OUR STORY...

 

Life Interrupted ~ On July 2nd of 2014, our oldest son, Nick, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia.  One day we are watching our son pitch a no-hitter baseball game, and four days later we are sitting in a hospital room being told that he may die.  Nothing can ever prepare a parent for such a blow.  His survival chances were 50% with some treatments offered, and would go up to 80% if we had a sibling match for a bone marrow transplant.  We were so blessed that our youngest child, Mandy, who was almost six at the time, was a perfect match.  Mandy agreed to donate for "five bucks and a box of Ring Pops!" and, before we could blink, we were heading off to the University of Michigan, CS Mott Children's Hospital, to check Nick in, begin aggressive chemo to kill off the remaining bad bone marrow, and prepare for a transplant.  Once Nick was released from the hospital, he had to be isolated because of his compromised immune system.  It was his 8th grade year, and we had to home school him between running back and forth to U of M for blood work and well-care visits.  Currently, Nick is in recovery and is showing only upward strides.  Fortunately, there are no signs of chemo-brain, organ damage, etc.  We are still waiting for Mandy's cells to take over 100%, and keeping our eyes open for chemo-induced Leukemia or relapse.  To look at him, we can't imagine anything but a long, beautiful life.  

   

On August 4th, 2015, Nick's 1st "Rebirthday," we released two videos, created by our family, in an effort to raise awareness for the necessity of registering to be a bone marrow donor.  As a family, we knew we had to do something to make sense of everything that had happened, and make sure we don't waste the second chance that God gave our son.  After hearing a webcast about bone marrow donation, it was apparent that the greatest misconception is that it is painful and takes months to recover.  Mandy, Nick's donor, has always said that it was no big deal, never took any of the pain meds, and any soreness was gone within a couple days.  It occurred to us that we could have Mandy tell the world how easy it is to donate marrow, and hopefully spur people to get on the registry and help save some lives!  Take a look...