Hello, my name is Jonathan. I was diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML for short, on August 27th 2010. I was obviously devastated and terrified at first. After a few months I started getting kind of use to taking the oral chemo and living with a blood cancer. At first it was rough having to go once or twice a week to check my counts, heart, and overall physical state, but I did fairly well in the beginning.
It was around the year mark that my body started acting a little funny to the oral chemotherapy. I started to become extremely nauseous almost every single day. I was losing sleep and experiencing extreme fatigue. Worst of all my counts started fluctuating.
I lived with those symptoms for close to four years. Around this time is when my body started to become resistant to the second generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor, or the oral chemo, I was taking.
The doctors put me on a new chemo pill. I had a very bad reaction and was so sick from that one I switched to the next step. A stronger more advanced oral chemo. I did well a a couple of years and then they had to switch again to an even stronger more advanced chemo.
Now the time frame is getting closer to the present. Once my body started to build up a resistance to the 4th pill my oncologist at Vanderbilt dr. Steven Strickland sat me down and we had a very serious talk.
I'm a pretty unique case. Unfortunately, it's unique in a bad way. I have many mutations that are pretty bad but the worse one is called a p53 mutation. That puts me in very dangerous territory and the doctors don't quite understand because they've never seen that mutation in someone that has a chronic form of leukemia.
There's only five types of oral chemo in the world that are made specifically for chronic myelogenous leukemia patients. When they put me on the 5th and final one my doctors explained that if my body becomes resistant to this one there's not much else they can do other than hospice.
Now it's a race against Time for me to have a bone marrow transplant. Here's where this GoFundMe comes into play.
After eight and a half years of chemotherapy the poison that saved my life has also deteriorated my teeth substantially. It's mainly the molars in the back. I've already had to have two cut out because they were so painful it brought me to tears. To have them removed cost around $700 a piece. It was extremely hard to even come up with that money but by pooling every family member's contribution together I was able to get the surgery.
Now I have four that need to come out at once. Not to mention every cavity that has to be filled. My doctors tell me it's a race against time now and it is imperative that I have every dental issue fixed before I can move forward with the transplant.
I didn't know where to turn or who to ask. My case workers at Vanderbilt told me to start a GoFundMe. I'm not a fan of straight up asking someone for money so this is extremely hard for me. I've called multiple dentist asking for pro bono work. I've contacted Meharry School of dentistry and they have a sliding scale. The list goes on and on.
I've already delayed over a month trying to get this done. I had no idea how long it'll take to raise any money but I do know anything will help. Thank you in advance so so much. I know this money will definitely help me conquer this goal so I can start my bone marrow transplant that will save my life. Thank you very much for listening to my story.