Alabama four-year-old battling cancer needs help from neighbors this Christmas season
Four-year-old Enterprise, Alabama, native Avalynn James has been battling the aggressive cancer Neuroblastoma for over a year now.
She received her diagnosis in October 2018 and spent over a year in the hospital receiving four rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, 12 rounds of radiation and a tumor resection surgery, according to the Southeast Sun.
Avalynn’s family recently learned that her cancer had returned.
“So now we’re just kind of starting back over,” Avalynn’s mom, Kristen Mahan, told Southeast Sun.
After the discovery that the cancer was back, Avalynn’s mom posted on Facebook, saying, “I began reaching out to other hospitals & doctors for options & found a doctor in Michigan that specializes in neuroblastoma, after speaking with her about Avalynns history she immediately agreed to except Avalynn as a patient, but insurance refused to cover out of state care unless the hospital/doctor is currently an Alabama provider.”
The doctor in Michigan, Giselle Sholler, reportedly agreed to register Avalynn, but that was going to take 90 days to get approval from the insurance company: time which Avalynn could not afford to go without treatment. Avalynn’s parents decided to put her back into chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, pending the insurance company’s approval of her getting care from the Michigan specialist.
According to Avalynn’s mom on Facebook, “The day that Avalynn started chemo at Children’s [former state rep] Barry Moore was contacted about our issue with insurance and immediately made a phone call to the insurance company. The next day I received a call from insurance saying that the paperwork to have Dr. Sholler & the hospital registered as an Alabama provider was being ￼expedited to get approved faster.”
A week later, the insurance company approved Dr. Sholler and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as Alabama network providers.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve never cared about politics or anything that has to do with it, but Barry Moore changed my whole outlook on it,” said Mahan.
At the time of publishing, Avalynn is in Michigan to receive treatment.
Anyone hoping to provide help for Avaylynn’s travel to and from Michigan, as well as unexpected medical expenses, can go here to donate to a fund that will help out Avalynn and her family.
For anyone unable to donate, Avalynn has also been selected as this year’s Cards for a Cause recipient. According to WTVY, every year, members of the community send cards to a sick child in need. Typically, senders enclose $1 with the cards to help the family of the sick child pay expenses.
Avalynn’s favorites cards are homemade cards.
Cards can be sent to Avalynn at:
To follow Avalynn’s story on Facebook, go here.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.