#EliStrong #PawpawJim'sComeback

On October 31 2017 6 year old Elijah was given some great news...you are going to have a sister! This was a wonderful surprise for him because he "was tired of being an only child". On the same day he had his bloodwork done to complete his 5 year check up to officially make his 5 years in remission from AML (Leukemia). You see Eli was diagnosed in 2012 with AML and went into remission following 4 rounds of chemo, countless procedures and 4 months straight in the hospital in Pensacola FL.

Much to our shock Elijah was not given the clean bill of health in fact we were devastated to find he had relapsed. On November 1, 2017 Elijah was admitted to the hospital to begin CHEMOTHERAPY AGAIN!

This time we were advised right from the beginning that he would have to have a bone marrow transplant.  Eli's mother Michelle immediately moved into his hospital room (Ronald McDonald House) to be with her son as he would need constant presence of family and friends to fight this battle. We (Jim and Leslie, Elijah’s grandparents) too moved (we live in metro Atlanta) in with Michelle and Eli. Michelle's fiance Jerry remained home in Alabama to work and try to keep up the home they planned to bring their daughter Skylyn home to in March of 2018. 

Michelle was unable to keep her job and care for her son and so we began financial support as well as round the clock physical support . 

The stress is tremendous as you may imagine. On November 20, 2017, Michelle was rushed in for an emergency C section and we had the most beautiful tiny little granddaughter Skylyn Jo-Lee, Elijahs sister and Michelle and Jerry's little girl. Skylyn came in to this world kicking and fighting at only 25 weeks gestation and 17 oz. One of her doctors called her "the picture  of resilience ". Eli was in recovery from the first round of chemo. Michelle had to be in patient due to stroke level uncontrolled Blood Pressure.  Jerry then had to quit his job to move to the hospital to care for Skylyn and Michelle. In the next few weeks we decided that paying rent on a home that would be too far from Eli's treatment center in Birmingham AL to take him home to that we would work with the landlord and bow out. In the year following the transplant Eli will have countless numbers of doctor’s visits and he will need to live close to a transplant center. 

The days to follow were exhausting, beautiful and frightening. 

On Eli’s 7th birthday our BEAUTIFUL Skylyn went to be with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Skylyn contracted an infection and her tiny body was unable to beat it. I will never be able to put into words the pain of losing our granddaughter or watching my daughter and Jerry cradle their dying child. 

With no time to grieve we moved forward with Eli's treatment. At the end of the chemo cycle we waited with anticipation for the full remission report that did not come. This was yet another blow. Eli had to start his second round of chemo immediately which he did. It was about this time Jerry and Michelle's vehicle stopped working. It would cost more to fix the car than it was really worth.  Following the second round he was found to be in remission which would allow us to move forward with the bone marrow transplant.  Due to timing issues for the donor and transplant team Eli had to have a third round of chemo. 

Jim (Eli's Pawpaw and our Rock) took a couple days to run home to our house in metro Atlanta to take care of some things there and on January 30, 2018 he decided to come back early to Pensacola  to surprise us all. At about 2:30 am while riding his motorcycle he hit a construction barrel that had blown into his lane. The crash caused a litany of injuries to include a badly bruised lung with partial collapse, blood on his kidney, multiple broken ribs, a broken clavicle, scapula and leg. The broken bones in his leg required surgery to place screws and plates and he has been hospitalized ever since. 

Jim's recovery time will be long and require physical therapy and I will be traveling  back and forth to be in two places at once, lol.

Eli is being admitted in Birmingham UAB today 021418 to receive treatment for fungal pneumonia and prepare for the bone marrow transplant.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Autumn Raine 
McDonough, GA
Leslie Stone 
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