In the next stages of his battle with brain cancer, Miles Austrevich will undergo an autologous stem cell transplant and then spend multiple months in isolation as he recovers. His dad is collecting jokes from friends, family, doctors, celebrities, and complete strangers in an attempt to make Miles’ isolation a little more cheerful.
Salvador Medina believed his life had reached a high point. After almost two years of unemployment, due to a lagging construction industry, he found a job as a restaurant server. He also completed the first semesters of his college career and was on his way to becoming a nurse. Best of all, he and his wife, Megan, celebrated the birth of their first baby, Kenneth. There was nothing Salvador enjoyed more than spending time with his new son and making plans for all the things the family would do together.
Salvador had been feeling a little off in the weeks before and after Kenneth’s arrival, but he and Megan attributed it to the adjustment of having a new job, the stress of school, and the sleepless nights with the new baby. After a particularly painful night of unbearable back pain and difficulty breathing, Salvador decided to visit the emergency room. He returned to the hospital where he had welcomed his son exactly three weeks earlier; however, this time, the news was devastating. Salvador was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
What followed were months of inpatient hospital treatments, including six rounds of chemotherapy, a cord blood transplant, and multiple post-transplant complications. Salvador had a severe infection where his port was and acute kidney failure. This has been especially difficult for Salvador as he was forced to stop working, put school on hold, and be separated from his family. He has been taken away from all of the things he was so excited about.
The process has also been difficult financially. The loss of Salvador’s income coupled with the unexpected medical expenses and the cost of raising a new child has put considerable financial strain on the family.
Although this has been a difficult journey, Salvador is beginning to regain his strength and recover from almost a year’s worth of treatment. They hope that he will be home in about a month or so – just in time to celebrate their son’s first birthday together.
To learn more about the Medina family, click here.
The Bone Marrow Foundation is proud to announce that we have guaranteed entries available for the ING New York City Marathon to be held November 4, 2012. We are calling all runners to conquer 26.2 miles and raise much needed funding to support bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families.
Applications are currently being accepted from interested runners, and because the number of available entries is limited, applications should be submitted as soon as possible. If you are a runner, consider meeting this challenge, or tell your running friends about this wonderful opportunity.