Teresa Battles Leukemia

My aunt, Teresa (Duvall) Ritenour has leukemia. It’s still not real to me, but it’s now very real to her.  In late January, her routine blood work looked suspicious. On March 1st she went to a hematologist. He called and asked her to come back that afternoon. At 4pm that same day, she was diagnosed with leukemia. By 11pm that night, she was in a bed at UVA Medical Center. She has APML (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia). The disease is quite advanced. The good news is the treatment looks promising.  But, (why does there always have to be a “but”) it has some daunting side effects. She will remain at UVA Medical Center for 4 - 6 weeks to undergo  treatment. As a Hokie, being in “Hooville”  is a bit tough for her, but the veterinary hospital at Tech was not able to take her. Yep, she still has her sense of humor, so we do too.

Her children - Hillary, Emily, Matthew and Sydney - are standing strong and doing her proud. Teresa is always there for everyone else. Now we need to be here for her. If you ask her what you can do to help, she just says, “Please pray for me and my kids”. So, please do that.

 As a single mom who has faced other trying times within the past year that have also resulted in financial obstacles, we want Teresa's only concern to be getting better. That should be the focus of her energy.  She’ll need to use every ounce of strength to fight this battle. Worrying about the bills is not going to help. So, if you can help Teresa, I know she would be very grateful.  And, no matter what, keep praying for her strength and healing and for her children. Our sincerest thank you.


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Kara Swankowski 
Purcellville, VA
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