Foundation aids another ‘Armer Kid’

At age 3 ½, little Brooks Pallan has endured four months of chemotherapy – and faces several more years of treatments, as he battles a form of leukemia. (Courtesy of Kate Pallan)

Brooks Pallan is only 3 1/2 and already the Chandler toddler has undergone multiple chemotherapy treatments.

The third child of Taylor and Kate Pallan faces treatment for Brooks’ B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia that could take three years or more.

Ahwatukee-based Armer Foundation for Kids has stepped in to help the Pallans, who began this tumultuous journey on March 12. Brooks is the newest “Armer Kid” for whom the foundation is raising funds.

The Armer Foundation’s mission is to be there when health insurance is not enough to help, assisting families with co-pays, premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses.

To accomplish its mission, the foundation relies on donations through ArmerFoundation.org and by selling household goods, clothing and shoes at their charity thrift store at 9830 S. 51st St., Ahwatukee.

Their major fundraiser, its third annual gala, will be held 5-10 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Ashley Castle, 1300 Price Road, Chandler.

All fundraising by the nonprofit is done to ease parents’ financial burden so as they care for their children with chronic or life-altering diseases.

Taylor Pallan said he and his wife – the former 2004 Desert Vista High School alumna Kate Rook – said are “shattered and oftentimes overwhelmed by the journey ahead.” They have two other children, Ellie, 7, and Jack, 5.

They not only can use the donations made to their family through The Armer Foundation for Kids but also look for help from a higher power.

“We would appreciate prayers for Brooks’ treatment and that God would continue to provide our family with His strength,” Taylor posted on the Armer Foundation’s website.

Kate, who was a special education elementary school teacher in California and Chandler before transitioning to a stay-at-home mom two years ago, said the nearly 4-month-old journey has been “a steep learning curve.”

But like her husband, she is thankful for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital – their “home away from home.” She also feels blessed to have the availability of the Phoenix Children’s East Valley Specialty Care Center on E. Southern Avenue in Mesa.

It is here that Brooks can receive chemo infusion and spinal taps while receiving physical therapy at the PCU outpatient location at Mercy Gilbert hospital.

“It’s a much easier drive for us than driving 40 to 50 minutes into Phoenix,” said Kate, a south Chandler resident who grew up in Ahwatukee.

Brooks’ parents agree the chemo treatments especially take their toll on their toddler.

“Some of the drugs cause him to lose his gross motor skills and suffer through nerve pain,” said Taylor. “Brooks’ treatment will be about three years with numerous hospital stays and clinic visits.”

Seeing the changes the disease and his treatments have wreaked on their youngest son have been heart-wrenching.

“Before Brooks’ diagnosis, he was super active, yet at one point he couldn’t walk across the house; he had to be carried. He has access to a walker should he choose to use it,” Kate said. “Even with the chemo, he’s pretty amazing.

Brooks’ siblings also earn the adjective from their parents.

“Our other two kiddos have been amazing during this time. Although their lives changed in a blink of an eye, they seem to be doing well and learning true empathy by watching their little brother tackle this mountain,” said Taylor, a project manager for a general contractor.

As with other families who are blindsided by unexpected hospitalizations or children suddenly diagnosed with diseases, The Armer Foundation has been there to help in any way possible.

“It’s more than just helping us with bills, though that’s been so wonderful especially in the first months when there were a lot of expensive tests and procedures. Jennifer is always contacting us asking what they can do for us. So it’s that emotional support, too,” said Kate, referring to Jennifer, who founded the foundation with her husband Matt, and runs Armer Air with him as well.

For more information on Brooks and other Armer Kids and how to help, visit armerfoundation.org.

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