Photo courtesy the Goff family
RICHFORD — After being diagnosed with leukemia in November, five-year-old Khloe Goff is putting up a brave fight against cancer.
On Nov. 6, 2014, when she began complaining of stomach pain and a low-grade fever, Khloe was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her treatment began the very next day.
Khloe has had a central line placed, three lumbar punctures with chemotherapy injected into her spinal fluid, two bone marrow biopsies and multiple doses of IV chemotherapy and oral medications. She will be in treatment for two and a half years.
On Valentine’s Day this year, a benefit dance and auction was held to raise money for Khloe and her family. Held at The Crossing in Richford, it witnessed many area businesses donating to an auction, and DJ Tim Westover provided music.
“Family and friends wanted to put something together,” said Khloe’s mother, Jennifer Goff. “There were a lot of donations from local businesses, it was really successful.”
According to Goff, approximately 200 people attended.
“There was lots of local support. It was a frigidly cold night, but being on Valentines Day worked out well,” she said.
Khloe, who just turned five, has been handling her treatment and diagnosis extremely well, said her mom. Thanks to the generous donations, Jennifer has been able to take time off from work as a UVM Medical Center dialysis nurse to bring Khloe to her chemo appointments and take care of her during the day.
Currently, Khloe is taking a two-week break from treatment before she starts her next round, which will last eight weeks. According to Jennifer, the next treatment will be the most intense.
Although she has remained cheerful and upbeat through the process, Khloe has been feeling isolated with the winter weather. She hasn’t been able to interact much with other children, because if she were to get sick she wouldn’t be able to do treatment. Jennifer expects Khloe’s spirits to lift once the weather warms up and she can play outside again.
“She’s sick of being cooped up,” Jennifer said.
Khloe’s parents, her father is Ronaldo Goff, signed her up for tee-ball in the spring, and hope she will be well enough to play. “[Tee-ball] and the spring weather will be like a ray of sunshine to her,” Jennifer said.
Khloe has also found inspiration from a children’s book that one of Jennifer’s coworkers gave to her as a gift. The book, “Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand,” tells the true story of a child who was diagnosed with cancer and creates a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research. According to Jennifer, Khloe is eager to start her own lemonade stand this summer to raise money.
The community has been incredibly supportive of the Goffs, and in addition to the Valentine’s Day benefit, students at Richford Jr./Sr. High School have reached out to Khloe’s family looking to start a fundraising effort.
The family is also selling t-shirts, bracelets and bumper stickers with the logo “Khloe’s Fight.” The products are featured on their Facebook page, “Khloe’s Fight – Leukemia picked the wrong little girl.”
Money raised for the family helps to ease the financial burdens associated with insurance premiums, frequent trips to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where they are receiving treatment, and all other costs associated with Khloe’s diagnosis.
“It’s really amazing. You sort of feel alone and isolated going through this, but people have been unbelievably supportive,” Jennifer said.
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To donate to Khloe’s gofundme account, go to the link: http://www.gofundme.com/ij0hyk. You can also follow Khloe’s story on Facebook by typing in “Khloe’s Fight – Leukemia picked the wrong little girl.”