What started as a planned vacation to visit family in Texas for an Atascadero mother and her five-year-old daughter turned into a lengthy hospital stay and a battle against cancer.
Kyndal Gottfried was your typical five-year-old girl; healthy, with a love of the outdoors and princesses, especially Elsa and Ana from Frozen.
“She’s like the perfect mix of getting dirty and having fun and playing outside, but also a super girl girl,” said Raquel, Kyndal’s mom.
In early March, Kyndal and Raquel had planned a trip to see Raquel’s sister in Texas, but days before they left, Kyndal began to show signs that something was wrong.
‘We were at the supermarket, she said,’ Grandpa, if I get dizzy I’ll see you two. “Then I started to worry a bit,” said Steven Gottfried, Kyndal’s grandfather.
Raquel and Kyndal got on a flight from LAX, and when they landed in Texas, things got worse.
“She didn’t want to eat breakfast, she didn’t want to walk, and then we were like, ‘Okay, something’s wrong,’” Raquel said.
So they went to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
“We took her in, and about an hour and a half, two hours later, we got the CT results, and everything just opened up,” Raquel said.
Brain cancer was diagnosed.
“At first it was just a total shock,” said Raquel. “” Why me? Why them? ” No child deserves to experience that. “
A 3 cm tumor was attached to her brain. Kyndal has had successful surgery to remove the tumor, and she undergoes six weeks of radiation and six weeks of chemotherapy in Houston, with a break in between.
“She’s doing so well,” Raquel said. ‘Every day she gets so much stronger – walking, talking. She had to relearn many things. Every little win is huge for us right now. “
“She’s so tough through the whole thing,” said Cori Julien, Raquel’s friend. She gets tests every four hours, IVs in her arms. She’s just been a trooper. “
Raquel and Kyndal plan to stay in Texas during her treatments, and medical bills continue to soar.
“I don’t know what the final bill will be,” said Raquel. ‘I know it will cost a lot of money. If I have to pay for the rest of my life, that’s okay. “
“I don’t think she’s ever asked anyone for help, but she always helps someone. She’s a good person in a tough place, ”said Caleb Gottfried, Kyndal’s uncle.
“Raquel is our rock, and Kyndal has pretty much embodied that,” said Jordan Gottfried, Kyndal’s uncle. ‘She’s like the glue. That’s what we’re all really about. “
That power will help them go through it.
“For our family, I think it motivated us to work together. I think we will eventually get stronger, ”said Steven.
The Gottfried family asks for prayers as their little one continues to fight this terrible disease.
Kyndal had her first radiation treatment last Wednesday. If you’d like to help the family with medical bills, click here for a link to their GoFundMe page.