Nothing can keep little Lucy Holt down.
On Dec. 27, the 1-year-old Oxford resident finished her chemotherapy, a total of four rounds over 94 days.
“Now that she’s done, she’s just thriving,” said Laura Holt, her mother.
“She’s playing. She’s getting into everything. We’ve had to put the baby gates up because she’s trying to climb the stairs. She’s trying to walk. She’s doing basically, everything that they thought she would be severely delayed with. She’s doing everything they said she couldn’t do. It’s pretty amazing. She’s eating well. She’s getting more interested in real food – still not as much as she needs to (be), but she’s working on it.”
Last year, Lucy was diagnosed with fetal-type hepatoblastoma, a very rare type of liver cancer. She had the right side of her liver, which contained three malignant tumors, removed Sept. 5 at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Lucy recently had an MRI scan of her abdomen and a CAT scan of her chest, the latter of which was to determine if the cancer had spread to her lungs.
“Both of (the scans) were clear,” Laura said.
Laura is quite impressed with how well Lucy, who is the granddaughter of Bob Holt, senior pastor of Christ the King Church, handled her chemo treatments.
“The first and second rounds, we breezed right through with no issues,” she said. “It was really (during) the third round that we had some hiccups. She was the most nauseous during that round and she did dip down in weight. She (had) the most blood transfusions during the third round, too, because the chemo causes a drop in their blood count.”
Because of all this, Laura was “worried” about how the fourth round would go.
Fortunately, everything went just fine.
“She actually did great,” Laura said. “She was eating. She gained her weight back.”
With chemotherapy behind her, Lucy must now have monthly blood and ultrasound tests for at least a year.
“They keep pretty close tabs on these kids because you worry about it coming back,” Laura said.
Lucy must also receive a monthly dose of intravenous antibiotics for the next six months to prevent her from potentially developing pneumonia.
“It’s a relief” knowing Lucy is in the clear right now, said Laura, but she wonders “if it will ever get easier to not worry” about her daughter.
Little Lucy’s been dealing with major health issues since she came into this world.
She was born with Mosaic Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder the results in a variety of potentially life-threatening health problems and developmental issues.
This condition caused the formation of holes in her tiny heart. More than 15 holes were successfully repaired in her septum (the wall of muscle that separates the left and right sides of the heart) during a major surgery performed at Boston Children’s Hospital on March 31.
After her heart was fixed, Laura and her husband Bryan felt like things were looking up for Lucy, then came the liver cancer diagnosis.
“Obviously, we’re on heightened alert for anything else,” Laura said. “We’re praying that nothing else comes up. (But) we’ll always have that in the back of our mind(s), which they tell us is normal.”
For now, Laura said “we’re trying to plan normal family things.”
“We’re hopeful. We have to be. I’m just praying this is the last hiccup for her.”
Laura wished to once again express her gratitude to the community for the outpouring of support, both moral and financial, that Lucy has received and continues to receive.
The largest expression of that was a fund-raiser held Nov. 18 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Orion Township. Approximately 280 folks attended and the event netted more than $26,000 to help pay Lucy’s mounting medical bills.
“That fund-raiser was incredible,” Laura said. “It allowed us to pay off all of our (medical) bills from last year. It was a huge blessing to us and our whole family.”
Laura noted the community continues to be supportive with everything from cards containing donations to Christmas gifts for Lucy to businesses like downtown’s M.C. ‘Wiches, which donated a portion of its sales one day last month.