In September my Uncle David was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The short version of what AML actually is; it’s a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This cancer is extremely aggressive and fast moving. If gone untreated, this cancer can end the life of the healthiest and strongest person, in a few short months.
The day Uncle David was diagnosed he was admitted to Brigham and Women’s in Boston under the care of Dana Farber Institute. They began 7 days of around the clock chemo, just 3 days after the initial diagnosis. The only way to describe what he went through in those 4 weeks is to say “he went to hell and back”. I could give you specifics but trust me, you don’t want the details. After a short “vacation” at home in Framingham, Uncle David is back at Brigham and Women’s, receiving his second round of chemo.
There are two options for the next step (and here is where it gets really intense):
1. He could have a bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant is a procedure where they replace your blood stem cells with someone else’s. The hope is that these healthy blood stem cells travel to the bone marrow where they will produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow. During this time, his immune system will be severely compromised. He won’t have the ability to fight any type of infection. He’ll be in a special hospital unit that reduces his risk of being exposed to infection. He could be house bound for A YEAR.
2. He could go back to Brigham and Women’s every 4 to 6 weeks for a 6 day round of chemo. With this option, he wouldn’t be housebound but still he would need to be vigilant about staying away from germs, since his immune system would be weakened.
What does this all mean for Uncle David and Auntie Diane (regardless of which option he chooses):
· It means Uncle David has been out of work since July with no income
· It means that Uncle David will be out of work for another year with no income
· It means they will pay thousands and thousands of dollars in health insurance deductibles
· It means sucking up his pride and asking for help
We know that it’s a lot to ask of people to help, it’s a burden and it’s uncomfortable but here we are, asking for your help!
No amount of prayers and no amount of money is too small. Anything that you can contribute to help offset these expenses and this loss of income is so appreciated by the entire Zaltzberg Family. Of course, we’ll never be able to repay you BUT we will pay it forward. If we can pull together and take care of the monetary worry, then Uncle David and Auntie Di, can focus all of their energy on getting him back to his old sarcastic self! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. We appreciate each and every one of you.
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