A Holiday Message From the Farhat-Tomaszewski’s

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Typically, the "form" letter is not our style of wishing family and friends a Happy Holiday Season. However, 1999 has not been a typical year for us.

In July our 3 year-old daughter, Madison, was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer, which spread to the inferior vena cava (IVC – the main artery from the liver to the heart), the right atrium of the heart and both lungs. This event has altered our lives forever. By the grace of God, family and friends we have survived the first 5 months of this struggle. We continue our optimistic outlook, placing our daughter in God’s capable hands and trusting in His plan.

Since July, Madison has made major progress as a result of her chemotherapy treatments. Madison’s liver tumor was originally 15x15 cm and has been reduced to approximately 4x6 cm in size. The tumor in the right atrium of the heart went from 3 cm to less than 1 cm in diameter. Madison had 6 to 12 tumors on each lung and today the tumors are virtually invisible on the CT scan. The evidence is clear: God’s healing hands continue to work small miracles with each passing round of chemo.

Madison has been hospitalized for 42 overnight stays and is starting her 6th round of chemotherapy this week. Our trip to Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital (PCH) to determine if Madison should have surgery to remove tumor mass did not turn out as we had hoped. The top surgeons in the country feel that surgery at this time is too risky. However, the chief oncologist at PCH, who has treated over 1,000 patients with liver cancer believes that Madison is making tremendous strides with chemotherapy and recommends continuing with treatments. Therefore, we will continue with chemo to heal our precious angel.

Ashley will turn seven December 30th . She is in first grade and loves school. She enjoys singing and dancing and has been involved in gymnastics.

Mikayla turned nine in October. She enjoys playing sports - - softball, soccer and basketball this year alone. She continues to act as a "mother-hen" to the other two girls - - something inherent with being the oldest child.

We pray that the new millenium brings good health, joy and happiness to all of you. We ask for your continued faithfulness in prayer--for Madison to be fully healed and live a long, healthy life.