Thais Murdoch Bone Marrow Transplant Fund

My name is Jackie Alvarez and I'm reaching out to everyone I know on behalf of one of my closest friends and neighbors of 22 years, Thais Murdoch.  Thais is the mother of two children, Thaisha who is 22 years old and just had her 1st baby 2 weeks ago and Manlio who is 26.  Thais has raised her two children pretty much on her own for the last 15 years.  She is a strong, loving and generous lady who is always the first to offer help, encouragement and support to anyone in need.  She works very hard as a Physical therapist to support herself, her children and also to help support her mother who is a stroke survivor and has suffered from Parkinsons disease for the past 12 years.  Ten years ago, in 2004, Thais ended up in the emergency room of Baptist hospital with a high fever that would not subside.  The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with her until they performed a bone marrow exam and she was diagnosed with Cancer of the Bone Marrow (Myelodysplasia), a blood disorder which causes low red blood cells and low hemoglobin.  Myelodysplasia is not a single disease, but rather a group of disorders characterized by an inability to produce enough healthy mature blood cells.  These disorders are also commonly called Myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS.  In addition to causing problems such as anemia, the presence of Myelodysplasia is sometimes considered a premalignant condition because a significant number of patients with it develop leukemia.  Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment of Myelodysplasia may prevent such an outcome.  For the first 5 years Thais received weekly injections of Procrit (chemotherapy) and Aranesp (a medication given to patients having chemo to increase the production of red blood cells).  In 2009 she began with a new medication 'Revlimid' that helps produce red blood cells in the bone marrow but with the negative effect of decreasing the white blood cells and platelets, putting the patient at risk for serious infections and other complications.  In December of 2012 Thais suffered a stroke that affected her right upper extremity due to a blood clot in her brain. Thanks to God, Thais only suffered numbness to the right side of her face and her right thumb that persists to this day.  She spent 5 days in ICU and 2 more days in a regular room before being discharged.  She now takes Plavix, Lipitor and Aspirin daily to avoid a repeat stroke.  Her doctors believe that the stroke was caused by her blood condition.  Thais began researching if she would be a candidate for a bone marrow transplant and in October 2013 she visited the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Michael Linenburger confirmed that she was a candidate and that her sister could donate the bone marrow.  He stopped the Revlimed due to Thais's dangerous blood condition and in November, he started Thais on 21 cessions of chemotherapy over the course of 3 months to prepare for the bone marrow transplant (7 days of chemo with 3 weeks rest in between).  Thais just completed her 21 cessions on Feb 4th, the day her 1st grandson was born.  She is scheduled to arrive in Seattle on March 19th to begin the 6 month process of the bone marrow transplant.  She will start out with 3 weeks of testing which includes more chemotherapy and possibly radiation.  The bone marrow transplant is scheduled to begin on April 11th.  During this time, Thais will be in an extremely weakened state and will require 24 hour care and daily visits to the hospital to check her blood and her pic line which is used for administering the medications.  She will have a cousin stay with her during this time to care for her since she will be unable to care for herself in any way.  Her monthly expenses, including rent for a 1 bedroom apartment 5 minutes from the hospital, transportation, food and medications will be approximately $4,100.  Thais has been working so hard to try to provide for the expenses that she will incur in Seattle as well as for her regular expenses here at home.  I have even seen her go to see her patients for Physical therapy straight after having her chemotherapy.  She is truly an amazing and special lady and , as her friend, would ask that anyone that feels led, help her during these difficult 6 months that she faces.  She just had her first grandson and desperately wants to see him grow up and be a part of his life.  Even the smallest donations are welcomed.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider helping Thais.  Sincerely, Jackie Alvarez
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Thais Murdoch 
Miami, FL
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