It was yesterday my mother Michelle text me telling me she had an idea and needed my opinion. Naturally I called her wondering what she would possibly want my opinion about and she said that there was a little girl who was 3. Her name was Holland. She's from Provo and from an avid BYU family, and she had multiple brain tumors. Immediately I felt as if my heart weighed 20 lbs as it sunk into my chest. I then told Chelle we needed to do what we could to help this little girl and her family out. Just like how all of you helped me out.
**Fast forward 24 hours**
As we approached the home where Holland Young lives I couldn't help but be so nervous. Out front is a metal yard decoration sporting the BYU logo, but them my attention then is directed to the squealing giggles of a little girl as the front door is opened. As we walk in we are greeted by Holland's mother Aleta and her 6 month old brother Dallen. We were then introduced to Bryan, Holland's father, then on the couch is a small girl. To be honest my first impression, "Wow she's tiny." There she was not even weighing 50 lbs is little Holland. Curled up on the couch playing a game on an iPad. Like I said, shes small, pretty pale, but you can just sense the fire that's burning within her. Holland is 3 years old and since June 1, 2012 Holland has undergone four surgeries, endless MRIs (which she has to be sedated for), and is on her second month of chemo out of twelve month regiment. Holland's battle started 9 months ago in May of 2012. She began complaining about having a headache. When the headache became a constant, and throwing up a regular occurrence, Aleta and Bryan thought it was time to take Holland to the doctors. While at their pediatrician, an MRI was conducted, and Bryan and Aleta were told to go to Primary Children's hospital immediately.
Without any explanation as to why, the Young's raced to Primary Children's where they were told surgery would be conducted first thing in the morning. Holland had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball as well as a cyst growing on her cerebellum. That would explain the headaches and nausea. The surgery was done, but because of the size of the masses a second surgery would have to be done the following day to remove the remainder of the tumor. After an MRI was done, there was still a small remaining piece of the tumor in Holland's brain. At this point Holland was fed up with hospitals, doctors, needles, feeding tubes, all the fun stuff that comes along with cancer. Bryan told me one time Holland took on 4 male nurses and put up a stellar fight. The Young's decided to hold off on anything until August. There was a chance the remaining pieces would go away on its own. That July of 2012 Holland's baby brother Dallen was Born.
A follow up MRI was conducted. The fragments of tumor were still there, and a third surgery was done. While what though to be removed was the tumor, they were wrong. Rather scar tissue was removed. A final fourth surgery was done and the final fragments were gone. The Young's were relieved. Nothing was to be done now until February. Things were finally starting to look up.
This past December though things started to become uneasy at the home front. Holland was complaining once again of head aches. Aleta didn't want to jump any conclusions and waited to see how things played out. The instant Holland started throwing up though, back to Primary Children's hospital they went. An MRI was done, and this time 2 masses were found again. One the size of a quarter, and one the size of small orange. There was also a small mass in the brain matter. Chemo began immediately once a week and now has tapered off to once every few weeks. Holland is now in month two out of twelve of chemo. And for anyone who has been through chemo or seen it with their own eyes, we know twelve months can we... well it can be trying and difficult. As well as nauseating, draining, exhausting, and every other negative emotion that could come to my mind.
Amidst all this chaos and catastrophe though, never in a million years would I have guessed that Holland would have been through so much suffering. Watching her today she had energy. She was all over the room playing games on the iPad. She was oozing with emotion as she would win and lose. When she downloaded a new game the smile and excitement you couldn't miss. Bryan also told me she had a nice follow through and jump shot as well. Just being in the presence of this little warrior I felt inspired. I fed off her strength and in this young girl I couldn't help but see myself. She was sassy, stubborn, and you could tell she knew she wasn't going to lose this fight.
Why do I tell you this story? Because just like me, Holland is fighting an uphill battle that requires support. Support not just from family, but from friends, and from strangers who care. I remember during my fight the amount of support I received from not just the state of Utah but from this nation as well as other countries. It was amazing. So, in an effort to help Holland out. This Saturday there will be a fundraiser at the Vivint gym from 10:30-12:00 where a Zumbathon will be held. Its $8 at the door and all proceeds will to Holland and her fight with cancer. Below are two links you can go to for more information
Now, if I were you. I would come to this on Saturday. I will be there. Along with my whole family. Holland and her family, and hopefully a huge community of people. There will be a special performance at 11:00 from some members of the BYU football team, which will be entertaining I can promise that. My heart goes out to the Young family and to Holland. But after spending the afternoon with that little girl, if anyone can beat this its her. As I was asking Holland what her favorite part of the hospital was she replied, "Please I'm just trying to play this game." That's the attitude that beats cancer. The stubborn, focused, feisty ones. I hope to see some of you Saturday and we can get our dance on at Vivint (also where I work) and lets help raise some money for this little girl. Stay tuned for an update on my latest appointment as well! Thank you all.