Alese Coco's Journey through Hodgkins Disease

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Going Forward…

Life is moving forward…We’re having good days and as expected we’re having very difficult days, this has not been easy.

We’re also moving forward with the Alese Coco Fight 2 Win Foundation and we’ll make several announcements in the coming weeks.

We’ve been spending every spare moment together as family and individually with Mark and Shallyn. Paul has taken Mark riding several times in the recent weeks. As much as I don’t like Mark riding motocross, I realize this is something he enjoys and excels at. I won’t interrupt his passion. Shallyn and I have been spending a lot of time together; she’s grown so much in the last three weeks and her inner strength would make Alese proud.

We’re grateful for your prayers and continued support.

Father, we praise you for joyful moments in the midst of such a sorrowful season. Please continue to comfort us, please go before us and guide our path and the path for Alese’s foundation.

Blessings,

The Coco

Friday, May 25, 2007

Newspaper Article…

The Daily Breeze published an article about Alese on Thursday. This newspaper is located here in Southern California and is circulated in the South Bay area.

This is not the article in which Paul spoke about at the services two weeks ago. This was written by freelance journalist Susan Christain Goulding, we’ve never spoken to her before. We were notified about the publication by many friends who called us. The article is in located on the front page of the Today section and it’s called “Someone who put her finger on the right way to live.”

The article can be read on-line also, via the Daily Breeze website, we typed Alese’s name in the search bar and the article appeared.

Father, thank you that even in death Alese’s light shines. Please continue to comfort our hearts as we move forward.

God bless you all,

The Coco’s

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We’re Coping…

Life without Alese has been difficult…

Over the last five years, the focus of our family has been on Alese’s health and during this time everyone has made sacrifices to ensure that this smart, vibrant, insightful sister and daughter receive whatever she needed to get her through whatever challenge she faced.

None of us have any regrets at any level; we did everything, and we were prepared to do whatever we had to do to ensure she lived a quality life.

When the events of March 14th occurred, everything changed. She went from living with Hodgkin’s in a fairly manageably state, into a death spiral that left in hospitalized 49 of the last 54 days of her life.

It’s difficult to put into words, our lives just stopped… For Alese in the literal sense, for our family, life as we knew it has radically changed. Our daughter, Mark and Shallyn’s sister was no longer part of our everyday life, Alese’s amazing wisdom, quick wit, insightfulness and discerning spirit all ended. The void we feel without her is hard to put into words.

These are difficult days and we ask for your prayers as we move forward without her.

Father, give us strength. We ask more than anything that we do your will as we move forward, comfort our hearts, and heal our spirit. Give us wisdom and have mercy on us. More than anything Father, please allow our lives to bring praise and glory to you. Father, we also remember our friends who are afflicted with Hodgkin’s Disease, please bring comfort them, please heal them, please touch the lives of their families.

Blessings,

The Coco’s

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Many Visitors…

Alese’s site still receiving over a 1000 visitors a day and we feel some obligation to respond…

Without question, the loss of Alese has left a creator size hole in our hearts and we hurt.

At the opposite end of that thought process, we’re grateful that we had 23 years with her and we feel blessed beyond belief for her contribution that she made to our family, her friends and the Hodgkin’s community. What an amazing women she was and how proud we are as parents that God choose to use her so mightily. She has made all of our lives richer.

We’re going to New York in the first part of June. We’re receiving hundreds of e-mails from people who want to contribute to the foundation. Once all the legal papers are filed, we’ll post donation information. At this time, the only thing we know is the office will be in New York

Father, we thank you for all you have done in our lives and how blessed we were to have this amazing child for 23 years. Thank you for entrusting us to raise her and we earnestly pray that our lives please you. We pray Father that your mighty hand will guide these three men who are managing this foundation, give them wisdom and give the researchers knowledge to find a cure for this cancer.

All our love,

The Coco

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thank you…

We wanted to thank everyone for supporting us during this very difficult time and to the many who came to her service on Saturday...

She was an amazing person.

This website will remain open and in the coming months we’ll modify the site to include information about the Alese Coco - Fight 2 Win Foundation.

Our goal is to raise money and provide research grants for cure.


Blessings,

The Coco’s

Saturday, May 12, 2007

No More IV Pole! I'm Free...

Alese's favorite journal entry....

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

While I was in the hospital, it hit me that the only thing I write about is chemo and hospital stuff. So, this update is going to be a little different, I’m going to share a little more about myself and let you get to know me better…


My faith is so important to me, my family comes first in my life and I would do anything for them.

Some people say, “you can never be too rich, too thin or too pretty” well, I have my own variation of that: “you can never have too much faith, too much hope, or smile enough” I would rather try in find the positive in any situation, rather than dwell on the negative.

I definitely have times when I feel low or sad, but I don’t let myself dwell on it. I give myself a small window of time, and then I move on.
I love school, and I can’t wait to go back! I am so the kid that sits in the front row and almost always has the answers. I want to be a nurse, I’m still deciding on which field. I love cooking and baking. I think going to culinary school would be a great experience.

I don’t get star struck by “celebrities.” I like people who stick out for all the right reasons. I detest those girls in the public eye who send the message to America’s youth that it’s okay not to have morals, values or brains. To all my special girls, I challenge you never to compromise yourself or integrity just to fit in.

I think my Dad is the funniest person on the face of this earth. My Mom, she just stuns me, she is such a woman of God and I celebrate her many accomplishments. I find my sister to be the most beautiful, and unique person I have ever encountered... and my brother has the quickest wit and more talent than any 10 year old I’ve ever met.

I refer to my dog Lola, as “my child.”

I love cars! My car blew a head gasket when I was 16 and rather than taking it to a shop, my Dad and I rebuilt the engine. Nothing bugs me more than when my car, or the car I'm driving makes bad noises. On the upside I can usually tell what’s causing the bad sound. I can change my own brakes and tune up my own car! Swear!

I believe that life is a blessing, no matter what cards you are dealt. I also believe that most people are good… and most importantly Benedryl can fix almost anything :-)

I admit that Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me” is still my favorite song. I love music, I live alone, and I think I sing more than I talk. Whoever the person is who invented the iPod deserves some kind of award.

I love being girly, and I have a confession: I am obsessed with purses, shoes and big-no-HUGE sunglasses. I am not kidding.

I am not afraid of carbohydrates, I could live off of ice cream and popsicles, if you think I’m exaggerating, check my freezer.

My birthday is March 10th, but I don’t just celebrate that day... every year I have a countdown, and I own the month of March, it’s more like a birth month.

I am so guilty of burning CD’s with only one song.

I love infomercials, I don’t know why but they suck me in every time.

Anyone who knows me really well knows me well, knows why Thursday is my favorite day of the week.

I am modest. I can’t lie to save my life. I will never ever complain about a bad hair day, if anyone complains about their hair to me, I’m so not listening. I am still a big kid, when my siblings and I bicker, the words, “not-uh!” have been known to come out of my mouth.

...I think that covers it. At the end of the day, I am living proof that God is good even when bad things happen.


Fight 2 Win,

-Alese

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sad News…

It’s with shattered hearts that we inform you Alese died this afternoon at 1:20 p.m.

She passed peacefully with Paul, Shallyn and I at her side.

A viewing will be held Friday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Rice Mortuary on 5310 Torrance Blvd. Torrance Ca. 90503 Funeral services will be held Saturday 11:00 a.m. at:

Journey of Faith
1243 Artesia Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 372-4641

A luncheon will immediately follow the services.

Father, in all things we give thanks and we're grateful for the 23 years you blessed our lives with Alese. Heal our hearts and allow us to move foward with the same courage, grace and dignity that Alese lived her life.

Thank you all for your love, care and support.

All our love,

The Coco’s

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Unwanted News...

Alese's breathing problems have worsened and her CO2 level is dangerously high...

At this point, treatment options are out and they've told us we're looking at hours or possibly days.

Please pray that she does not suffer and our Lord will come quickly for her if this is his will, however we will not give up hope until she takes her last breathe.

Yes we still believe in miracles.

Father you know the hour we are to be born and hour we will die. We trust you completely and we lay are precious daughter at your feet and ask you for a miracle to heal her body. If it is your will to bring her home, we ask that she would go peacefully. We rejoice with Thankful hearts that you have blessed our life's with Alese for 23 years. Thank you for the gift and opportunity to raise your child that you entrusted to us. We praise your holy name and ask for thy will to be done and for you to give us the peace we need to get through this. We do father God still believe in miracles, and know that miracles come in all ways.
Amen


Blessings

The Coco's

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Difficult Days As Week 6 Begins…

This has been a hard couple of days for Alese.

She has been suffering from panic attacks, some are due from a medication that they just took her off and a lot are from the physical, and emotional trauma she suffered at City of Hope.

Every time her oxygen desaturates she feels as though she cannot breath, her doctors refer to this as being "air hungry." Thereafter, anxiety takes over as she watches her numbers decline and she feels as though she can't breathe. She fears that she'll be put back on a ventilator.

Although pulmonary doctors felt she was close to going back on a ventilator a couple of weeks ago. They feel she is progressing in a positive manner and the feelings of being air hungry are because her white count has risen to 9000 and it is attacking the infection, this causes swelling and make her feel tighter in her lungs. They expect to see significant improvement over the next seven days

Please pray specially for the following…. First, Alese's lungs will continue to clear and her breathing becomes easier, and the dependency on oxygen will cease. Pray she will not have to go back on a ventilator and this fear will leave her.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for walking with us during this storm, we ask that you would continue to give Alese's doctors wisdom in treating her. We pray Father, that you would comfort Alese, heal her body as you hold her in the palm of your hand and let her life glorify you. Guide us Lord as we need your strength daily and bring comfort to Mark and Shallyn. Thank you for surrounding her with people who are so tenderly and lovingly caring for her every need.

Blessings,

The Coco's

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gracious Hearts…

It’s hard to believe that Alese has been in the hospital for almost five weeks….

I am so grateful to my Mom who came down 10 days ago to help, we are overwhelmed and her presence has been such a blessing. I also want to thank Alese’s best friend Brandy Sheridan who spent two nights with Alese. This was such a blessing, over the last five weeks Paul and I have only seen each other in passing, as one of us has been with Alese 24/7. Last Sunday was the first night we spent the night under the same roof in many, many weeks and we’re grateful to Brandy for her warm, and caring spirit.

Today started out on a difficult note, Alese's red count was down and her breathing appeared increasingly laborious compared to yesterday. However, as the day progressed and many people praying, the afternoon lab draw reported her red count had increased, and by mid afternoon Alese was sitting up in bed. She played on the computer, she did some leg exercises, read some magazines and this evening watched Survivor.

Melissa Walker sent this to Alese in the mail, I read this to her today and she was so touched by the words she wanted me to post it. This is pretty much were Alese's heart is.

"The Valleys"

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why you brought me here
But just because you love me the way that you do
I'm gonna walk through the valley If you want me to
Cause I'm not who I was When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials Bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire if you want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
when you lead me through a world that's not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone.
So when the whole world turns against me
and I'm all by myself
And I can't hear you answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering your love put you through
And I will go through the valley If you want me to.

By

Ginny Owens

New Digs…

As horrible as it is being in the hospital, Alese’s new room is much more comfortable…

The room is much larger and has a sofa, refrigerator and chest of drawers. There are only three of these rooms on the entire floor and we’re grateful they moved her.

Doctor’s are encouraged with her progress and happy with how healthy she looks. The goal now is to continue along the same path and slowly decrease her oxygen dependency as her body allows. If all goes well, she’ll receive another cycle of EVA next week. Thereafter, she needs to begin physical therapy so she can walk again.

Please continue to pray that Alese body will fully heal and that the HD will be successfully treated. Also, please pray for our friends the Spector’s. Their son, Adam (25) just died from HD this past week. He was a wonderful person and our hearts grieve for his family and friends during this time of overwhelming loss.

Father, again we come to you with thankful and grateful hearts, we lay are daughter at your feet. Lord, we don’t see or know the future, but we know you’re in control of all things. Please allow Alese’s life to bring glory to you. Please comfort the Spector family and mend their broken hearts.

All our love,

The Coco’s

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One Down… Two To Go.

Alese has been showing progress daily with her labs and oxygen saturation….

We had a little scare this morning, her heart rate went up to 170 beats per minute and for three hours did not go below 150 beats per minute. However, she did not desaturate and this itself was good news. They feel the accelerated heart rated is caused by one of the antibiotics that she’s receiving to treat the fungal pneumonia.

The CMV infection is completely resolved and now the focus is directed on the fungal (aspergillus) pneumonia and treating the HD… All the doctors are amazed that she’s pulling through this. On a number of occasions, they’ve given us grim news and without question, they’re amazed. They told us today she is beating the odds, and proving them wrong.

Dr. Moore came in this morning examined her and then sat down next to her and read her scripture from Isaiah and Psalms… We are so blessed.

Father we thank you for hearing our cries and once again performing another miracle before are eyes. We give you the praise and glory… Thank you Father, please continue to touch Alese’s body and heal her from this infection and this very misunderstood cancer.

Blessing,

The Coco’s