Thursday, March 15, 2007

Here we go!

Welcome to Kelley's blog! This is to keep everyone in touch while we are in California seeing Dr. Reinisch for Kelley's cool, cutting-edge ear reconstruction. We're so grateful for all the love, support, and prayers we have received. We wanted to create a way to keep everyone up to date on what's happening, so voila! Blog.

Kelley was born with a birth defect called Atresia/Microtia, where she was born without an ear canal, and without an outer ear. In July 2006, at the age of 3, we travelled to Palo Alto, CA where an awesome place called the California Ear Institute and a wonderful surgeon named Joseph Roberson performed something called a canalplasty. Shortly after this surgery, she could truly hear out of her right ear for the first time in her life. Exciting stuff.

Now, we are headed to the Los Angeles area to see a man named John Reinisch, of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Kelley will be receiving something called a Medpor Implant, which will create an outer ear for her. This part of your anatomy is called a pinna. Traditionally, this reconstruction has taken place with a surgery called rib graft - where a part of your own rib cartilage is used to construct the outer ear. With Medpor, this invasive surgery is no longer necessary, and the child has a shorter recovery. We were keenly interested in providing this for her, as the idea of having to surgically open up her chest and take out some of her rib cartilage gave us what I call that "uh oh" feeling. Thankfully, through the Atresia/Microtia Yahoo! message board group, we connected with other parents and subsequently other surgical possibilities.

So, here we are! We are leaving in the morning on March 16th, and this weekend we are taking a little side trip to Disneyland, where my princess gets to meet some princesses (she's a *tad* obsessed with them. This is going to be the highlight of her little life so far.)


julie said...

I bet John is excited to wear his princess dress... oops, that wasn't public knowledge yet. Sorry man.

Thanks for creating this blog, Karen. We're thinking of you guys often. Enjoy your Disney trip!

The Lowerys said...

Hello Mares family!
Hope you had a safe journey today. Give Mickey a BIG squeeze from us when you see him. We'll be thinking of you and checking your blog for updates.
Love to all,
The Lowerys

Ofenlochs said...

Hey Mares Clan!

Not sure if you've been to the magic kingdom yet, but I thought I'd give John a piece of advice....(from experience...) No touchey Pocahontus, trust me.

You are all in our thoughts and prayers!

The Ofenlochs

Melany aka Supermom said...

Lets and lots of hugs and positive thoughts for the surgery. Will be keeping all of you in my thoughts

The LaBuwi Family said...

Wow Kelley, You are such a trooper! We are thinking of you and hope to see you soon. If you tire of the LA scene, tell your parents you want to come up and visit. We can go play Bocce ball again or just chill at home. You are always welcome! Big Hugs from your Bay Area fans!!