Avalee is a 20-month old little girl that was born healthy at 37-weeks. At just 6 months old, Avalee was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor (nephroblastoma). She was in kidney failure and began chemotherapy immediately. In her short life, Avalee has had both kidneys removed, countless hospital stays, several rounds of chemotherapy, dialysis, and is now awaiting a new kidney. She cannot be placed on the transplant list until she has gained weight which has been a huge struggle. Doctors have discussed placing a g-tube; however, it is the parent’s wishes to avoid this if at all possible. Avalee started speech-language therapy with Megan Ramos, SLP and Dallas TM, at approximately 15 months of age. She was only drinking formula, at minimal amounts. She hated to have her teeth brushed or to even touch foods. In 5 months Avalee has come so far! She loves to play with food and will now take certain baby foods up to 7 ounces in one day. She also loves drinking water out of a sippy cup and has been able to maintain her oral intake of her formula. She accepts a variety of foods, that have different tastes and textures. Avalee has been known to take a few small bites of things she’s interested in (when she thinks no one is looking). Her oral aversions have decreased, and she will now tolerate her teeth being brushed each morning. Avalee continues to show weekly improvements and is gaining weight slowly. The more weight she gains, the more likely she will avoid a g-tube placement and the closer she gets to being placed on the transplant list. Home health feeding therapy is making a significant difference in Avalee’s life!

 

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