The Neverending Story

'The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.'
--John N Mitchell

We set up this website in late October for our wonderful, inquisitive, loving Aiyana. Yana is our eight year old daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend and granddaughter who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia (MPAL).

Aiyana had an amazing life and we are filled with hundreds of heartwarming memories. May all of us take to heart how much a little girl from Lockeford, CA, impacted the world and be reminded and inspired to never let the sun go down without living each day all the way through.

Her Spirit is in every Butterfly.


The Greatest Minds

The family was different today, more intimate and connected on the outside. Chicken soup comforted us on the inside. We filtered in and out, back and forth between the pediatric ICU (PICU) and the waiting room, walking the halls, talking quietly and making our deals with God.

Inside the PICU there was a team assembled outside Aiyana's room. The lead specialist recapped the last 48 hours with xrays of her lungs on his laptop and told the unbelieveable story of the rapidity of her bacterial infection. Showing each treatment strategy and the lung's response, he developed a framework for what lay ahead. UCD is a teaching hospital, but no one there was a more avid learner than her parents, her auntie and us.

This is where we are today, he began, and this is where we are headed. Aiyana has already begun fighting the infection and is building antibodies. We see signs of their activity in her lungs. We will monitor her vitals and machine functioning with two nurses around the clock and her organs will be watched minute to minute. As Aiyana begins to heal and recover, the lungs will begin to clear in the next week or two, and as they begin to function again, we will begin incrementally weaning her off the machine.

He gazed at Korina and Jim and said, I had an infant in ICU and although I work here and know the routine, I know how you feel. What can we do to support you and help, and do you need accommodations? We're set up at the Ronald McDonald House, thank you, was their reply. And then to us he said, you are charged with making sure they eat nutritiously, sleep every day, and get out of the hospital at least an hour a day. With great compassion and humor he added, We don't want them developing ICU psychosis.

And then he turned his attention to his team and fired questions and they went to work collaboratively discussing and addressing issues related to her care. We were off their radar by that point but present to see the best minds intensely focused on solutions and strategies. There is great peace knowing their hearts and minds are with her.


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