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.