On my parent's anniversary, Feburary 4th, 2014, our lives changed forever. My father, Jose, came home that afternoon complaining about lumps on his neck that didn't seem to go away. My mother sent him to urgent care while my sister and I stayed at home. A few hours later, I recieved a call from my mother breaking the news that he had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Luekemia. I broke down in tears. I didn't want to lose my best friend, my papa. That very same week, he started chemotherapy and continued to fight his battle with cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital until May, when he was declared as a patient in remission. The next month, I donated my bone marrow to him, to ensure that he stay in remission for as long as possible. However, while regaining his strength and recovering from his treatment, he became ill again. He began to have coughing fits and shortness of breath became a serious issue. He was diagnosed with Pneumocystis pneumonia, and had a very difficult time recovering. Breathing machines were used as an aid, along with antibiotics that eventually became resistiant. Thankfully, he was able to overcome the illness and start his journey on starting a normal life again.
On the morning of July 4th, 2016, my dad felt nauseous and very lightheaded. We assumed that he was feeling exhausted from the exercise that he had been doing days prior and we had him lay in bed all day. By the end of the night, he was seeing double, not responding normally, and was immediatley taken to urgent care. After speaking to the doctor in charge that night, we were told that it was simply food poisioning. However, my mom became very worried and insisted that a CT scan of his head be done to ensure that it was nothing else. When the results came back in, we were told that he was having a stroke. My dad was immediately sent to Virginina Hospital where he faced a long battle with recovery. It was very hard on our family because we were very close to losing him. He was sent to a rehab center for several months after being dismissed from the hospital.
On November of 2016, my dad was scheduled to have his last check-up with the doctor's at Johns Hopkins. That very same day, he had completed the usual labs and later that afternoon was told that the cancer had come back. We were very devasted. He went through intense chemotherapy and within months went into remission. My sister donated her T-Cells to him.
A few weeks ago, my dad was sent back to the hospital for a respiratroy infection and an increase in Cytomegalovirus (CMV) load. For months, he had been on an anti-viral medication to completely get rid of the CMV but there had recently been a sudden increase in the viral load. He is currently intubated because he was unable to produce oxygen a the breathing machines were not enough. He has been given paralytics and sedatives to ensure that his body is at full rest and that he is given sufficient oxygen. We do not know when he'll wake up or what is going to happen next. As of now, doctors are looking into two treatments that are not yet FDA approved.
We Need Your Help
My mother, sister and I have been my father's caretakers for the past several years. We love him so dearly and want to make sure that he can live a normal life again. Both my sister and I are in college and it has been extremely difficult for us to help while we are away. My mom is unable to work in the office so takes her work to the hopsital and works endlessly to ensure that she supports our family financially while taking care of my dad. Medical bills are piling up and we are worried that we will be unable to afford them. Additionally, parking, travel expenses (from Reston, VA to Baltimore, MD), food, medication, etc have drowned us in debt.
Many of you have offered to help us and we always kindly declined because we have always seen ourselves as independent, and strong, despite the many financial burdens we have faced over the years. However, it is clear to us now, that we need all the help we can get.
Your donations will help us pay for:
Food (Ensure, special diets for dad)
Hotel (while mom is away at hospital to care for dad, there is no place to shower or sleep comfortably)
*any left over money will be passed be donated to other patient's in need or research.
My dad has dreams of going back to the beach and we are hoping that when he recovers we can make that happen. He dreams of doing so many things as we want to ensure that we can make it happen. Even if you are unable to donate, please send him a card or say hello via the comment system on here. He often feels lonely and depressed because of the endless chronic illnesses. Please help us encourage him that all will be okay in the end and that he has your support.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US GET THROUGH THIS.
We will be updating you every week.
- Rose Macleod
- Carter Myers
- Kathy Barron
- Douglas Greenhaus
Organizer and beneficiary
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