Hi Everyone,
This is Dana. I've been wanting to write an entry since Natalie's birthday..... well, you know how that goes! But at least it is still January! Natalie's THIRD BIRTHDAY was on Jan 2nd and boy, did we CELEBRATE! We put together a Music Together music class with several of Natalie's little friends at a local Music Together classroom. If you know how much Natalie loves music, you can just imagine how much fun she had.

She had such a blast being around other little kids (something that doesn't happen much lately!). And God really answered prayer... Natalie's counts were excellent that day and her spirits were high. I think a total of 8 kids were there. Thanks to Elizabeth for conducting a great, interactive class for us all and kudos to the parents for doing an amazing job participating too!

I didn't anticipate what an emotional day that would be for me. Not emotional in a gloomy way, but in a grateful, overflowing with appreciation kind of way. As I looked back over Natalie's short 3 years on earth, I was overwhelmed with the many trials and triumphs... the mountains and the valleys that we have traveled as a family.

Anyhow, I've attached some pictures for you. Hope you enjoy!


It seems like we've been waiting forever to hear the results of this second MRD test (like the one we did on day 30 of chemo which gives a count of any remaining Leukemic cells). Come to find out, this test is only done for research purposes behind the scenes and it is not a test intended to be shared with the family. So, that is why we will not hear back from the lab conducting the test this time.

I think we heard the results of first MRD b/c one of the doctors on Natalie's team was also part of the research team (?). Anyhow, long story short... we will not hear the results of the MRD, BUT our oncologist did tell us that when she looked over the sample of cells herself through her instrumentation, that it looked completely clear of any Leukemic cells to her naked eye! So, we are on the right path! Thanks for waiting and praying with us. We are trusting that the chemo is doing exactly what it is suppose to.

We are sill in the midst of waiting for the results from her (3 week ago) MRD scan. If they come back favorable, we will know we are on the right path for treatment. I have to say that I am quite impressed with Stanford Children's Hospital. Though there are a lot of scheduling coordination, I have never felt more part of a medical cause like this one. Since it's so well known, all of the good hearted people nearby seem to flock. World class musicians and vocalists, firemen, sports icons and the like are always seen connecting with kids. It almost feels like we belong to an elite club or special group. During the holiday season or Halloween you can't get out the doors without someone passing some good cheer with a gift or special holiday memento. And wouldn't you know it the Dr.'s are pretty good too (good enough to carry a world renown title).

Thanks for everyone who reads this who's helped us. We are truly better people because of you! :)
test vide #1 from dominick on Vimeo.

Natalie Orlando

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