Welcome to the Dupree family page! Whenever Kevin and Kayla provide us with new information about their family’s journey we will post updates here.
Scroll down past the updates to see ways you can help out the Duprees.
Monday, May 10
12PM, From Kayla
I woke up this am feeling the worst I’ve felt-and it’s because my hemoglobin was 6.9. I’m getting a blood transfusion now and already feel better. The drs came by and said I look exactly how I should and even used the word “great,” so I’ll take it!
Kace is coming off the ventilator today! They’re putting him on cpap and if he tolerates that well they will remove the right chest tube so I can hold him. I’m praising God for the big and small wins and counting down the seconds until Thursday when Kevin can come see us both.
Saturday, May 8
8:15PM, from Kayla
Days 1-3 I get two different types of chemo, so both started today around 12. The second one runs only over about an hour and only days 1-3, the other one is continuous 24hrs/day for seven days. Today was day one. So far, no side effects from the chemo which can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores. Some of these things may also show up progressively but I’m praying I escape them altogether.
I’m not in pain, just a little tired and weak. They tell me my hair will start to fall out probably over the next seven days or so, and starting around day 7 is when I’ll feel extreme fatigue/weakness. Until then, I’m trying to get up as much as I can and move around. I’ve also seen Kace several times a day since I’ve been here. I can’t hold him yet, so that’s been the hardest part.
I’ve blasted worship music, prayed, and taken advantage of sharing the gospel through my story with every single person that will listen. This alone has given me strength. Please pray my symptoms just stay mild and for my anxiety as I start to lose my hair. Kevin has it all set up at home so I can literally see the living room at all times and when they video chat me they put it on the living room TV so it feels like I’m there. God gave me the best husband in the world.
Kace has progressively gotten better each day since his last pneumothorax. Today they removed the left chest tube, and weaned his oxygen on his ventilator down to 21% (room air!). Right now, he still has the right chest tube and an arterial line that are preventing me from holding him. Those should be removed in the next day or two if he continues on this path.
As far as the ventilator, they can’t tell me how long he will need that. It’s not giving him oxygen, it’s just giving him some breaths and controlling the pressure in his lungs. He’s breathing with the ventilator on his own, so it’s not doing all the work for him. They’ve also been feeding him and he’s tolerated steady increases in feeds today (through a feeding tube).
In a sweet moment Friday night after I prayed over him, he opened his little eyes and just looked right into mine. He was still and calm, and looked right at me. He knows and I know we’re not in here alone and it’s an honor to fight right alongside my new little guy. Please continue to pray for his lungs to heal and for all tubes to be removed.
Saturday, May 8
7AM, from Meg
Kayla was admitted to oncology yesterday to begin chemotherapy. Please pray for strength, peace and comfort over her mind and body.
Thursday, May 6
5PM, From Kayla
Update on Kayla: with AML, there’s always the initial induction chemotherapy that everyone gets (three week inpatient which I’ve made the decision and come to terms with starting tomorrow). What determines the long term treatment are specific genetic results of the cancer cells themselves-looking for certain genetic mutations that classify the cancer cells as low medium or high risk for coming back. If the risk is medium or high, it requires more of a battle with the need for eventual bone marrow transplant as well as additional chemotherapy.
Today we found out that all tests are back except for one, and that as of now I’m in the “standard” category meaning this can be treated with chemo alone (typically four inpatient rounds after this initial one). Please pray that this last test determines the same thing!!!!! This would be best case scenario for me and my future prognosis/ability to reach cure quicker and without transplant and another huge month plus hospital stay.
Update on Kace: Kace has improved today each hour. Last night after the second chest tube and ventilator placement, he was on 100% oxygen with the vent. Today they’ve successfully weaned that 5%/hr down to 30%. 21% is room air, so he’s requiring very little help with oxygen. He also had a PICC line placed today for more stable IV access (I’ll get mine tomorrow so he and I will be twins). At this point, he’s “stable” and resting. As his lungs heal, they’ll work to remove the chest tubes, then wean the ventilator completely. No one can tell me how long this may take but please pray that it’s quick so we can hold him.
I’ll be discharged home this evening, and readmitted tomorrow to oncology. I’ll go to the NICU first, and then they’re working to allow me to see him each day until my counts are too low (typically the worst days are days 7-15). This is a blessing because I’ll be able to see Kace until Kevin is cleared to-which is May 13-and it lines up that he will be cleared on or around my “hard days.” They’re doing their best here to accommodate our situation and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
To our FAMILY-because that’s what all of you are-from the bottom of my heart thank you. It doesn’t feel like enough and I wish I could individually thank everyone for their support and love and encouragement-but please know your strength and prayers are holding me up right now. “I may be weak, your spirits strong in me. My flesh may fail, my God you NEVER WILL.” I’m ready to fight this thing. For my new little guy who is fighting with me, for the best husband anyone could ever ask for, for my three sweet girls at home, and for everyone we know and love. This is a part of our story, not our whole story and I’m at peace with that now. Please continue to keep my baby and my girls and all of us lifted up. ❤️
11:30AM , From Kayla
It was a long night but Kace remained about the same. When they put him on the ventilator last night he was on 100% supplemental oxygen. Today he’s on 60% and has tolerated weaning it ok. 21% is room air. He has to get a PICC line today just so they have more stable access if they need it. He’s on antibiotics prophylactically as well.
The chest tubes seem to be doing their job but there is no guarantee it won’t reoccur. The unknown is killing me. They’re very hesitant to give reassurance in the NICU, and that just leaves a void that I desperately need filled. We will likely be discharged today from labor and delivery and it’s my choice to start chemo tomorrow or Monday. When things spiral with him, it makes it impossible to make any decisions about my own health. I’m numb and I’m sad and I don’t feel strong. Kevin can’t see Kace until May 13 so that makes this even harder.
Please pray for my baby. For his lungs and for his strength. And for my mama heart that just keeps breaking.
7AM, From Kayla
“I went to the nicu around 830 to try to see Kace and they wouldn’t let me in. He had another pneumothorax on the right side this time. They did an emergency procedure and he now has a chest tube on the right side as well. He’s also on a ventilator because he’s requiring more oxygen. They’re attempting to put a central line in his umbilical cord to prevent so many pokes now that they know he has a longer road ahead of him.
Basically he just rests with the ventilator, pray the holes in his lungs heal, and wean him as soon as possible. I cant hold him and it feels like my chest has been ripped out of my heart repeatedly. Physically I’ve also started to feel symptoms from the leukemia today (according to my oncologist) so I’m having a really hard time. Please pray for Kace’s lungs and miraculous healing. I’ll be ok if he’s okay.”
Wednesday, May 5
7:30AM, From Kayla
“Kace had a rough night. He developed some trouble breathing around 3 am so they did a chest x ray which showed a pneumothorax (essentially a collapsed lung) on his L side. The neonatologist had to place a chest tube and his lung inflated back, but has to stay there a few days. She said they gave him pain medication and he’s considered back stable now, but this is one more hurdle. Please pray for my baby.”
Tuesday, May 4
2PM, From Kayla:
“Kace (pronounced case) Canon Dupree made his way into the world this morning at 5:31. He weighs 5 lbs 9 oz and is 19 inches long. The labor was unmedicated and quicker than they anticipated, which was a blessing (now, not at the time). Kevin Dupree was everything I needed and more for those 8 hours and my body cooperated to get this little guy here smoothly. He has a full head of dark curly hair and is my strength right now while my body and emotions are weak. I’m exhausted, I’m sad, I’m numb, but I’m so happy that step one is done and he’s here.
Kevin and I were able to keep him in the room with us for about an hour after delivery, but he did need a little respiratory support. He’s been in the NICU since about 7 or so and is on CPAP. He only needs a little help and is otherwise doing great. I was able to go see him, but Kevin’s COVID results just came back positive so now we have to get a game plan for what they will allow.
I’ll likely get my port placed maybe tomorrow, and possibly be admitted to the oncology unit Thursday to start treatment. They’re working on arrangements for how I may be able to see Kace while we’re both inpatient, but we don’t have those details yet.
GOD IS FAITHFUL. He is a HEALER. This baby and this process have made me stronger, even though physically I’m weak. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the prayer, the financial support, the words of encouragement, and just everything everyone has done to remind us we’re loved and supported. TOGETHER We’ll overcome, one thing at a time.”
8AM, From Meg:
We are grateful to God for the birth of Kace Canon Dupree early this morning. He is 19” long and weighs in at a healthy 5lbs, 9oz. Mom is a superstar and doing well! We are also grateful that Kevin and Kayla are now able to have Kace in the room with them – a big answer to prayer.
Once Kayla has recovered in the hospital, she will be transferred to oncology to undergo three weeks of inpatient chemotherapy. What Kayla is struggling with most is that during treatment she will be separated from Kevin, their daughters, and their newborn son.
Kevin will get to take Kace home from the hospital when he is strong enough to be discharged. Kace can count on a lot of love from his three sisters when they welcome him home!
Monday, May 3
Kayla Dupree, Pastor Kevin’s wife, is 35 weeks pregnant and has been diagnosed with AML (leukemia). This was unexpected and heartbreaking news for all of us at Grace. While our hearts are heavy, they are also bursting with hope in God’s good plan.
In order to prepare her to start cancer treatment sometime later this week, Kayla will have her labor induced this evening (Monday). We are praying for a strong and healthy baby and mom!