Per the Leukaemia Foundation website:
What is MDS?
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a group of diseases that affects normal blood cell production in the bone marrow. In MDS, the bone marrow produces abnormal, immature blood cells called blast cells. These cells fail to mature properly are unable to work properly. They often die before they leave the marrow, or shortly after reaching the bloodstream. Without enough normal cells being produced by the marrow (red cells, white cells and platelets) people with MDS can become fatigued, more susceptible to infections, and to bleeding and bruising more easily.
Honestly, there are a lot of forms of MDS and a lot of scary info so I wouldn't spend your time researching it. She was put on monthly injections (7 week days in a row!) from September 2015 to early spring 2016. To make a long story short, the medications seemed to be helping, then blood tests showed they stopped working altogether.
In June, Denise met with a specialist and was told that due to chromosomal abnormalities she would need a stem cell transplant as soon as a donor can be found. Tests are indicating that her MDS has progressed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which about 30% of MDS cases progress to.
On Thursday June 9, 2016 Denise woke up with a fever and was admitted to the hospital in Steamboat Springs. She went into A-FIB for several hours and after many tests and medications to lower her heart rate and normalize the rhythm, they discovered she has developed a heart mumur. She also developed heavy pressure on her chest and her breathing became increasingly harder and they were unable to control her fevers. On Sunday June 12, they decided it would be best to fly her to Presbyterian St. Lukes In Denver via air ambulance where she could receive more tailored care by her specialists. She was admitted to ICU where we are currently awaiting answers on what has caused this to happen. Once Denise is healthy, and we find a stem cell donor, Denise will start the process of a Stem Cell Transplant. While many costs are covered by insurance, there are many more that are not covered by insurance and will therefore be out of pocket expenses for the family. Her recovery will require 24 hour care for at least 3 months in Denver which will require family members to take considerable amounts of time off work. The funds collected will help to off set those costs and any medical cost not covered by insurance. Denise will also need to take a considerable amount of time off of work for the forseeable future and she is concerned about the financial burden this may bring.
If you want to help:
1. Get tested as a stem cell donor - easy cheek swab. As far as well know she needs stem cells, not marrow. Look here: https://bethematch.org.
2. Donate to her Go Fund Me.
**Mom is in a immunocompromised state. She has to be very careful about getting sick because she does not have the white blood cells to combat illnesses. Please do not send food, flowers (fake flower are ok - but as a former florist she might balk at that, ha!), or things that might carry germs, etc. She is in and out of the hospital right now depending on illnesses/infections/fevers, etc. When her doctors say go, she does.
Please also visit her Caring Bridge page for recent updates as it's very hard to do indivudual updates at this time. https://www.caringbridge.org/
DonationsSee top donations
- Randy & Cathy Wert/Brideau
- Evlyn Berge
- David Lamb
- Lonn Clementson