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Cara's Aplastic Anemia Journey

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Hi - I'm heidi, Cara's Mom. We've started this GoFundMe because we have received so many requests from our friends and loved ones asking how they can help. Here is our story:

Cara is 21 (22 in June!) and is one of 6 children in our family. She has 1 sister and 4 brothers. She has always been vivacious and energetic. I call her my Rainbow Bright.

On January 18, 2023, Cara went for a routine check-up at the Doctor. Everything from that day forward has not been routine. We left the doctor and went to the Cancer Center to meet with a hematologist because Cara's Blood Count numbers were critically low. She received a bone marrow biopsy the next day and two transfusions in the week following the biopsy. Cancer was 99% ruled out and we were referred to the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City to meet with an expert. In February, Cara and I went to SLC and met with a Transplant doctor as well as a Hematologist that specializes in Blood Cancers and diseases. They both confirmed a diagnosis of a rare form of Severe Aplastic Anemia. Basically, her autoimmune system began attacking and killing the cells in her bone marrow. Instead of the 80% cells she should have, she only had 20% at the time of the biopsy 2 months ago. Her marrow is dying and not producing the blood cells and platelets she needs to survive. She is being kept alive with weekly blood checks and Red Blood Cell and/or Platelet transfusions when her Hemoglobin drops below 8 (Normal Range is 12-16).

Because of her disease, Cara has been unable to work and has lost her housing. She is unable to be in public because her immune system is compromised and she is unable to fight infections effectively. She can't do many activities because she can't risk being hurt - if she starts bleeding, she can't clot and is at severe risk of bleeding out and dying.

The cure for Aplastic Anemia is a Bone Marrow Transplant. We are awaiting match results as of right now.

Once we find a donor match, Cara and I will relocate to Salt Lake City for roughly four months. She will be admitted to the hospital and receive a week of intensive chemo before the transplant. She will stay in the hospital for 14-30 days post-transplant. After she is released, we will be required to have a place to live near the hospital for 3 months with very specific living conditions so that she can heal and receive the therapies necessary to recover. During this time she will require 24-hour care so I will not be working. I will be leaving my husband, Rob, and our 4 boys behind in Montana while I care for Cara.

In addition to that, her donor is most certainly going to be one of her brothers. We will have to travel with him to Primary Children's Hospital in Utah for tests and, ultimately, for his Bone Marrow Donation procedure that will be done the same day Cara receives her transplant.

We are fundraising to help cover travel, lodging, living and medical expenses during this time.

Thank you for taking the time to read Cara's Story and for all of your support and love during this time.


  • Peggy Marschke
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Arlene Levin
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Megan Regnerus
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • Jake Rogozinski
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Emily Powell
    • $100 
    • 1 yr


Heidi Perras Potter
Bozeman, MT

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