Renee’s Fight Against Leukemia

On May 3, 2017, Renee (Firlit) Pianka’s life changed forever. It was an ordinary work day when she received a call from her Endocrinologist who was alarmed by a CBC blood test result. She had not been feeling well and was under care for a thyroid condition. She saw her doctor the following day and was sent to the Emergency Department for four units of blood and then a bone marrow biopsy. Renee received an unexpected diagnosis of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. AML is an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow and a life-threatening disease. Leukemic cells fill the bone marrow and spill into the bloodstream affecting healthy cell production. She was immediately admitted for further testing and a seven day continuous induction chemotherapy treatment which started the next day. Her first hospital treatment stay was thirty-nine days. Subsequent treatments are necessary and will all be done inpatient.

Her first round of chemotherapy treatment caused suppression of her immune system by destroying white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to dangerously low levels. Renee went through medical tests, daily bloodwork, and received multiple blood transfusions, platelets, and antibiotics as a result. She has experienced fevers, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, severe indigestion, severe headaches, mouth sores, fluid in her lung, confinement anxiety, and hair loss. A Bone Marrow Transplant or Stem Cell Transplant out of the area may be needed if complete remission is achieved.

Renee is a much loved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, cousin, friend, and mother to her German Shepherd “Madison”. She is a loving, caring, generous, and fun person. She married the love of her life Jeff, just six years ago. She has worked as a Medical Assistant for more than twenty years. Her most recent dream was to pursue furthering education in the medical field. Renee is someone who participates and raises money for the Heart Run & Walk, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, and Walk MS.

Jeff and Renee are now faced with the challenges of a life threatening illness and its rigorous treatment plan. She will not be able to work during this time or be able to live normally. Restrictions and changes are now a part of her daily activities to protect her body from infection. Renee’s hope is to achieve complete remission and to find a donor match for a transplant if a transplant is needed.

Let’s come together to help by building her a strong support system to fight this disease. Whether it be through prayer, kind words, keeping her in your daily thoughts, or by donating to her cause. Please find it in your hearts to show your love and support during this trying time and share her story with others. Thank you for your support.

Money donations will go directly to Renee and Jeff to help with her medical expenses.

Requested by Renee’s family

  • Carlos Vargas 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
  • Bob DK3 Ret USN & Judy Durland 
    • $30 
    • 57 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Karen Zecca 
    • $50 
    • 58 mos
  • Carlos & Anne Vargas 
    • $500 
    • 58 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Alex Reeder 
Clinton, NY
Renee Pianka