soon. Wendy and I met over the phone this week with someone from the school district as we've been advocating for more therapeutic support. While we didn't receive what we'd hoped for, they did offer some additional hours of speech therapy at school which we anticipate will be helpful. Meanwhile, we plan on beginning Speech Therapy again with Isabella's regular therapist as funding has begun coming in. Heartfelt Gratitude.
by Gregory Vahanian on Sat, Sep 05, 2015 @ 12:31 AM
August 28, 2015
This week was a little more challenging physically for Isabella as she caught a cold at the end of last week. She did have two good days at school and stayed home the rest of the week with Daddy. Yesterday we spent the first half of the day at the hospital for meeting and exams with two Allergists and to get a chest X-ray. Isabella has had a chronic congestion that gets exacerbated when catching a cold. That said, even not feeling well, Isabella makes for great company and brings her irrepressible joy into every situation.
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 @ 11:26 PM
August 21, 2015
Isabella started a new school year this week. She's in a small class of children with special needs. Mr. Matt, Isabella's new teacher, having observed her last year on the playground, gave very encouraging feedback on how her language skills are improving. He tells us she had a great first week. In fact, he told Gregory today that Isabella is the leader of the class. She even coaches the one other girl in the class when it's her turn to do an assignment. Daddy fully intended to spend the first week in class all day, but was promptly kicked out by Mr. Matt who likes the kids to establish independence and the class flow immediately. It was comforting each day at pick-up to see her smiling and good to know that she is fitting in.
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 @ 10:13 PM
August 8, 2015
We were able to attend some of the Special Olympics World Games 2015 events which was great fun! Wonderfully affirming and fun to see these radiant young people from around the world come together and to cheer them on. We're hopeful with Isabella's love for running and support from Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy she'll be able to begin participating in Special Olympic events as soon as later this year.
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 @ 10:08 PM
July 30, 2015
Isabella had a thorough follow-up at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. She had blood work done, an echocardiogram, head and neck x-rays as well as follow-up exams from her doctors. She was a great sport and received encouraging test results across the board. We're deeply grateful for the extraordinary care we receive at the hospital. Our hearts are also filled with Gratitude for the Global Prayer Matrix provided by all who lovingly hold for Isabella and our family's Highest Good.
by Gregory Vahanian on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 @ 9:53 PM
ABOUT THE RAISING HOPE PROJECT
Steven's Hope for Children created the
Raising Hope Project to help families to help themselves to resolve some of the
financial issues. By using this site, families can reach out to friends and
family for support while getting guidance from Steven's Hope on how to share
their story to the public, raise money for their expenses and to promote Steven's Hope for Children.
Donations are made to Steven's Hope, a 501c3 nonprofit.and are placed in a restricted fund pool for Raising Hope Families.Neither families nor donors pay any fees on any contributions made in honor of the child. The Raising Hope Project is a service provided by Steven's Hope for Children for the benefit of seriously ill children and their families. For information about Steven's Hope, visit www.stevenshope.org.
Please, help us with a contribution to the Raising Hope Project today.
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