Azaelea is the first recipient of a donation from Doug The Pug Foundation.
Azaelea’s Health Journey
Jessica began bringing her daughter Azaelea to the hospital frequently for stomach pain and fevers, but it was not until the pediatrician told Jessica that her daughter needed to start care immediately, that Jessica’s worst nightmare was happening as a parent. Azaela was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), which is rare in children. Treatment needed to begin immediately and due to COVID only one parent could make the journey with her to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. They had 2 hours to get packed and to the hospital for treatment, as the leukemia was already starting to shut down her organs.
Azaela spent 27 days in the hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy to get her body functioning on its own again. In such a short time she had two major emergency procedures, in PICU on a ventilator, and fighting the effects of the chemo. She never gave up hope during her entire hospital stay that she would someday have a pug of her own.
Jessica and her husband have faced immense financial difficulties with Azalea’s treatment. Jessica had to resign from her job to become full time caregiver as treatments are being given at home, as well as pay for a new apartment near the hospital. All on top of having three other children as well.
The Doug the Pug Foundation raised $15,000 for Azaelea’s Family
During such a dark time in their lives, Jessica wanted to find a way to offer Azaela and her sibling’s warmth and joy. Azaela was persistent about a pug, so Jessica contacted her physicians and was told that a dog would provide her family with warmth and excitement and make it a little easier for Azaelas home care. Upon her release from the hospital, Azaelea received her wish for a pug of her own, nicknamed “Mimi”. Along with her new best friend Mimi, Azaelea began recovery at home, but Jessica got the news that her body was no longer reacting to the latest therapy.
She started to require blood transfusions, resulting in frequent visits to the hospital. It was a temporary fix, which would only support her for a brief period of time. Azaelea was not responding to treatment and the next course of action is a bone marrow transplant. This will be a very intense time for Azaelea and her whole family, both financially and emotionally. She will be hospitalized for up to two months at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Azaelea and her family are partnering with Be The Match in order to find an eligible bone marrow donor.
As soon as Azaelea’s parents reached out to Doug The Pug Foundation, it was immediately clear that Azaelea and her family were incredible people who could use the social media power of Doug The Pug to get her story out. After posting her story, Doug The Pug Foundation quickly raised over $15,000 and will continue to raise more as Azaelea goes on her journey.
You can help children like Azaelea by donating to the Doug the Pug Foundation!Donate