Sunday, November 29, 2009

One Day At A Time....

Where are we now?

Today we are living life one moment at a time. The pain is still incredibly intense, but instead of immobilizing our entire days, it comes and goes throughout the day - sometimes without warning. We think of Allison constantly and memories of her love and laughter help to bring smiles through our tears.

Wouldn't you know? The world continues to spin and life goes on without any of our say-so. We try to put one foot in front of the other, get dressed and show up for life each and everyday. It's certainly not easy, but I definitely prefer that over the alternative.

The amount of support we have recieved from our friends, family, and the community around us has been truly incredible. We are so grateful and would like to take the time to thank each and every one of you personally, and at some point we promise we will. Emails, phone calls, and cards are so helpful in remembering we are loved and cared for. We have been able to walk through each day because of your continued love & support, because of our love for one another, and because of our ever-growing faith.

What do we do now? Neither of us knows. We are taking this time to do some soul searching and figure out what to do with the rest of our lives. At the very least we can try to figure out what to do this week.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Angel Earned Her Wings

Allison Danielle Zicree
May 13, 2008 - October 17, 2009

On Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 7:35pm we said goodbye to Allison and she grew her angel wings. Allison was surrounded by friends and family throughout the day who came to share their love and support and to say goodbye. We are so grateful that she was able to spend her final day on earth this way. Shaun and I are so blessed to have the support system that we do. When we we made our way to the waiting room that night, we saw that our family and friends set up camp and were right beside us every step of the way and would have stayed as long as it took for Allison to take her final breath.

She definitely fought long and hard against her disease, but it eventually grew bigger then her and stronger than the medicine used to fight it. After her second round of chemo she had 8% leukemic blasts(a 'partial' remission is 5 - 13%). The third round of chemo was no match for AML M7 and after her marrow draw on 10/15, we learned that the leukemia came back with a vegence and attacked over 95% of her little body. Her immune system was so comprised that it was unable to fight off the fever that caused her to become so sick, this coupled with the bloating(caused by cancer cells accumulating in her organs), proved to be too much. Further testing found that there were blood clots in her arteries and liver. At this point, she became so sick that she may have never been well enough to go for a bone marrow transplant.
Unfortunately, had she been in 'good' health and in a solid remission after the third round of chemo, she would have been headed to City of Hope on November 2 for her bone marrow transplant. One, single, solitary perfect match had been found for her out of the 13 million people on the National Bone Marrow Registry. This just reinforces my fight to add more people to the NBMR. I know that Allison's fight called over 2000 people to the registry, but I will continue to fight for others who need this life saving procedure. Behind each patient is a family fighting for their loved one. If you haven't already, please consider joining the registry. I was amazed to learn how simple the donation procedure really is! There are two options to give life to another, one is surgical and the other is similar to donating blood and takes only 6 hours and you're back to life as usual!

While our heart aches everyday for the loss of Allison's life and our future with her, we know that she is no longer in pain and now gets to be a fun loving, rambunctious child again running around in heaven. Our lives have been forever changed because we were blessed to be her parents and because we got to experience her love, strength, and innocence. Allison...we love you dearly and we thank you for making us better people.

Nicole & Shaun

Letters from Allison's Parents:

Dear Allison:

When you were born you changed my life forever. You showed me the beauty in the world. You became the shining light in my life. You got me through the bad days. No matter how bad my day was, it was all ok when I saw you.

You taught me to be a better man.

I will always remember all the time you were here. It was the best time in my life.

I miss the times I would start to fall asleep and you would stand up and jump up and down like a bear while saying: “HI” to wake me up and how you would sleep with your foot pressed against my back. .

I am so sorry for what you had to go through, but you went through it like no one else. Whatever life threw at you, you took it and smiled anyway.

I am so honored to be your father. You are the greatest little girl I’ve ever known.

When you passed away, a part of my heart died as well. You will always be a part of me. I hope you are falling back on clouds and laughing like you used to do in our big bed.

I miss you and I will always love you with all my heart.



Dear Allison,

I cannot say enough about how proud I am to be your mother. Before this journey started I used to say that I felt blessed that you were a part of our life. As I started to see the impact you had on had on others and the world around you, I began to realize how blessed I was to be a part of YOUR life. I was always in awe of how you made each and every person you came into contact with feel special. You have touched the world in a way that I never knew possible. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to see you make an impact.

You have done so much in your 17 months on this planet and you inspire me. You inspire me to be a better person and your fortitude gives me the strength to want to change the world too. You gave the fight of your life, never backing down….even at the very end, and I feel honored to have been with you every step of the way.

I will forever treasure the fun times we shared together, strolling through the market, the mall, a any other place that we could play. Hospital hallway hide and seek became one of my favorite activities and running around on the third floor bridge after dark was always a great way to burn some toddler-sized energy. Even though you had only a few clear words at the beginning of this journey – your ever growing vocabulary astounded me! I will always hold dear the late night conversations we had as you fell asleep in my arms and how the first thing you would do in the morning was pry my eye open with your tiny fingers and say “HI!”. I will always smile when I think about you giving yourself a round of applause when you did something you were proud of and when you knew we were excited for you. When you said “NO” it always made me giggle, I love the way you would shake your head and say it with such fervor. I have to admit, I sometimes asked you questions or offered you things just so I could hear you say NO, and just because it made my heart giggle too.

What a smart cookie!!! At such a young age you had a thirst for knowledge that was exceptional. I was always amazed when you learned a new word and knew how put it to good use. I so enjoyed watching you figure out how things worked, how to take them apart, and even put them back together!!! I don’t know how much you understood, but it sure looked like you know what you were doing as you turned the pages in your colorful books and put pen to paper. Your smile and laughter warms my heart every day and I thank God for every second we shared together.

I don’t always understand why life takes the turns it does, but what I do know is that you changed my heart and my soul and made me a stronger, more faithful woman. Because of your strength I know there’s nothing I can’t conquer. Thank you for being a wonderful daughter, incredible teacher, and an inspiration. I thank God everyday for giving me the chance to be your mother and for blessing my life by giving you to me as my daughter, even for a short while.

I love you with all my heart and soul, to the ends of the universe and back, and I will forever be changed because I love you.


Your Mom

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the latest info

Allison's condition has taken a turn for the worse. Her fever was not due to infection as previously thought, but was part of the leukemia disease. The cancer has affected her entire body causing her liver and spleen to become severely enlarged.

On Thursday evening she was transported to pediatric ICU at a different facility for further evalution. Several tests were run over the time we were there, which found that she has several complications.

We've now returned to her original hospital where further decisions will be made about her care. Please keep her, our family, and her care team in your thoughts and prayers.
In appreciation of your love and concern, please know that we will not be accepting visitors at this time. If you are interested in visiting the family, please contact Ricky B. at: [info removed]

With Love,
Allison's Mommy & Daddy

Friday, October 16, 2009

Donations for Allison

Tax deductable Donations for Allison can now be made through, Top of the Mountain:

Top of the Mountain Children's Disease Foundation
P.O. Box 4752
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274

Donations can also be made online by visiting:

**Please make sure to write Allison Zicree on the "Memo Line" on your check or in the info section on paypal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What a week!

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers for our daughter. We've had a challenging few weeks, but it looks like we may be coming out of it, slowly but surely.

The effects of Allison's third round of chemo took over last week. As expected, her white blood cell count dropped dramatically, which made her neutropenic ( This means that she is at a point in this cycle where she is susceptible to infections and other contagious illnesses. During her first two rounds of chemotherapy Allison managed to sail through this point in her treament, however this time the chemo was approximately 10x stronger and it's taking its toll.

Since last Tuesday we have been fighting a fever that has stayed between 101°F and 104.5°F, neither medication nor cooling measures cooled her for very long. This has been coupled with nausea and a severe loss in appetite. Allison has been unable to rest comfortably(day or night) and has had a difficult time moving on her own, so she and mom are totally sleep deprived. Along with her fever, she is experiencing edema/water retenion all over her body. The majority of the swelling is in her belly and that is due in part to low protein levels. She is receiving treatment to reduce the swelling, but it is a slow process. She has required platelet transfusions daily and has had a few blood transfusions this week as well.

Her fever stayed close to 100°F for most of the day, and today was the first time she has nibbled anything in about a week - we were so excited! She was chatty for a little bit, watched some Sesame Street, and managed to pull herself into a sitting position at one point. These are the things that give us little glimpses of our old Allison and hope that recovery from this round of chemo is just around the corner. Please keep our little girl in your thoughts as she continues to push through this phase.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Round 3 Begins

After getting to spend some time at home with her toys and her pet kitty cat, Allison has returned to the hospital for round 3 of chemo. We anticipated this visit, so it did not come as a surprise when we got the call from her doctor.

Because she is in a partial remission, Allison requires more treatment to prepare her for a future bone marrow transplant. In order to have the best outcome possible, she will need to be in a full remission for the transplant to take place. A bone marrow match for Allison has not yet been found, so the extensive search continues. We recently found out that she has a unique antigen( which makes it slightly more difficult to find an exact match for her. We know the match is out there...somewhere!

While this treatment plan will last only 4 days(4 hours each day) it will be 8-10 times stronger than her previous treatments. At this point we are not sure of how she will react to this new dosage, but we hope and pray that she will suprise her nurses and doctor once again.

Allison is in fantastic spirits today! Let's hope this continues!

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers for Allison - I know they're working!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What a great success!

Wow! we had such a wonderful time at the benefit dinner last week. It was so nice to see friends and family, and meet so many new friends! Shaun and I were so touched by the love, support, and generosity of all who attended. Thank you for being there to support us. There were even a few customers who popped in just for dinner and were met with a very large crowd - we're glad you joined us!

We would like to extend a special thank you to Leah Ventimiglia(and her family) for all of her hard work in putting this event together. I know that planning this dinner took up a lot of her time, and we are so appreciative. Big thanks are also due to Ron & Julie Horn of Buchanan Arms restaurant for hosting this dinner. The food was INCREDIBLE(as always!) and your staff was so wonderful - thank you!

We were in awe of all the amazing items donated for the Silent Auction and Raffle. Thank you to all those who donated and helped make this such a success. Plee see the list below! There were some items that came in at the last minute, and we do not have the names of those donors. If you are one of them, please let us know!!!

Silent Auction/Raffle Donors:

Bari & Neil Bucknam
Mark Burg - CBS/Two and Half Men
Vanessa Burrows
Suzanne Duffy
Katie DuPrey
Ron & Julie Horn - Buchanan Arms
Anissa Iverson
Kevin Kleinrock - Big Vision Entertainment
Laura Lewis
Linkin Park
Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics
Old Navy
Susan Olmos
Maria Otero - Cookie Lee
Vicki Price
Marcella Prystupa
Ana Reyes - Anamaria Purses
Trish Shaheen
Mike & Anna Shinoda
Whole Foods - Porter Ranch
Marc Zicree

*If you were the winner of the "Baby Basket" with the gate, please contact me at A few pieces were left behind, and we'd like to make arrangements to get those to you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Please Keep Checking!

I must apologize! It's been entirely too long since I've posted an update on Allison's progress. I'm working on a fun post that includes information on Allison, more pictures, and a FANTASTIC video!

Allison was doing so well after Round 2 of chemo, that her doctor gave her the green light to head home this week. We don't know how long this visit will be, but we are enjoying being home as a complete family.

We're not quite sure what the next step will be because we are awaiting results from her bone marrow test, results should be in next week. The search is still on for a marrow match for her! If you have not already signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry, please consider doing so! You just might save a life! Please follow this link to register by mail:

Thank you all for your support and continued thoughts and prayers as we continue on this journey.

Warmest Regards,

Allison's Mommy

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Don't Forget...Benefit on Saturday!!

Allison's benefit dinner is on Saturday, August, 29th at Buchanan Arms in Burbank!!

Thanks OC Sheriffs

Just ran across the OC Sheriff's Blog, announcing a blood drive, featuring a bone marrow drive for Allison back on August 12th. Big thanks to all involved!

Deputy C.D. Vincent sent an e-mail to Team Allison..."We held the Blood Drive on August 12, 2009. During that time we had a representative from the National Bone Marrow Registry present. We had 44 people stop in and register for the Bone Marrow after seeing the story on Allison. I hope everything works out."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just me and my shadow....

Well, it may not actually be her shadow, but Allison made friends with her reflection the other night. After playing and walking all day, she caught a glimpse of a little girl in a matching outfit! Check out the video as she talks to, dances with, and even tries to "high five" her reflection!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another Successful Bone Marrow Drive!

120 new people are now on the bone marrow registry that were not on it a few days ago! Congrats to Kimberly Haim on such a successful bone marrow registry drive at her home in Sherman Oaks! Be looking for more bone marrow drives to be hosted by Kimberly...she is definitely an amazing woman.

For those of you that hesitate to do a drive in Allison's name, I say to you, "Host it, they will come!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Save the Date: Sunday, September 27

Join Top of the Mountain for a bone marrow drive in honor of Allison Zicree on Sunday, September 27th! From 9 a.m. - Noon and resuming at 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Rolling Hills United Methodist Church
26438 Crenshaw Blvd
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
(310) 377-6771

Bone Marrow Drive Success!

Thank you to everyone that attened the bone marrow drive at American Martyrs in Manhattan Beach! We had a total of 78 wonderful people that joined the registry on Sunday. Special thanks to Auntie Vaness and Uncle Ricky for representing the Zicrees, and Stephanie and Lori (and her rockstar team) from Be a Match. Also, Team Allison would like to thank Ann Karner for hosting us.

Coming up next...

Kimberly Haim's Home

Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills

Friday, August 7, 2009

What a busy month! Join us for another blood drive!

For anyone who was unable to attend the blood drive and marrow testing in July, Kaiser Permanent in Woodland Hills will be hosting another drive on Saturday, August 22, 2009 from 10am - 7pm. We hope to see you there!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Save the Date: Saturday, August 29th

Seating is limited, please purchase tickets in advance.

If you're interested in purchasing tickets and/or donating items for the silent auction, please contact Leah Ventimiglia for more information: 818.620.8454 or

Save the Date: Sunday, August 16th

Kimberly Haim will be hosting a Bone Marrow Drive on Sunday, August 16th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at her home in Sherman Oaks. If you haven't registered yet to be a bone marrow donor, here is your chance! Visit Kimberly and City of Hope at:

13470 Weddington Street
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

Don't forget that American Martyrs will be having a drive this Sunday in Manhattan Beach!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Remission Status

At the start of Round 2, Allison was in a partial remission. This means that while her counts were low, they were not low enough to consider her in a complete remission.

She is enduring a second round in hopes that this will get rid of what is left. The search for a bone marrow match continues and we pray that we will find one soon! It is our hope and prayer that this round of treatment will put her in remission and that a donor will be found quickly so that we can move into the transplant phase of her treatment plan.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers as we continue on this journey.

Nicole & Shaun

(please read below for more info!)

Round 2 of Chemo almost complete!

Tomorrow is the final day of round 2 of chemo for Little Miss Allison. She has sailed through this session like a superstar! Inside her little body the chemotherapy is doing EXACTLY what it is supposed to do. On the outside she is acting every bit the toddler she is meant to be! She has learned the power of shaking her head "no"(but does not 'abuse' it!). She has mastered the art of making doggy sounds, clacking her tongue, and contorting her face into the perfect kissy fish face! She has taken 7 steps all on her own and now dances like Annette Funicello in Beach Blanket Bingo. Speaking of Annette...she even got her first pair of Mickey(Minnie) ears! Thanks Toni & Eric!

Although she is in good spirits overall, this round of chemo has brought more sleepiness, neediness(for extra snuggles), and fussiness that we've never endured before. She has been one tough cookie and is still surprising her doctor with her tenacity and happy-go-lucky attitude.

From the doctor:
“Allison has had a favorable response to the first course of chemotherapy for acute megakaryocytic leukemia,” says Susan K. Storch, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology at Kaiser Permanente’s Woodland Hills Medical Center.

“Her bone marrow examination results demonstrate a partial remission and she has now begun the next phase of chemotherapy. It is hoped that she will achieve a full remission in preparation for a bone marrow transplant, if a matched donor is found,” Dr. Storch continued.


The search for a bone marrow match still continues. Thank you again to all those who participated in the drive at Kaiser Woodland Hills, and at subsequent drives around Southern California. The results from the drive(WH) should be put into the National Bone Marrow registry any day now and matched against Allison's type. Hopefully we will know more in the coming weeks!

August is going to be a busy month! Please check back tomorrow for updates on SFV area drives and even a fundraiser!

Warmest Regards,

Nicole - Allison's Mommy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Save the Date: Sunday, August 9

On Sunday, August 9th from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. there will be a Bone Marrow Drive in Allison's honor at American Martyrs in Manhattan Beach. You don't have to be a parishoner, or Catholic for that matter to come and register to be a bone marrow donor. The process is easy, fill out the paper work and get your cheek swabbed.

American Martyrs
624 Fifteenth Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Let's make this drive as successful as last week's KP drive. Team Allison is so excited to have found out that over 800 registered as Bone Marrow Donors and 150 people donated blood at last weeks drive at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills!

Another drive at KP Woodland Hills is scheduled in Allison Zicree's name at the end of August.

Support Team in Training!

Carlos Pineda will be racing for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training! He is a friend of Team Allison. He needs to raise $400 more dollars in 9 days for the race. Please support Carlos and his mission to make the impossible...POSSIBLE!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bone Marrow Registration at all KP Blood Drives!

That's right! City of Hope will be at all KP Blood Drives for the remainder of 2009 doing bone marrow registration! So make your appointment now to have blood donated and your bone marrow registered!

Touching Hearts

This is an e-mail that went out from a lady that does not know the Zicrees, but was touched by Allison's story.

I don't ever want to forget yesterday...July 16, 2009 at 10:17am
...when I went to Kaiser to register with the National marrow Donor Program.

Where I joined hundreds of people, from all walks of life, gentlemen in suits on their way home from work, young people coming in from a day at the the beach (still with the fresh scent of sunscreen), mothers with their babies in tow. All waiting, patiently no less, for their turn to be tested, to see if they could be a match for little Allison a 14 month old girl, whose family is hoping a match can be found. Giving Allison a chance at a healthy happy long life.

It was surreal and beautiful, to be among these people. Basking in the generosity of spirit in the room. The quiet knowing that everyone was there to offer something so simple and yet so precious. Something we have no appreciation for, unless we need it.

Her uncle came into the room, to register himself and stood before the crowd, thanking us all for taking the time to do this. He said it meant everything to their family. That Allison is their heart and the only girl in their lives. They are hoping and praying for a miracle and one of us could be just that.

Its a one in a 200,000 chance that I will be her match. What's important is that we find a match. For Allison and countless others waiting for the same miracle.

My test results will go into the national registry where for the next ten years (you can only donate until your 60) people who need marrow can search for a match. Not just Allison, but anyone else who needs it.

This was a simple reminder about how precious life is and how grateful I am to be living here on planet earth able to recognize the goodness that surrounds me. Life is good.

For more information or to get registered: visit

What is Allison up to?

Well this has been a busy week for little Miss Allison! As her mom, I'm proud to say that she has reached some fun and some interesting new milestones over the past few days! She was also able to have some 'pint-sized visitors' last week, which included cousins Bailey, Isabelle, and Daniel; friend Jamieson; and buddy Madison. She was so excited to get some playtime with people close to her size. She has also learned a few new words: blue, book, and WOW!

She is still a late-night party animal, but she's been taking more naps during the day - boy am I thankful for that! She caught up on current events, became an honorary member of the nursingg staff, and yesterday we had fun with stickers on her head. Today she received a balloon flower and a balloon rainbow (see below for pictures), she had so much fun with that! She even rearranged furniture(for reading time w/grandpa) in the playroom while using her new talent - WALKING!

Her newest (and quite possibly the coolest) trick is swabbing her own mouth. Several times a day we are required to swab Allison's mouth with a medicated mouthwash to prevent sores from the chemo. This proved to be an arduous task for all of us! It had to be done, so we did it, through the kicking and the tears. Now Allison has taken the task into her own hands. Tonight she dipped the sponge in the wash and swabbed her own mouth!

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so please scroll down to see what Allison has been up to!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Please Consider Hosting a Bone Marrow Donor Drive

City of Hope is available to host bone marrow donor drives for Allison at churches, schools, businesses....anywhere that there is 20 interested people. There's a special need in communities that are mixed Hispanic and Caucasian....but that's most of SoCal!! Also, bone marrow drives are available to be done out of state!!

Please contact Jill Kendall at CoH for more information! e-Mail or or call 626-301-8483 for specific questions and to set up your location.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2009 KP Blood Drive Schedule

We have received many e-mails from folks about donating blood for Allison in their area. The following is the remaining 2009 schedule for KP's blood drives, along with the area and the appointment phone number. Please call now to make your appointment and donate blood for Allison Zicree.

This just in...CITY OF HOPE WILL BE AT ALL OF THE BLOOD DRIVES doing bone marrow registration!!

714 279 4178
July 28-29
September 29-30
December 1-2

Baldwin Park
626 851 6183
August 5
October 7
December 9

562 461 6355
August 12
October 14

Downey Warehouse
562 657 2800
August 13

909 427 7180
September 15-16
November 10-11

Independence Park
562 657 2800
September 1
October 27

562 657 2800
September 24

Orchard (Downey)
562 657 2800
August 25
November 3

Palm Court
909 427 7180
August 27

Sand Canyon
949 932 2704
August 26
November 4

South Bay
310 517 4349
August 18-19
October 20-21
December 15-16

909 427 7180
July 21
September 22
November 17

West Covina
562 657 2800
September 10

562 657 2800
September 2
October 28

There is a dire need for blood donors!! Only about 3 out of every 100 Americans donate blood regularly. And you can donate every 56 days (per pint)! Please, please consider being a blood donor!

Pint Sized Visitor

Allison finally got the okay from Dr. Storch to have a pint sized visitor. That visitor being my daughter. We went shopping for a gift, and of course, Daisy Duck was picked for Allison. So we headed over to the hosptial, and the girls spent a few hours together, playing, laughing, hugging and giving kisses. It was a happy day.

Nicole reminded me that almost a year ago to the day the girls had a breakfast date, which this picture was taken after.

Thanks to CBS47!

Sabrina Hill from CBS 47 is Fresno e-mailed us that she covered Allison story. You can check it out here! Thanks Sabrina!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Home is where the Heart is...

This morning Allison will be having a bone marrow draw to see whether the cancer has gone into remission. After the drive the Zicrees were going to go home for a few days. However, yesterday Nicole and Shaun made the decision to stay at the hospital. They felt that moving Allison from the hospital to their house and back to the hospital would not be benefical to their baby girl. Instead the love, support, and care they are receiving at KP has made it their home.

Please say a prayer this morning for Allison, and her parents Nicole and Shaun. So far the amazing support they are receiving is being felt and appreciated. God bless everyone who has taken an interest in Allison's story. I hope she has touched your life in a way no one has.

And thank you to the almost 400 people that came out to KP Woodland Hills for bone marrow testing yesterday. You are all rockstars!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thanks FOX11!

Allison is Miss Popular today. Thanks to FOX11 for sharing Allison's story with everyone! Read about it here, and catch the story on the 10 p.m. news! Thanks Hal Eisner!

Thanks to ABC7!

ABC 7 did an amazing story on Allison today during the afternoon news. Check it out here! Thanks Denise Dador!

Thank you for everyone supporting Allison!!

Mercury News in Silicon Valley

LA Daily News in Los Angeles

American Martyrs Catholic Church in Manhattan Beach

KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles in the Bay Area in Northern California

Scott Baio & Family for coming out to register!

Beach Baby Designs is donating 10% of all sales to Allison

KNX 1070 in Los Angeles

Whittier Daily News in Whittier, CA

A Million Memories Blog in Southern California

Thanks to CBS2 and KCAL9!

Guess who is becoming the most popular (and cutest) toddler around. Allison was featured on CBS and KCAL, too! Read it here!! Thank you Lisa Sigell!

Thank You KTLA!

KTLA did a story about Allison this morning! Check it out here! Thank you Wendy Burch!

Helping the Zicree's

The Zicree family would like to thank everyone for their generosity. The gift cards have been very helpful with meals and other day to day neccesities, and the monetary donations are helping cover remaining hospital bills.

These are tough times for everyone, but if you find your heart pulling you to help them, please keep reading! Every little bit helps!

Tax deductible donations for the family can be made through Top of the Mountain - Children's Disease Foundation. Donations can be made via paypal or by check - payableto Top of the Mountain(listing Allison Zicree on the memo line). Please visit their website for more information:

If you would like to donate anything else(gift cards, meals, etc.) or help in other ways please send an email via this blog or directly to for more info.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Going Home!

Miss Allison is going home on Friday! Whoo hoo! No word on how long she'll be able to visit her own crib. She'll be having bone marrow drawn on Friday, and by Tuesday or Wednesday the results will be known whether Allison is in remission or not. More info to come from Nicole soon!

In other Allison news, the child is walking. First 2 steps. Now 4. I mean hello, she's a busy girl who has to go places.

Don't forget to donate blood and platelets this Wednesday - Friday at KP Woodland Hills, Sunset or Orchard (Downey)! Call the location nearest you for an appointment. And don't forget to register to be a bone marrow donor and save a life. It could be Allison's!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Awesome Incentive for Donating!

Team Allison is pleased to announce that VIP Tickets will be offering a special coupon code for those who attend the blood donation event from 7/15 - 7/17. They will take $25 off any order of $100 or more with the code.

Also, they will be giving away a pair of Dodger tickets to a home game at Dodger Stadium to each person that can show proof that they donated. Quantity is limited to 50 tickets total. You can check for a posting soon on Facebook on VIP Tickets page.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Donate Blood & Platelets

When calling to make an appointment, please let them know that you are donating directly to Allison Zicree or on behalf of her! For more info, please e-mail Team Allison at

Going Incognito

On Saturday, Allison got her hair buzzed off. It was falling out, getting in her mouth, and in her food, and just making life hard. So Mommy and Daddy said "Adios" to the brown locks. I can't wait to see how Alli-cat's hair will grow back in. They'll be gorgeous.

The waiting game continues with no new developments. Blood is drawn daily, for at a minimum of another 9 days. But no transfusions have been needed, which is good. Allison had/has a slight case of the sniffles, but I'm convinced that it's from cutting teeth. Four have come in since she's been in the hospital. She also bumped her head last week, and had to have a platelet transfusion. All in a day's work for a toddler. Oh, and Miss Allison can now stand up on her own. Pretty soon she'll be walking the pediatric floor!

See more pictures by clicking here!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Allison in the News

Check it out! Story about therapy dogs, and Allison is featured in the pictures!

Happy Update

First, let me attempt to post the link to Nicole's Facebook photo album, following Allison's Leukemia journey. Click here!

Spoke with Nicole last night. It looks like blood tests are coming back with positive change. White clood cell counts are going down still and red blood cells and platelets are remaining the same. Also Allison's IV tubes were removed yesterday! That's huge. No more hydration fluids, anti-nausea, and she stopped taking pain medication last Wednesday! Allison also hasn't had a fever for a week.

Also, on Friday Allison was given the go ahead to go outside. Nicole and Shaun took her out on Sunday afternoon. This is all after Nicole got back to the hospital after getting a little R & R at home for an hour or so.

Though things are looking good, don't forget that the only way Allison will get better is through a bone marrow donor. So register now, if you haven't already!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Be the Match Registry for Allison

Dear Friends and Family,

Every day we are faced with decisions. Some decisions we make are life-changing. Other decisions we make touch someone else’s life. I am pleased to offer you an opportunity to make a decision that can do both—change your life and touch someone else’s life.

BE THE MATCH Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program at City of Hope, offers hope to Allison Zicree and the thousands of children and adults like her whose treatment may include a bone marrow transplant.

Joining is easy:

The first step is to complete a registration form, and brief health questionnaire. You can start the process on-line. (This link allows donors to join at no cost.)

In a week or so, you’ll receive a buccal swab kit in the mail. This kit includes Q tip-like swabs which you’ll swirl inside of your mouth to collect cells. These swabs are sent to a laboratory which will then test your sample to determine your tissue type. Your tissue type will then be put into the registry which Allison may one day rely on to find a bone marrow donor.

Finally, the most important step is to stay committed. Like Allison, patients who don’t have a brother or sister who matches them, rely on the generosity of volunteer donors to save their life. The likelihood of ever matching someone and being asked to donate is very slim. But if you are that “one in a million” match, you might just be the only known person that matches a patient.

Donating bone marrow:

The liklihood of every being called as a matched donor is very slim. It’s like finding your twin in the world. However, if you are called, it’s important to understand the next steps-

1- Donors are notified by telephone that they might be a match to a patient in need. Your health status would be re-evaluated, and a blood test would be scheduled to determine if you were the best matched donor. At this stage, the confirmatory stage, most donors do not advance. Our experience is that about 1 in 10 donors who are called in for additional testing are actually asked to donate.

2- If you are the “best match” for a patient and asked to donate, it’s exciting! You are the one person who can make a huge impact on a very sick child or adult. This step requires a physical exam to make sure it is safe for you to donate. After the exam, a donation date would be set. Normally, the date is about four weeks after the exam. This allows for the patient to have more chemotherapy.

There are two ways to donate:

· Twenty percent of donors are requested to donate traditional bone marrow. Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor's pelvic bones using special, hollow needles. General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some soreness in their lower back for a few days afterwards.

· Eighty percent of donors are asked to donate “bone marrow cells” through a blood donation process called Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation. PBSC donatoin involves removing a donor's blood through a sterile needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm. Donors are required to take a medication for five days prior to increase their blood cell production. This method is very similar to platelet and blood donation.

Spread the word:

Tell your family and friends about the critical need for more donors on the Be the Match Registry and ways they can support the Be The Match Registry’s life-saving work. Email this page to all of your family and friends, and encourage friends and family to join our work through your connections on Facebook and Twitter.

Millions have joined the Be The Match Registry, but there are still not enough donors to meet the needs of all patients. It is estimated that a marrow or blood cell transplant could benefit more than 10,000 children and adults with life-threatening diseases each year. We need your help!

Make the decision to do it.
Do it because you care.
Do it because you can.

You have the power to heal, the power to save a life.
Any questions may be sent to:

Jill Kendall-Erb, program director.
Be the Match Registry at City of Hope

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Isolation Begins

Allison's final dose of chemotherapy started at midnight today. Once that dose was done, her immune system will be at its lowest, and so isolation begins, for approximately 2 weeks. I spoke with Nicole yesterday to answer the questions on everyone's mind. Here is what happens during that time (Nicole, I hope that I do our conversation justice):

Blood is drawn daily and tested, in hopes that chemo was successful and the Leukemia goes into remission. If it goes into remission, then Allison would begin weekly maintenance chemo in about 3 weeks from today, while waiting for a bone marrow donor. Once a bone marrow transplant occurs, maintenance chemo will continue for 2-3 years to help fend off a relapse. If the Leukemia does not go into remission, then a new round of intense chemo would start.

So far this is what is known from the blood tests that have been occuring daily during chemotherapy:

Allison's white blood cell count is decreasing (good). Her red blood cell count and platelet count seems to be fairly normal (odd but good). Intense chemo has not negatively effected Allison as predicted. She has not lost her hair (her hair is too pretty to fall out), she has not had vomiting (she's very well hydrated), and though she's slowed down a bit, she's still her peppy, up-beat self (hello, she's a rockstar!).

Let's continue the prayers, and prepare ourselves for blood and bone marrow drives that are coming up! July 15-17 and July 19. Look for the info tomorrow!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Light the Night

We're forming a team for Light The Night Walk and we hope you'll join us. Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's evening walk and fundraising event. It is the nation's night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of people battling blood cancers and to commemorate loved ones lost.

By joining our team and raising funds for this important cause, you'll be making a real impact on the fight against cancer. On Walk night, you'll join us with other teams and individuals from all over our community in the culmination of our efforts to find cures. Walk night is a family-oriented evening in which participants carry illuminated balloons, raise awareness of blood cancers and come together as a caring community.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. Please join the team and "walk the talk."

So far we have 14 people walking for Team Allison! Let's make it 100!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Incredible Hulk

Had a great visit with Nicole and Allison last night. Nicole had called me and said that she was having an unproductive (i.e. emotional) day. I believe that Nicole and Shaun have been the most productive parents ever, because if it were me in their shoes, I'd have to be heavily medicated at all times.

Allison has slowed down a bit, and is sleeping more. Her appetite is still awesome, if not better. In all, she is still the same smiley girl, with the beautiful brown locks and big brown eyes. Yes, she still has her hair! Amazing, as the Zicrees were told that usually around day 7 (which was Tuesday) hair begins to fall out. However, Allison keeps shocking everyone and the doctors. Her doctor was in yesterday, and to paraphrase Nicole paraphrasing the doctor, "She's doing great."

Tomorrow, Friday the 26th is Allison's last day of chemo. Her immune system will be at it's lowest, so the Zicrees are asking for no visitors. However, please feel free to send cards and notes to them, via snail mail, text and e-mail. Nicole is able to check e-mail from the hospital now. Shaun is in the process of setting up an address for all cards, gift cards and donations to be sent to. Please be patient.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pictures from the Hospital

To see the entire photo album, click here! The pictures are heartwarming.

Happy Father's Day Shaun!

After a morning stint at church, the Mister and I headed over to the hospital to see the Peeps! Bearing "stuff" as only we could and Father's Day wishes, it was a good day.

When we got to the hospital Miss Allison was napping on Mommy, while the chemo drip was going. Allison looked so peaceful. She woke up to enjoy the company, and chat and dance around. She started her second chemo drip while we were there, and the nurse explained that she was receiving 120 mL in the second drip, but getting only 20 mL an hour, so it was going to be in for another 6 hours. After a quick dressing change, and outfit change, Allison continued socializing. I must admit she gave me some of the best and loving hugs ever!

Also, the nurse said that Allison is doing really well. Her numbers (whatever they maybe) are right on track. Because she's doing well now, that's an indicator of how she should do for the remainder of treatment.

Nicole does have internet in the hospital. So she'll begin posting soon (first hand is always better). I'm going to post a few pictures from today in a bit.

Shaun has set up an account in Allison's name, as a special needs account. The address to where checks can be sent will be posted this week. For now, you can send it directly to the Zicrees home, if you have that address. Please make checks payable to Shaun Zicree, and in the memo put Team Allison or Allison Zicree. Now I will put pressure on you all. Our family has committed to donating every week! So if you can, that would be great!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"She's a Monster"

Talked to Nicole this morning, while Round 2 of chemo was going on. All I could hear in the background was Miss Allison giggling along with the nurses. Nic said that yesterday the chemo went well, for 12 hours, full of babbling and dance parties. Afterwards, everyone got a solid 9 hours of sleep. YAY! Mommy called Allison a monster, she's taking the chemo very well at this point. Let's just call her the Incredible Hulk.

Today, chemo started at 9 a.m. and was supposed to go for 12 hours again. Haven't talked to Nicole this evening, but will in the morning.

Save the Date - July 19

Save the Date of July 19 for a KP Blood and City of Hope Bone Marrow Drive! We hope that we get lots of people out to show support for our little Superstar - - ALLISON ZICREE! So mark your calendars now!!! More info to follow!

If you would like to donate your blood now to Allison, please go to and look up the Blood Donation for Woodland Hills, Sunset, San Diego or Bellflower. Allison is O+. Please be sure to check days and times for walk-in donations.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

My husband left the hospital about 30 minutes ago. Brought dinner and hung out for a bit with the Zicrees. This is what he told me (paraphrased from phone conversation)...

Allison is in amazing spirits. She had the chemo drip for 10 hours, until about 8 p.m. She was dancing and babbling the entire time. Her control (for a 13 month old) of bowel movements is gone. This is the calm before the storm. No one knows how her little body will react to the chemo. There's a good chance that her beautiful locks will begin falling out next pretty hats and head bands are appreciated :-)

Because today was a good day, here's a picture of Alli-cat! This was taken Summer 2008. We had just gotten back from breakfast, and my daughter was consoling Allison, because Allison was upset that her underwear were showing for the picture ;-)

City of Hope's 2009 Marrowthon

If you've ever considered joining the registry, now's a great time!

From June 8-22, the Be The Match Marrowthon event seeks to add 46,000 new members to the registry and raise funds for the Be The Match Foundation, giving thousands of patients a second chance at life. While adding a new member to the registry costs approximately $100, during this campaign, the registration fee is waived for the first 46,000 new members.Bone marrow transplants change life. Be the change.

To join online

When asked for a promo code, enter Hopemarrowthon09.

Do this for Allison! Be a donor!

Chemo Started

10 days of intensive chemo for 4 hours a day. Started this morning. Pray for our Alli-cat!

The type and what it means...

Allison was diagnosed with Leukemia AML M7, on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. Translation: Acute Myelogenous Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia, which is the most rare Leukemia there can be.

Intensive chemotheraphy begins today. Allison had her first dose on Monday. She also had a Hickman Catheter put in yesterday. The next step is a blood drive. And possible also a bone marrow drive.

The Zicrees will be in the hospital at least a month now. They are looking for a donation of an old used laptop for that time, so that they can conncet with family and friends. If you can donate one, please e-mail

And don't forget to PRAY. PRAY like you have never prayed before, because we're looking for a miracle.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Restaurants near the hospital

If you are interested in purchasing a gift card for the Zicree family for a restaurant, for a quick bite to eat, a wonderful friend compiled this list:

Poquito Mas
El torito
Z pizza
Coffee bean and tea leaf
Baja fresh
Koo Koo Roo
Burger King
Jamba Juice
Noahs Bagels

Carls jr
Del Taco
Taco Bell
El Pollo Loco
Pizza Hut
Pizza hut

For where to send gift cards, please e-mail Thanks!

Tuesday Morning Surgery

Allison was scheduled to have surgery today at 6 a.m. rather this evening. The doctor's were going to put in the tube/machine that will be used for chemo and blood draws. More info to come later.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Finally, a Monday Update!

From Nicole:

"Hey Monika! We're getting ready to head downstairs for more tests and still waiting on the results on the type [of Leukemia]. Allison will have her first round of chemo as a preventative measure to protect her spine since the Leukemia has not reached her spine and central nervous system. They are doing a second transfusion tonight and surgery will be tomorrow night after platelette transfusion. I think all we need tomorrow is a set of nail clippers. LOL. We can't find Allison's."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

UPDATE! Allison is doing...Excellent! Her fever broke around 5 a.m. and she slept with Nicole ever since. She even stood up in the morning and sat up herself, and greeted Mommy with a "Hey!" Alli-cat even was giggling this morning. Later that afternoon, Allison got a bath and was moving around herself. She had blood drawn again. Keep the prayers coming...this is only the beginning.

Please Pray for Allison

Please pray for Allison Zicree, daughter of Nicole and Shaun.

Alli-cat was diagnosed with Leukemia on Friday (June 12, 2009) afternoon. Everyone is doing as well as they can. Allison will be in the hospital for a while, and the treatment will be for at least 3 years. It looks like it was caught fairly early (10-14 days from onset). However, it is unknown how serious/aggressive it is. Her symptoms started about 2 weeks ago, very needy. That progressed into a high fever, then she stopped crawling and walking and her abdomen was swollen.

I will update everyone as I get info. Matt (my husband) and I spent the evening at the hospital with Nic and Shaun and Allison, and it's not fair (that's how I'm feeling right now). We'll probably be there tomorrow and a couple times during the week.

If anyone is interested in sending cards, and maybe working out a group to prepare dinner for them, please contact Team Allison at I'm trying to come up other ideas to help them out, so if you got them...please post them too.