Thankful

I didn’t give enough credit to Liza and her journey. She became passionate about Be the Match after she became a recipient of someone else’s stem cells. I remember when Jake was told it was his only option; I immediately panicked. What if we can’t find a match? We have been reminded over and over what a miracle it was that Molly was a perfect match. One of the complications that can occur after transplant is graft versus host disease. The new stem cells actually attack the host. There are mild to severe cases. Liza ‘ s was severe. Along with the horrible effects of chemotherapy, she was given a 10% chance of surviving her graft versus host disease- it was that severe. Her heart was attacked and she endured an aortic valve replacement. Her lungs were attacked, and she developed an irreversible lung disease that allowed her lungs to only work at 30% capacity. This is what made her susceptible to viruses. Again, they were considering a lung transplant, but at age 26, she died. Jake is more than halfway to his 100 day mark. That is considered a milestone after transplant. He has done incredibly well, and we feel incredibly thankful. There is a part of me that is still very cautious. I kiss his forehead to see if he feels warm (feverish). I ask him multiple times a day how he feels. If he calls me on the phone, my heart skips a beat until I know what he needs. Everything that could have gone wrong has not for Jake. We are blessed and lucky. There is 7 year old named Brody who has been at the children’s hospital next door that is waiting for his transplant. He developed ALL leukemia at age 2. One month before his 5 year anniversary of beating cancer, he was diagnosed with a more aggressive type of leukemia. Brody is on his 5th round of chemotherapy. They cannot get his leukemia in remission. He had septic shock and lost a large part of his intestine. He has 3 brothers, but neither they nor his parents are a match. He has lost several friends from the 5th floor to this horrible disease. I try not to dwell on the negative, but these young, beautiful lives have crossed my path. I want to pay my respect to them, but it also reminds me how lucky we’ve been…

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