Sweet Stevie (Updated on How to Help)

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Updates on How to Help at the bottom of post.

“I still can’t believe this is happening.  What I’ve feared most for the past two years is becoming reality.  I’m having to watch the most precious thing in the world to me die.  I seriously don’t know how to move forward, nor do I want to.  I will miss her sweet voice and beautiful smile so, so, so much.  Always wondering what she would have been like as the years pass without her in my life.  This is truly the most awful feeling in the world.”  Keisha, Stevie’s mom

Stevie’s marrow and peripheral blood are full of leukemia.  She has a serious bacterial infection that also infiltrated her Hickman catheter, requiring her line to be pulled.  Her breathing is fast, 70-80 breaths a minute.  Her fevers are constant.

Stevie’s parents, Michael and Keisha, had to make the brutal decision yesterday to stop any further treatment.  All the monitors are off.  No vitals are being taken.  She has limited access to get meds in because IV team is unable to place a line.  At this point, there are no more chemotherapy options for Stevie, so advanced is her disease and infection.  She is incredibly uncomfortable but is being provided the best pain management available.

The room is dark and the bed laden with more girlish colors and patterns than you can imagine.  Keisha longs to pull Stevie into the curve of her body but Stevie feels so “yucky,” that she only wants the constant sensation of her legs and body being rubbed, tender hands ever-present.

Stevie’s baby sister only came out into the world three weeks ago.  So little time for two sisters to know each other, to bond.  As one is just arriving, the other is departing.  The pain like your rib cage being torn open with blunt force.

Not nearly enough tears will come.  I think about Stevie and her family clustered in that small room; all day and night they enter my thoughts.  It is like watching a version of your own life.  Like Allistaire, Stevie was almost the same age when she was diagnosed, just two years old.  Both diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Two little Montana girls.  Their room is across the hall from ours in Ron Don.  They have matching unicorn pants.  In the stunted confined way that is the only possible way in this strange labyrinth of pediatric cancer, Stevie has been Allistaire’s closest friend.  I can picture perfectly where I stood at St. Edward’s State Park when I first learned of Stevie’s story.  I can still see her fantastically chubby legs the first time I met her in person soon after she was diagnosed.  I remember so clearly pulling off to the side of Kelly Canyon Road before I lost cell reception to hear news of Stevie’s relapse.  So many points stand bright and vivid, in part because they have been so like our own.  In part because Stevie is a wild cat, full of glee and mischief and just straight up adorable.  There is so much to love about that girl.  It seems incomprehensible that the world can exist without her.

As her family, mom Keisha, dad Michael, grandmother, aunt and baby sister dwell minute by minute through all the minutes left for Stevie, I am yearning to care for them in any way that is possible.  There is nothing any of us can do to stop the careening path Stevie is on, but what I want to do is to support their ability to remain together in that room as a family and specifically to take away the time-consuming task of figuring out meals.  This is where I’d like to ask for your help.  It is my goal to have all meals covered for Stevie’s family for the coming days.  If you would like to show tangible love for them, please see the details below on how you can sign-up to bring a meal, give money to contribute to meals and/or give money directly to Stevie’s parents.

Thank you for all of you who so faithfully pray on our behalf.  I ask that you would do the same in this agonizing time for Stevie and her family.  I pray that the Spirit of God would bring Stevie comfort.

***Updated Thursday morning 1/28 @ 10:45am

Thank you for your overwhelming response in wanting to help!!!!  There are three main ways to do this:

1.  For those of you in the area that want to provide a meal, please follow this link to Take Them A Meal and sign up to bring a lunch or dinner for four adults.  Enter the last name Rasmussen and password stevie2016

Meals can be dropped off at the River Entrance front Security Desk at Seattle Children’s Hospital (4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105)

Not too spicy as Keisha is nursing, just enough for a meal as they have limited fridge space to store extra food, and they only have access to a microwave so please supply food in easy to use portions and cut anything requiring cutting as they do not have access to kitchen utensils.  Please review what others are bringing so you don’t inundate them with too much of the same type of food.  No one wants to eat lasagna 5 days in a row, no matter your circumstances.

2.  If you’re out of the area and want to give money to help provide meals, you can do so through this link Square Cash.  Online you can only use your debit card.  If you get the iPhone or Android app you can use either a debit or credit card, though there is a 3% fee for credit card use.

If you’d like to send a check, please mail it to Ronald McDonald House, Attn: Allistaire Anderson, 5130 40th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98015 and please write “Stevie” in the menu line to make it clear that you are giving for meals for Stevie’s family.

 Any money that may be raised that exceeds the amount needed for meals, I will give directly to Stevie’s mom and dad, Keisha and Michael.

3.  I am sure Keisha and Michael will have many expenses in the coming days and weeks on top of the financial strain of the last two years, so if you would like to give directly to them, you may do so through their Stevie Strong You Caring site.

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93 responses »

  1. I would love to help financially. I went to college with Bjorn and have been following your journey for quite some time and praying for you all. Thank you for your example of faithfulness and trust in the most difficult of circumstances. – Much love, Liz

  2. Jai, I can help with food pick up and delivery. I can do this tomorrow or any day that it’s needed. Praying as well. God be near. Bless you for helping Stevie’s family.

  3. Jai dear friend, I can send $30. Not much I know but will help some. I (and Betty too) will be praying for them and for you as you love them for Jesus! Gayle

  4. Sorry Jai, I messed up the first form. I can give $30. Not much but hopefully will help. Just tell me what to do. I will be praying (and Betty too) for you as you love them for Jesus and that God will meet them in the pain.

  5. Jai, Brad and I will do anything we can! We can donate money, make meals, and go and get whatever at whatever time!!!!! Text me please! I am so sorry! Thelma and I pray for all of you EVERY night, and will continue.

    • Thanks so much Megan. You guys are so incredibly gracious and compassionate. I’ve updated the blog with details on how to give financially to help with meals and/or in general. All the info is at the bottom of the post.

  6. Hi, I’d love to drop off lunch. Just let me know which days and which room. Thank you for giving us a way to help, even in just a small way.

  7. I would like to help. I met Stevie when I ran for St. Judes. I’ve been to Seattle twice since they have been there. I can bring anything that is needed and help in anyway possible. I’m truly heartbroken.

  8. I would love to contribute some money. I follow sweet little Allistaire and pray for your family. I am so sorry for Stevie and family:(

  9. We want to help.

    I can send you a check to your RMH address, but if there is an easier way please let me know. If I don’t hear from you by the end of the day…. I’ll just send the check.

    Prayers for Stevie and her family as well as Allistaire and all of you.

  10. We want to help.

    I’ll send money to your RMH address by the end of the day. If there is another way to get the funds to you that is easier/faster please let me know.

    Prayers!!!

  11. I would like to help in a financial way for meals. I could order takeout or whatever works Please let me know. My daughter’s all played soccer with Keisha in high school and she is so dear to us.

    • Thanks so much Peggy! I have now updated the blog post to include details on how you can contribute financial to meals or in general. I am sure such thoughtfulness is especially meaningful to Keisha given your connection.

  12. Jai, Anna is in clinic on Friday. I will plan to bring either a soup or chili and I can leave it at the desk for them. I’ll make it a big enough batch to cover more than one meal.

  13. I would love to help – I have tomorrow off and can drive to Children’s to deliver/pick up food or giftcard. Whatever will help….I am here and would love to help in anyway I can.

    • Thanks Suzy. I think we have tomorrow/Friday covered at this point. But if you’d still like to provide a meal, you can always drop off a gift card for them under the name Stevie Rasmussen (FA7.215) or on my updated blog post on Stevie, there is a link to sign up for meals or donate toward meals.

  14. Jai, I don’t have a car at the hospital but I can get cash! Was also thinking about calling a couple of restaurants and seeing if they would donate a meal. The Ram is usually so gracious and giving when they see our kiddos out on pass and perhaps Mio Posto (pizza) would as well.

  15. Are they still in Seattle? If so please let me know how I can help. I’m actually from Hamilton MT where they are from but I moved to the Seattle Area recently and want to help any way I can.

  16. This is so touching and heartbreaking. I have known Keisha since she was a child herself she was and is a good friend of my daughter. I think Stevie is alot like her mother, spunky, sassy and love of sweetness. The world will be a lesser place without her. Let me know where I can send a donation, And bless you for being who you are.

    • Thanks you Jennifer for your willingness to help Stevie’s family in this hard, hard time. I have just updated the blog post regarding Stevie to include details on how you can help. All the info is at the bottom of the post.

  17. We will help. Just let me know how to get money or a gift card to you. Wishing I lived there and could make yummy food for all of you. Praying for everyone.

  18. Jai, You don’t know me yet but I know of both Allistaire and Stevie via Janette Braun. My daughter Cadence is also a pediatric cancer patient at Seattle Children’s. I will be at Children’s tomorrow (Friday) for surgery and chemo. I would love to bring a meal for Stevie’s family or bring whatever I can to help. Cadence’s check in time is 6:15am (ew) and then I can head up after she’s settled in. Alternately, since that’s really early, I can wait until after we finish chemo and go pick something up and bring it back. Please call or text me at and we can figure out if this will be helpful. Thank you so much for arranging this! -Lara Nield

    • Lara, Janette actually just came down to our room to tell me about your willingness to help. I just updated the blog post (at the end of the post) on ways to help and specifics about meals. We already have Friday lunch covered but still need a meal for Friday dinner. You can go to http://www.takethemameal.com and enter the name “rasmussen” and the password “stevie2016” to sign up. There are also meal specific details to help. Thanks so much!

  19. I would like to pay for 2 lunches for their family and if there is some way to have them delivered by whatever place makes them. I don’t know if they can be ordered by a service or restaurant or something… Unfortunately I am in Montana so not able to hand deliver as I would like to. I die a little inside everyday now thinking about them and knowing what they are facing. I went to Cosmetology school with her parents and became friends with the whole family, my kids were in tears when I read Keisha’s post the other night because they all knew and loved Stevie and remember playing with her in our backyard before the nasty leukemia came… Please let me know what else they might need and we will try to help as much as we can…

    • Tiffany, it is so wonderful to hear from Keisha and Michael’s friends from home. I know your ongoing thoughts and love for them is especially meaningful. It is easy for those of us who are far from home (I too am from Montana) to feel forgotten in those relationships that are difficult due to distance and circumstance. I have updated the blog post with ways to help out with meals. Essentially, whatever money is donated for meals I can arrange local assistance to get the meals to Stevie’s family. Whatever left over money there might be will of course go to Keshia and Michael.

  20. Hi Jai,

    I read that Stevie loves to be gently massaged; I am a Certificate Infant Massage Instructor (as well non-infants) and I am wondering who do I need to get in contact with to be able to go in and give Stevie and other kids, a massage gift so that could relief a little of their pain.

    Many thanks,
    Melissa

    • Wow Melissa, I have never heard of infant massage but I can see that as really such a tangible gift. I would contact the Seattle Children’s Hospital volunteer office at (206) 987-2000 and they should be able to direct you.

  21. Breaks my heart to read this story prayers and strenght for this family. 🙏 I would love to help. Donate towards a meal.

  22. My thoughts, prayers and tears go out to this precious little girl, her parents, baby sister and all who know and love her. I would love to help with a donation of the meals.

    • Thank you so much Kim for your prayers for Stevie’s family and your willingness to help out. I have just updated the blog post with details on the various ways available to help out. All the info is at the end of the post.

  23. Myself and 2 other ladies would like to send money to help. All 3 of us worked with Stevie’s grandma Linda and we’re there to support her when Stevie first was diagnosed. We send our love and thoughts to the family.

    • Amy, thank you so much for your compassionate hearts and wanting to help. Linda is a gem, such a sweet woman and faithful mother. I know her heart is breaking having to watch her own precious daughter walk through these brutal days. I have just updated the blog post on Stevie to provide details on how to help – the various options are at the bottom of the post.

  24. Prayers and hugs for you and your precious daughters. As a mother of a child who was diagnosed w cancer at 4 months old my heart goes out to you. Much love and strength in the coming days.
    Stokes/Johnson family

  25. I can bring a meal tomorrow or Sunday! I have also volunteered to take some photos of the girls and the family if they would like me too!

    • Thanks Heather for your willingness to help with meals. I’ve just updated the blog post on Stevie with specific details on how to help. Have you contacted Stevie’s family about photos? I’ll check in with them in case you haven’t and give them your contact info if they are interested. Thanks so much!

  26. Jai,

    Just sent money your way. I don’t know Stevie or her family, but grew up in Missoula and Hamilton and this is every parent’s nightmare. This story brought tears to my eyes. I’ll share on Facebook to get the word out. Thank you so much for organizing. Stevie and her family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thanks so much Patty! The blog post is now updated with details at the bottom of the post as to how to give money directly, either to help pay for meals of general financial giving through their “You Caring” site under the name “Stevie Strong.”

  27. I understand better than anyone else what you and your family are going through.. my son recently passed away he was only 15 at the time of his passing in may of 2015. He’s had a long hard life of suffering and having to watch him in pain and go through his struggles was hard but to actually watch my son the love of my existence slowly dieing was the worst. Not only for me but for his 2 brothers was and still is extremely painful. There is no words that I can say to you to ease the pain except I’m sorry and my heart breaks for you and your family and if you need anything please feel free to email me.

  28. Jai…I would love to help financially, but also I will be in Seattle Saturday for an event at Safeco field…can I help bring a meal to the hospital?

  29. I would love to help! I would make a meal but I’m not much of a cook. But if you are ordering take out for Stevie’s family I would be happy to pick it up and deliver it. The only upcoming day that I’m not available is this Saturday. Other than that I am pretty free and I work from home so during the week I can be available too.

    • Thanks for your willingness to help out with meals Claudia. There is a meal sign-up now on the blog post regarding Stevie. You’re welcome to order food and drop it off, it doesn’t have to be home cooked. Or you can help financially with meals. Either way, the details are now at the bottom of the post.

  30. Jai, we would love to help with meals for them. I’ll go on Square cash and give that way. Much love to you sister.

  31. I pray that this family finds comfort one way or another. My condolences and deep sorrows for the people that love this beautiful little girl….she was too great for this brutal world and is with the Lord now running playing and smiling with no more pain.
    God Bless

  32. Lord watch over her family and welcome her with open arms, I know she is not scared and is out of pain, no words…..just hope that my prayers reach the family somehow.
    Welcome home baby girl…..

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