HIGH RISK LEUKEMIA
On Feb 7th of 2018, our wise and goofy 9 year old Oliver was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and our lives changed irrevocably.
We were shocked to learn that standard chemotherapy treatment for ALL takes three and a half years for boys, but we took comfort in the fact that cure rates for ALL are usually fairly good: in the US, five-year survival rates for “regular” cases of ALL are around 85%. Seven days later, the genetic studies of Oliver’s cancer cells were finished, and a second blow landed: Oliver’s cancer is “low hypodiploid”, a rare and aggressive subtype that is difficult to treat, requires much more toxic chemotherapy, and has a high rate of relapse. Oliver’s classification was switched to Very High Risk.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
JOIN THE REGISTRY
Oliver, like many kids with high risk leukemia, may have a bone marrow transplant in his future. Finding appropriate stem cells first involves testing siblings, then those from the Bone Marrow Registry. Oliver had a 1/4 chance of having a sibling match (which he does!), and because he's multiracial, a very low likelihood of finding a match on the registry. Please do the simple cheek swab and increase the chances that kids like O will have lifesaving options.
DONATE TO THE HIGH RISK LEUKEMIA FUND
When you donate to the High Risk Leukemia Fund at Seattle Children's Hospital, you are not only helping kids in the future, you are increasing the odds of survival for kids already diagnosed with high risk leukemia, Oliver included! Putting clinical practice, diagnostics, and research under the same roof means better access to cutting edge treatment.
During Seattle's Snowmagedon Oliver went sledding for the firs time in a year! As his mom stood at the top of the hill marveling at his resilience and speed, she received a message informing her that there was a severe shortage of blood and platelets in the area and to allow extra time to process requests if needed. Every run thereafter was a mix of anxiety and joy. Donate regularly if you can!