Let's Keep Garner Fighting & Riding

On January 16, 2018 Garner was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The word "acute" in acute myelogenous leukemia denotes the disease's rapid progression. It's called myelogenous (my-uh-LOHJ-uh-nus) leukemia because it affects a group of white blood cells called the myeloid cells, which normally develop into the various types of mature blood cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Because AML is an aggressive cancer, Garner immediately began inpatient chemo treatment.  Treatment began January 23, 2018 and Garner became part of the St. Luke's Boise family spending 22 days in the 
hospital .  It was a rough few weeks of treatment, but on February 13, 2018 bone marrow results came back clear, officially putting him in the remission category!  Garner was allowed to return home to his family and allow his body to heal and blood counts to recover.  

Garner has been able to remain at home and continues out patient chemo treatment preparing for a bone marrow transplant.  A bone marrow transplant is Garner's best hope to remain in remission and for survival.  Garner traveled to OHSU in Portland, OR for an initial consult to find a bone marrow donor.   It can take up to 3 months to be matched.  Unfortunately the transplant process requires a 100 day stay in Portland, OR.  

Your generous financial support will help to cover housing, food and medical expenses while Garner is in Portland.  It will also help to ease the financial burden of continuing to maintain Garner's Idaho home and the care of his children.  Cancer is cruel and the treatment is expensive.  Please help to alleviate this stress so Garner can put all his energy towards healing. 

For the best understanding of what lies ahead I am attaching the latest update from Garner's Caringbridge page, written by his wife Kristi (and my amazingly strong and beautiful sister inlaw) .  Thank you in advance for your love and support!

Caringbridge Update March 18, 2018
What happens then?  When THE call comes ....

Well, it's fast and furious it sounds like.  Doc said they would likely call and tell us we have to be there within a few days.  And, when that happens G and I will be in Portland for no less than 100 days.  Just over 3 months.  And he has to have a caregiver (Me) - lucky him right? - with him 24/7.  We have amazing family and friends. Heroes and angels on earth! So what about the girls and the dogs?  Things work in amazing ways ... Mike and Deby - two of my favorite humans.  Ever.  They will move into the "Big House" and stay with the girls and the dogs.  Not THAT big house people.  OUR house ... :) Wow!  3 months and they're just moving and putting their lives on hold. For us. See, a year ago, they sold their house. Retired. And began the process to build a house out here.  Mission Accomplished.  Also, 1 year ago, I took a different role with the same company that allowed more family time, less stress and ... I get to work from home. See!  Things to do work in amazing ways! Had those 2 things not happened a year ago … we’d be in a much different place getting ready for this temporary move.  Thankfully, we have the support of family AND of my company – where we also have a in office in Portland, if I need it. 

So, back to the process. Once we get there, we’ll have a team that helps us every step of the way.  Led by Dr. Richard Maziarz. We’ll have classes on caregiver and patient stuff. We’ll have LOTS of appointments. The first few weeks, Garner will be admitted to OHSU.  He’ll get a conditioning regimen of Chemo to prepare his body for transplant. This is not the easy, fancy, new purple stuff. This is the real deal, high dose, intense chemotherapy. Intentionally strong. Intentionally killing off his entire immune system. Essentially, a clean slate for the donor’s marrow. So, for the first week, he’ll get that chemo and they’ll watch him closely, treating the systems that come with this regimen.  Which will include total hair loss, nausea, vomiting, etc.  Then, once he’s ready, they’ll transfuse the new marrow.  It’s simple really.  It’s just like he’s getting a blood transfusion.  It will be infused via his PICC line just like everything else. He’ll remain inpatient at the bone marrow transplant unit for 2-3 weeks following the transfusion of the new marrow.  They’ll be treating all the symptoms that come along with this process. Once they feel like he’s safe to be “home” we’ll be able to stay at housing that OHSU will help us arrange. We have to be within 20 minutes of the hospital at all times it sounds like and the housing has to be within that area. I’ll be able to work from there once things settle down and should be similar to being here, just a long way away. 

The hardest part is waiting … we heard form the RN coordinator today and she said they almost have Garner’s profile back (of his bone marrow for matching) and right now they’re working with our insurance to get the donor search covered.  IT may not be covered, so if that’s the case, we’ll have to pay out of pocket, but they’re working on finding a grant right now to offset those costs.  And we’ll keep fighting with the insurance to get it covered.  Once that happens, the search begins. 

Jennifer has helped us get a GoFundMe page setup and we’ll be using that to help offset the costs of the medical expenses as well as the cost of paying for 2 households simultaneously. Especially the high cost of living in Portland. But, it’s a small investment to save a precious life!  It’s all worth it!! If you all could share the page, we would be ever so grateful!  Beyond words …

Here’s to finding a perfect match, in record time!  If it can happen to anyone, we know it will be for G! 

Love you all!

K & G


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Organizer and beneficiary

Jennifer Berry Hartway 
Kuna, ID
Kristi Hartway 
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