Two hurting Havre kids are getting better
By Samantha Clawson
Nine-year-old Havre resident Andrea Moore, hospitalized since October for her second bout with leukemia, has recently made great progress, her father said.
When Andrea relapsed with leukemia in October, doctors gave her a 30 percent chance of survival. That percentage was recently upgraded to 80 percent, her father, J.B. Moore, said.
The family is still looking for a bone marrow donor, Moore said. Doctors are going to proceed without a bone marrow donor because they can't delay treatment any longer, J.B. said. Having a bone marrow donor would increase Andrea's chances of not relapsing.
Andrea's recent success is attributed to her rigorous schedule of chemotherapy. In December she will begin radiation treatments. "Doctors still haven't found a bone marrow donor, but the doctors are going ahead with the treatments," Moore said.
Doctors haven't found a bone marrow match in Andrea's family or from bone marrow donor banks.
Andrea lives with her mother, Denise, in the Ronald McDonald house near Seattle Children's Hospital. They like the facilities. "They are kind of like a group home. Everyone has their own room and there's a big kitchen. The kids have toys and a swing set to play with," Denise said.
Despite her leukemia, Andrea enjoys her time. The hospital provides entertainment for patients. "They have a large playroom where volunteers come and do projects with the kids," said Denise. Andrea's favorite activity is stone polishing. "She likes making necklaces and things," Denise said.
When Andrea isn't in the hospital she enjoys Seattle. Her favorite place is the Space Needle, although being on the top is a little scary. She also had a major brush with celebrities. Recently Andrea had three big stars visit her actors Tom Arnold and Angelina Jolie, and hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. Jolie was the only one Andrea recognized. She saw "Tomb Raider" and is a big fan of "that Tomb Raider girl," her mother said. She didn't know who Tom Arnold is until her parents reminded her of the movie "True Lies." She also didn't recognize Gretzky. Andrea's not a big hockey fan and she said that she thought he was "just another star." Not only did Andrea get their autographs, she also got their e-mail addresses.
Andrea was first diagnosed when she was 4. After eight months of treatment she went into remission. Doctors said that if Andrea remained in remission for four years the chances of her getting leukemia would drop dramatically. Two weeks before her four-year anniversary in October, tests showed the disease had returned.
Her family is able to travel to Seattle because of support from the community. Local businesses such as Havre Ford, Hi-Line Lanes, and Shamrock's Bar have donated money. Locals Bob and Janette Williams and Jake Barta also have helped raise money. The Salvation Army paid for train tickets so that J.B. and Andrea's brother, Junior, could visit Andrea last Christmas. They will visit again Thursday. The Moore family is very thankful for the help.
Andrea misses her home, friends, and family badly. She hopes to be able to come back Christmas Day.
Whether or not she makes it back for Christmas, her family has big plans. "If there's no delays, we'll be home; if not we'll be here," said Denise. If Andrea can't make it back her father and brother will go to Seattle.