Carried to Connect: Ivy’s Story
For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we want to honor the families facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer and #GoGold to raise awareness. We are connecting with real families on this difficult journey, who have found babywearing helpful during their fight against cancer and sharing their stories on our blog. Team Tula member, Kelly Fondots, shares her daughter, Ivy’s story. Continue reading to also learn how we are supporting childhood cancer awareness with our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Beacon’.
On Monday, May 18th, we took Ivy in for a well baby check-up, and I had mentioned to the doctor my concerns about her bruising. Ivy is a tough cookie (with two older brothers, you kind of have to be), and the doctor shrugged them off because they were mainly on her legs. I am an advocate, as most of you are/should be, and really pushed for a blood test just to see if there was something wrong. I assumed it was anemia and that we would get a iron-rich diet handout and be on our way. I was wrong, so wrong.
Tuesday, May 19th, we went in for the blood test in the afternoon and that evening we were called to immediately come in and admit Ivy Scout to the Oncology Unit. Wednesday, the 20th, was full of tests on tests on tests, and on Thursday, May 21st, we found out news that no parent wants to hear– our baby girl was diagnosed with High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, at just 20 months old. On May 19th we were just like everyone else, and within a day’s time we were now a family helping their baby battle for her life.
The first month of treatment was so rough on her. She was getting chemo so often, and her body wasn’t used to it yet so she was miserable. She was also taking a daily steroid which eventually led to her not walking or talking, not even to say Mom. This is when babywearing became and essential part of our journey and battle against cancer. Luckily Ivy was still nursing, so more often than not I would strap her into my carrier, latch her, then roam the Oncology floor with her IV pole in one hand and my phone in the other.
Sadly, because of the toxic chemicals she receives daily in the form of prescriptions for treatment, she has really struggled to gain weight — she is in the negative percentile! I didn’t even know that was possible, my boys were always over 99%! With her low weight, but long and lanky body, we both love and continue to use our Tula Toddler Carrier. There are days where Ivy does not want to do anything other than be held, so she will find our carrier and give it to me as a her cue. Considering we still have until September of next year (Ivy will have been on this journey longer than she has been alive at that point), I am so thankful we have a toddler Tula.
Thank you to Kelly and her family for sharing Ivy’s story! We hope you will join us this month and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. For every ‘Beacon’ Tula carrier sold, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue funding the fight against childhood cancers. Help by purchasing a Tula ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier, or donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
‘Beacon’ expresses the connected love, care and hope that surrounds each child and family facing cancer: each element coming together to offer strength and support. ‘Beacon’s’ geometric pattern, in a bright yellow gold color, covers the body panel, waistband, and shoulders straps. ‘Beacon’ is lined with light gray canvas and comes with a light gray hood.