Cancer mom seeks help for son

Thank you so much for reading this .  I am Cameron's mom, Donna and at first I was most reluctant to do this as I appreciate there are many others in need  &  I did not want the story to be at all about me or my journey .  However, if it was not for my medical journey I would still be working full-time for the military and not be in need of asking for assistance for Cameron .  My son Cameron is 18 years old and just graduated from high school .  He has been on an IEP, individual education plan from the age of four   due to a language and communication disorder.   Cameron has a drivers license, I have managed to get him a starter car and he has a part-time job this summer.  However, if you ask Cameron to go into a bank or have his oil changed or even pick up the phone to request information he's almost immobilized .  At his last IEP the high school did not believe that college was an option for Cameron due to the tremendous amount of support he would need in the classroom.  However, a parent told me about a program at Kent State University that is designed for someone like Cameron who cannot get into college through the traditional doors.  The program is designed to empower students like Cameron and equip them with the skills to live independently.   They live in the dorms and stay there on the weekend so that the mentors available can assist them, support them and after class get them involved in clubs or other extracurricular activities.  I believe after talking with the director of this program  that it would be perfect for Cameron and  provide him with an opportunity to be confident, to be more social and to be matched with a career that's realistic and fulfilling.   Over the course of four years this program is designed to match the students strengths with a career path and most often a job as well .  It teaches fiscal literacy in order for Cameron to live independently and be able to manage his own funds and perhaps one day feel confident enough to pursue relationships and possibly a family .  The reason I'm asking for assistance is because I had to medically retire from the government as a social worker due to leukemia and complications such as graft versus host disease . My initial diagnosis was chronic myeloid leukemia diagnosed as a result of a subdural hematoma or hemorrhaging in the skull in October 2011. I had three cranial surgeries to stop the bleeding and a fourth at the end of January 2012 to replace the bone flap. For a year they tried new oral chemotherapy's but at the end of the year it had accelerated and in March 2013 I was told I needed a peripheral stem cell or bone marrow transplant. I was hospitalized for six weeks.  I worked with this diagnosis for 2 1/2 years however in March 2014 I knew the deficits due to the hemorrhage in the skull affected my memory to the degree that I needed to medically retire .  I also recognized that it was important to spend as much time as possible with my two boys Cameron now 18 and Christian 15 . The transplant was done on May 1, 2013. I medically retired or applied for medical retirement from the government and social security disability in March 2014.  Cameron's father, left me and the boys 3 weeks after my discharge following the bone marrow transplant. The leukemia came back in November 2014 but the one oral chemotherapy that's available to address my mutation was effective and putting me into remission. The focus of treatment since and continues to be the graft versus host disease or GVHD. Even though my brother was a great match my body has rejected and I have had GVHD in my eyes, mouth,  skin, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. At first my doctor used long-term steroids but they were not effective and for over a year now has done photopheresis. I also had four weeks of Rituxan infusion's for the GVHD. A recent total hip replacement on May 31 was due to a vascular necrosis from the long-term steroid use. Last year I had cataract surgery in both eyes as a result of the steroids.,  was hospitalized three times for pneumonia and for pancreatitis ; a well documented side effect of the chemo therapy .  Cameron's younger brother Christian 15 has been diagnosed with pandas, a rare immune system disorder that has resulted in day treatment residential & intensive inpatient and now monthly IV I G treatment .  Christian and I are relocating from Ohio back to Massachusetts in order to be near family and get additional support but Cameron will stay in Ohio and  attend Kent State University if I can obtain the necessary funding for room and board tuition and the mentors necessary for support, empowerment and assistance . Thank you so much for reading this and for any and every response to assist Cameron .

Donations

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  • Lisa Duncan 
    • $500 
    • 42 mos
  • Toni Smith 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Jody Trinchet 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Meredith Anderson 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
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Organizer

Donna E. Reilly-Askew 
Organizer
Brecksville, OH
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