This week, we crossed a finish line that once seemed so elusive. Four years post-transplant, I was discharged as a patient at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
On Mother’s Day 2010, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). As a mother of three young sons, it was devastating. After a brief remission, I relapsed and underwent a stem cell transplant in October 2011. Today, I have reclaimed much of my pre-cancer life, living each day with gratitude and love with my family. We are so grateful to The Bone Marrow Foundation for their help and support. Knowing the Foundation was behind us provided the extra emotional boost we needed to keep fighting toward the goal of being cancer-free.
Just four months after the birth of her third son, Barbara had to begin treatment for AML. She and her father, who was both her donor and caregiver, relocated from Hawaii to Seattle for a stem cell transplant. Barbara received financial support from the Lifeline Fund to help with the financial costs of relocating far from home.
In his new book, CHE-MOment, Chris Hamilton, a four-time cancer survivor, tells the story of his most recent battle. He details the incredible physical, emotional, and medical struggles he and his family faced and describes “key moments” that changed his life, faith, and attitude. The book was also an opportunity for Chris to “pay it forward” and help other cancer patients with their own journeys.
After eight months of surgeries and radiation to treat cancer in his tonsils and his thyroid, Chris learned in November of 2011 that he had acute myeloid leukemia. Fortunately, Chris’ only sibling, his brother Billy, was a perfect donor match, and after chemotherapy put Chris into remission, Billy’s stem cells were successfully transplanted. The journey did not end there as post-transplant care can be long and the effects difficult.
A portion of the profits from the sale of Chris’ book will be donated to charity, including The Bone Marrow Foundation. The Foundation was first introduced to the Hamilton family when Chris opened a One-to-One Fund to help manage financial donations during his lengthy treatment and post-transplant care.
Nile Price fought a difficult battle with sickle cell disease, but he has come through it victorious.
While he suffered the pains and multiple hospitalizations caused by the disease, Nile’s family reached out to the community for assistance. They encouraged potential bone marrow donors to be tested. They held local fundraisers and opened a One-to-One Fund at The Bone Marrow Foundation to help pay for medical expenses, like doctors visits and medications.
Their efforts were successful. Two donors were found, and at the age of 13, Nile underwent an allogeneic bone marrow transplant. Two years later, Nile and his family met the woman whose donation cured his sickle cell disease.
In the years following his transplant, Nile suffered graft versus host disease (GVHD) which has affected his skin and muscles. Fortunately, with the support of his family, Nile is growing stronger. His doctors are reducing his medications and have released him from physical therapy.
Nile is proud of the progress he has made, saying, “I knew I was going to get back to where I was. I just didn’t know how long it would take.”
Read more about Nile and his transplant journey: