Below is their Love Story....
Steve and I met in December of 2001 at Station 2 at the Fire Department. Not long after we had been dating, he was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a bone marrow disfunction. At that time a bone marrow transplant was discussed but he did not have a related donor, so it was determined to try a different treatment first. After a week in the hospital with treatments in May 2002, and a few months of waiting his blood counts started to respond. We were so excited. July 2002, Steve proposed.
In April of 2003 we got married. Steve was doing great. 3 years in we decided it’s time to start a family. Ellie (10) and Jack (6) have been our greatest blessings. Ellie competes with gymnastics and Jack plays baseball and golf. At the end of 2013, Steve went for his yearly physical for the Fire Department. That is when we realized his blood counts were not right once again.
January 2014, we were back at his oncologist office determining what was going on. February 2014, it was confirmed that he had Myelodysplastic Syndrome which is like pre-leukemia. A bone marrow transplant was the only answer for a cure. Chemo started immediately per month to prepare for transplant. We had to explain to Ellie, 6.5 yrs at the time, as basic as possible what was going on with her Daddy.
May 2014, exactly 12 years later from his 1st treatment in 2002, not only was the disease back but now it is cancer. Steve received 7 days of strong chemo and then a transplant. The month in the hospital was torturing to watch. I have never seen Steve so knocked down. But we literally took 1 day at a time, sometimes even minute by minute. In June 2015, a sinus tumor was found between his eyes which took several weeks of radiation that had effects worse than chemo.
Now here we are November 2017, 3 years and 6 months later, still having issues. Steve has tried to return to work twice, but as soon as he starts to get better, something happens. He has been in and out of the hospital and had numerous issues from pneumonia, rare viruses, to the biggest issue called Graft versus Host Disease (GHVD). He is a chronic case to the point if he was to get a bad infection of some sort and flare the GVHD more it could be detrimental. He has mouth sores, dry eyes, severe muscle loss, tight skin that sometimes burns or itches or creates raw patches and tears easily. The skin is the worst issue. Since September we have started going to MD Anderson as they have their own GVHD clinic that only works with patients with these issues. In the past 7 weeks we have seen some small improvements with a treatment called photopheresis (twice a week every week) and medicine changes, but MD Anderson has stressed that this is not a fast process and we will not see major changes until 6 months or more.
I don’t know when or if Steve will get to be back to his original job. I pray for complete healing for my children’s sake as their life has been drastically different regarding their dad than most. Our children are amazing and take all this with great strides. Jack is our entertainer to make us laugh and Ellie is the mothering cheerleader. All of this is in God’s plan, and even though I hate it and get mad and tell the good Lord so, He STILL continues to give me the strength I need to get up every morning take care of my family and continue to work.
DonationsSee top donations
- Darryl Rockwell
- Ronald Lorenz
- Nancy H
- Jean McKenzie
- Brandon Greenberg
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more