#TeamTeiya:It’s a Family Thing

February 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Familia, Special Forces

Teiya Camille Van Meter is an absolutely adorable 5 year old girl from Guam  that in May of 2015  was diagnosed with a having a tumor in her brain.  Since then her family has endured all things to get her the best care possible. Following Teiya’s events on as reported by her mother  TARA VAN METER  and staying connected with her father  BJ ROLINSKI (a longtime friend and Fokai Amphibious Division team rider)  hundreds have been inspired in following their footsteps in California  to see that , even throughout this all, Teiya hasn’t missed a step to enlighten  everyone around her.

Fokai Industries and Fokai Femme are proud and honored to

collaborate with Teiya in advocacy for the fight against cancer and to rise above all challenges towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Her friends and family’s strength is iconic. Her strength through this all is legendary. The following is Teiya’s story.

Teiya Strong. It’s a Family Thing


I never in a million years thought I would be writing a blog explaining how we fought along side our daughter as she battled brain cancer. I do not consider myself a writer at all and I will try my hardest to share our story and our continued fight. This is all for you our sweet girl, thank you Teiya for teaching us everyday about strength and courage and most of all LOVE.

 April 15, 2015 we left Guam for a long awaited vacation to California to visit my parents and of course to take Teiya to Disneyland.  Once we landed we noticed that Teiya balance was unsteady and our first thought was her equilibrium was off due to the pressure in the plane and maybe her ears needed to pop. We continued with our vacation which included one visit to the doctor and a visit to the ER due to Teiya vomiting and being lethargic.  The symptoms would only last for a day and then she would be back to her playful self and wanting to go shopping and playing dress up.  At both visits they diagnosed Teiya with constipation and backed up bowel movements and prescribed laxatives and to keep her hydrated, we assumed they were right because the next day she would be fine.  We fly back to Guam on May 1, 2015 and Teiya was miserable, she threw up in the plane just from the smell of beef jerky and slept the entire way home (both flights) and once we landed on Guam she could barely walk without someone holding her hand because her balance was almost gone.  We took her in on Monday to see her pediatrician and she did some simple balance tests and once she saw how Teiya was not able to jump and land on both feet she ordered for an MRI and referred us to the Neurologist.  May 7, 2015, Teiya has an MRI done on her brain as we sat in the room and waited for our precious girl to wake up from the anesthesia. Once we left the radiology building all I could think about were the results, as I stared at my 4 year old little girl I prayed for the best results possible.  That next day we got a call that the neurologist wanted us to come in and go over the results, I cried once I hung up the phone and just prayed for the strength that whatever the results we re, my baby would be okay.

I will never forget sitting down in his office and he rolls his chair towards Teiya and so sweetly offers her some crayons and paper to draw a picture in the other room with the nurse, she kindly accepts. Once the door closes, we all turn to each other and I’ll never forget his face as he told us our little girl has a 4cm tumor growing in her brain.  I can’t even describe how I felt, tears consumed me and I curled my body into fetal position on the chair and cried.  As BJ held me and stayed strong I just could not keep it together, what were we going to do, my little girl who did no wrong in this world was about to fight for her life and we couldn’t take this “owie” away with some chicken soup and cuddles.  Once I composed myself enough to focus on what needed to be done, we learned she would need to go off-island or medical care.  BJ took Teiya home and I went straight to my insurance carrier to start the paperwork because we did not want to waste anytime to get her the best care she needed.

Teiya’s case was accepted at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and we left to CA on May 14, 2015 where Teiya was immediately admitted and form there the hospital had everything in place. She had an external shunt procedure to drain the extra fluid in her brain due to the tumor and May 18, 2015 Teiya went in for a 7 1/2 hour surgery to remove the tumor in her brain, by the blessing of God her surgeon was able to remove 99.9% of the tumor, the remaining .1% would be the cells floating around while the tumor is being removed.  As Teiya was recovering we waited for the results from pathology on the type of tumor.  We learned it was a form of Medulloblastoma which is a type of brain cancer and Teiya would start chemotherapy in a week to kill off any cells that may be floating around.  Tears streamed down our faces because not only did she have a tumor but it was a malignant tumor and now our precious girl was going to have poisonous medicines pumped into her in hopes to kill off any cancer cells floating around.  Where some may have abandoned God, BJ and I continued to thank him for all the blessings he bestowed upon our family and especially Teiya.  Obviously there were rough days but no matter what, Teiya always found a way to let us know she was okay and she remained strong, brave, and fierce everyday.

On November 30, 2015 Teiya was given her final chemotherapy medicine and on December 19, 2015 Teiya was discharged from the Bone Marrow Transplant unit where she rang the bell signifying her completion of treatment.  This nine month journey has been nothing short of emotions and we truly believe God was with us and continues to be with us as we fight for Teiya to be healed.  We are coming home with our healthy girl and for the next 5 years we have scans every three months to make sure this tumor never comes back, this fight will never be over but we pray she is healed. We enjoy everyday and never take it for granted.

We could not have done this alone, once we told our family and friends about Teiya, they took immediate action and picked up us when it all seemed like to much to bear.  Teiya’s brother Jace was into his senior year of high school and he has been nothing but amazing in checking on his sister and is patiently waiting for us to come home.  When people ask how BJ and I remain so strong we give thanks to God and our family and friends who are constantly surrounding us with love and support.  Teiya has taught so many of us about life, cherish everyday and don’t worry about the petty things in life.  

We learned through this journey that cancer cannot be defeated alone…it takes all aspects of love, faith, hope, and constant prayers to get through this long and bumpy road through treatment and recovery.

The one piece of advice I can give as a parent is to take it day by day and remain strong in your faith.  It’s easy to be angry but the circumstances won’t change and our children will feed off of your energy.  Thank you to our Fokai family for constantly being involved in our #warriorprincess journey. 

We asked Teiya what keeps her #teiyastrong and her response was playing with her friends, praying and eating.  Teiya loves everyone she meets and she would like to tell everyone to stay strong, love one another, and let’s do a pizza challenge.  #teamteiya thanks you for your support.




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