My name is Brandi Carillo and this is my story about my uncle Duane Ah Yen.
Back in 2017, my family received the news that my uncle Duane Ah Yen was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. For those of you who are unfamiliar with multiple myeloma, it is a bone cancer that starts in white blood cells called plasma cells. These plasma cells are responsible for making antibodies that help fight off bacteria and infections. Multiple myeloma causes the cancerous cells to build up in the bone marrow, leading to weak bones. This disease has made my uncle Duane tired and weak, which is not the typical guy that likes to talk stories and catch up with friends and family.
Anyone who has met my uncle Duane knows that he is a very caring, hardworking family man. He has a big heart and will give whatever he can to help someone in need. He has three kids named Kristi, Shauna, and Nawai and his wife Lee who are his world. My uncle is a great provider, always working to support his family and give them everything they need. Uncle Duane enjoyed sports his whole life and even coached his kids throughout their childhood, never missing a game. His occupation as a house painter for the State of Hawaii along with his own painting business has kept him busy throughout the years.
Since my uncle Duane was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he has been receiving weekly chemotherapy treatments in order to diminish this cancer. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy treatments are not enough to rid him of this disease. He is now at Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, the terminal stage of this rare cancer. My uncle Duane was informed that the next step to recovery is to get a bone marrow transplant.
This bone marrow transplant will take place this month (August) at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Upon arrival, uncle Duane will undergo aggressive chemotherapy treatments with the bone marrow transplant to follow. The stress his body will endure will cause him to stay in Seattle for approximately 3 months for recovery. Once he has enough strength to do things on his own, the doctor will allow my uncle Duane to return back home to rest and recover. The whole recovery process is estimated to be about 6-12 months.
As we all know, being out of work for 6-12 months will take an enormous toll on the family financially. Due to the extensive treatment and time out of work for both my uncle Duane and his wife aunty Lee, I am humbly asking for your help. We are kindly seeking any donations to help relieve some of the stress and defray the cost of medical bills, hospital/housing costs, out-patient visits at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and all other costs related to his illness. Any donation, large or small, would be greatly appreciated.