Eleven-year-old Allison Lysiak of Temecula considers Halloween one of her favorite holidays, but feared she would not be able to enjoy it this year.
The family was elated, however, when they got word late Tuesday that Allison would be discharged from Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in time to do some trick-or-treating.
Wednesday marked six weeks since Allison, who goes by Allie, was admitted to LLUCH after a mass tumor was discovered. Doctors diagnosed her with chondrosarcoma, mother Sheri Lysiak told Patch.
The rare form of cancer was attacking Allie’s vertebrae, resulting in multiple surgeries to remove the cancer—the last of which was Oct. 26.
For a few moments Wednesday, all of that was left behind as Allie hit the streets with her brother, 5-year-old Nathan, and sister, 12-year-old Emily for some trick-or-treating.
“She went to two homes,” Lysiak said, explaining that Allie currently has limited ability to walk, and she must wear a back brace and use a wheelchair and walker while her back heals from the latest surgery.
That was enough for the family of five, which was often separated during Allie’s hospitalization.
“She gets to be with her brother and sister,” Lysiak said.
It will take between two weeks and two months for Allie’s back to heal. After that, she is scheduled to begin proton beam therapy—a less invasive form of radiation treatment, Lysiak told Patch.
Allie will undergo the treatment five days a week for seven weeks, Lysiak said, which means the family will need to commute to Loma Linda. The good news is that Allie will not lose her hair, as she would have if chemotherapy was required.
“Her cancer was a grade 2, which means it has a medium chance of it coming back,” Lysiak said. “We are going to do everything we can, including switching her diet along with taking other homeopathic measures...Some of these medications she is on can have a lifetime effect.”
Allie, who started this school year at Margarita Middle School after attending her elementary years at Vail Elementary, will most likely be home-schooled through Temecula Valley Unified until she fully recovers, Lysiak said.
“She has shown us how strong she really really is...she went through three major spine surgeries, and then the biopsy surgery. She has been paralyzed, started walking again...She has just been fine through all of it. I am confident in her ability to beat whatever she needs to beat. And that frankly is the only outcome I will accept.”
Several Temecula businesses as well as Vail Elementary PTA have hosted fund-raising events to help alleviate the family’s financial hardship incurred during this time, such as the cost of gasoline for trips to the hospital. Allie’s father, Dustin Lysiak, has also had to take time off from work.
The next benefit event is a Zumbathon from 9 a.m to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Temecula Valley Fitness, 36580 Penfold Lane in Winchester. A donation of $10 or more is requested. Call 951-926-8886 for more information.
Follow Allie’s journey and learn more about her condition by visiting SeeAlliesmile.weebly.com.