Darren's Final Expenses

My name is Maria Kerner and I am Darren's fiance. We would've been married next month. Darren was a beautiful caring person who never gave up. He made everyone who met him laugh and smile. He impacted so many lives and will forever be the strongest person I know. From birth he was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Because of this he struggled with pain and constant hospital visits his entire life. In September of 2019, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He endured high dose chemotherapy for 4 months and finally the cancer was in remission. Being in remission made him eligible for a bone marrow transplant. We were told his transplant could cure his leukemia and possibly even his sickle cell anemia. His mother, being the strong woman she is; volunteered to be his donor. Unfortunately a month before the transplant was scheduled, the leukemia resurfaced in a more aggressive form. This meant more chemotherapy and the transplant being postponed. After receiving this new chemo for a week, he started to lose the feeling in his legs and was unable to walk. He was admitted to the hospital on April 5th, in hopes of controlling his pain and advancing back into remission. On April 19th, to our surprise and heartbreak, we were informed after two weeks of intense pain and countless treatments; the chemo was not working. The cancer was too aggressive for his body and he was having a sickle cell crisis as well. We were informed that they would no longer continue treatment and the main goal was to make him comfortable at that point with pain medication. He was moved into hospice care and because of the virus only one family member would be allowed to visit and stay with him. While still conscious he asked for me, so I went to stay with him. Darren was a fighter and held on for as long as he possibly could. On April 19th, they gave him two days to a week left to live and he fought until April 30th. I held his hand for a week straight and talked to him even though he couldn't communicate back. The one comfort I take is that he didn't die alone. He will have a funeral and cremation on Monday May 11th. It's going to cost $5,000 and that's not including other expenses for the grieving family. Even if you cannot donate, I urge you please to share this. Darren was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind soul, so anything that can be done to help as soon as possible, we as a family appreciate it.


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Maria Nichole 
Lower Makefield Township, PA
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