My uncle Mike was so awesome to me during my young life. I'll always remember how cool he was with his Chevy Nova hot rod. He would take me for rides and we would listen to Boston nonstop, while we cruised down the highway. He also taught me how to fish and how to clean fish as a young boy. We are all asking for help in their time of need, and my family and I will be donating as well.
Here is my Uncle Mike and Aunt Rhonda's story, written by Rhonda.
Please read their story, and help in any way you can.
"I am the wife of Michael Sears and we have been married for 37 years. He has been the most caring and loving husband, father, and grandfather I have ever known. I really look forward to us growing old together and watching our grandchildren grow up, and spending many more precious years together.
Mike has been a dedicated custodian and employee of the Logan Magnolia school system in Logan, IA for many, many years and has really enjoyed it. I remember many times when Mike and I would be shopping at local stores and former students would go up to him and be so happy to see him again. These students are young adults now and Mike had seen them grow from kindergarten until graduation. He is so loved by so many.
On February 4th of this year, Mike became very ill all of a sudden, and could not go to work. After going to the doctor for some testing, he was diagnosed with influenza A. The next week, Mike went to the doctor again because he still was not feeling better. This time he had developed pneumonia, and a few days later, he felt even worse and once again, returned to the doctor. This time, they did a blood test and the results showed an extremely high white blood cell count.
He was sent to a hematologist, and they performed a very painful bone marrow biopsy. After several agonizing weeks of waiting for results, on May 15th, we finally received the devastating news that his diagnosis . Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). This disease is a slowly progressing and rare type of blood cancer, and while some patients exhibit no symptoms, the most common symptoms are anemia, fatigue, and night sweats. This rare form of leukemia is very hard to diagnose, which is why it took so long to get his diagnosis.
As it stands now, Mike has no choice but to have a bone marrow transplant, and the first steps are to test his siblings to see if any of them are a match, and if they are not a match, they look into a donor bank. If that fails, they'll test our son and daughter. Hopefully, by then, we will have found a match for him. If all else fails we will turn to the public in our local area to volunteer to be tested. The testing is very simple. They swab your cheek to see if you are a match.
To make matters worse, during this time, I was told I need a total hip replacement. I also have been unable to work, after spending 25+ years as a nurse's aide working, 50-60 hours per week. Before we can focus on my hip, my Michael comes first. In the next few months, he will be endure several rounds of chemotherapy to prepare him for a bone marrow transplant. Mike is also an insulin dependent diabetic, and has been for many years, so he will have to be closely monitored.
Once we find a donor, we are told Mike will be in the hospital for more than a month after the bone marrow transplant is completed. He will also need to remain in close proximity to the hospital for 3 months once he is released, which means he won't be able to return home to his family right away. Being without the patriarch of our family for such an extended period will be a very difficult time for us for obvious reasons, and for one not so obvious one, which is the fact that we only have one working vehicle at the moment, as our second vehicle was recently involved in a total loss accident. We have never been ones to ask for help because we always figured out a way to make it, but now we have run out of options. We 're both unable to work. We do get short term disability from my job, and I am applying for long term disability , but the medical bills are piling up. These medical treatments are vital to his survival. The funds we are hoping to raise will help cover our medical bills, transportation to and from treatments and general living expenses so Mike can make a full recovery.
If you are local in western Iowa or eastern Nebraska, and want to help, we may need volunteers to be tested for a match if the others do not turn out to be a match. We really pray we won't have to ask for that. We will keep you all updated on that as well as his recovery. We can't thank you enough. You don't know how much this will help us. Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts and God Bless.
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