Arcadia Firefighter/Paramedic Beth Fournier is no stranger to seemingly insurmountable difficulties. In fact, the entire fire dept. in Arcadia has seen more than its fair share of tragedy in the past year and yet they battle on as firefighters do, caring for their fellow man – especially in time of need.
Firefighter/Paramedic Beth Fournier was recently collecting money for a friend in need in Rancho Cucamonga when this friend told her about the plight of an Arcadia single mom who has spent all her savings on brain surgery at UCLA, leaving little for her two boys this Christmas.
Fournier stepped in and in a matter of weeks she and her fellow caring Arcadia firefighters were in on the plan to make Valerie Babinski’s Christmas a little brighter.
On Thursday December 11, Arcadia Firefighters delivered a firehouse dinner and Christmas toys to a local single mom who is battling brain tumors and cancer. Valerie Babinski has two young boys ages 8 and 10, Colin and Noah. Valerie was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain tumors after suffering a seizure while training to run the NYC Marathon. She was an avid marathon runner and iron-man participant and was highly involved in the local Little League.
During brain surgery to remove the tumor a mere three weeks ago, doctors( at UCLA) discovered a secondary brain tumor that is inoperable. Valerie is currently dealing with deficits left from her seizure and brain surgery and will begin radiation and chemo therapy shortly.
The Arcadia Firefighters Association would like to raise awareness of an online fundraiser that has been established by Valerie’s friends to help the Babinski family during this difficult time. It is their desire to encourage Valerie and her young boys during this holiday season. The firefighters who delivered the present Thursday also took the two boys on a ride in Arcadia’s coolest Fire Truck.
According to her friend Amanda Gentry “Valerie is continuing to recover from her surgery. She has “found her legs” again and is moving without the use of a walker. Every day she continues to improve with the use of her right hand. She still has a few dexterity issues; however, she does better daily. The last couple of weeks have been a barrage of doctors appointments. Just yesterday she spent 5 hours… yes 5 hours in a chair at UCLA having her blood filtered. It was explained to me, it was a similar experience to dialysis. At the end of the day Valerie also went home 3 bags of blood lighter: platelets, WBC’s and plasma. This was all part of the clinical trial she is involved in. Essentially the trial is to develop a vaccine for her brain tumor. This treatment is already approved in parts of Europe and having amazing results, so for Valerie to be a part of this is AMAZING! The blood specimens had to be collected BEFORE Valerie starts her Chemo/Radiation… which should commence next week.”
Last weekend Valerie had the opportunity to get out amongst some of her running friends. Her oldest son, Noah, ran in the Holiday half 5K race. It was his very first race and he did amazing. He finished in 32 minutes and some change. Originally Valerie was supposed to run with Noah; however, with all the recent events it was not possible. So, Valerie’s amazing friend, Helen Crutchfield, stepped in and ran with him. Valerie was so proud of Noah… as were we all! It was a good morning and Valerie was glad to be out and see some of her running friends!
The next phase of getting Valerie well is 6 weeks of full brain radiation in conjunction with pill-for chemo. The doctors feel Valerie will tolerate the treatments well. Probably fatigue will be the worse side-effect and some nausea. But Valerie knows what is in store and she remains optimistic, vigil and has maintained her amazing sense of humor throughout this.
If you can help in any way here’s the information. The link to her youcaring.com fundraiser is: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/help-valerie-babinski-kick-glioblastoma-s-ass-/257739