At the beginning of May, 15 year old Sam was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome with genetic mutations that will soon lead to AML. This is the same type of leukemia that took his father and older brother too soon. Sam has spent the last two months doing extensive testing and it has been decided that his best chance for long life is a bone marrow transplant. The treatment is the same as it would be if he already had cancer. It will be a long road of chemotherapy, transplant and recovery. With Alex gone, Sam does not have a sibling matched donor. His other siblings are only 50% matches. Sam's doctors have decided that waiting for the best non related match may not be worth the risk of this disease progressing into AML so the family has agreed move forward with bone marrow transplant with Sam's mother as his donor.
The risks are serious and the road is long. Sam will be admitted to UCSF on July 21, with chemotherapy starting on July 23. The bone marrow transplant will take place in the beginning of August. He will stay in the hospital for roughly 8 weeks, followed by an additional 6-12 months of recovery at home.
Sam's mother is a single mom, with 2 other children to provide and care for, and she will be weakened by the bone marrow procedure. We are respectfully and humbly requesting donations of funds in the next 2 weeks, prior to the bone marrow transplant procedure. With a cushion in place to cover not only medical bills, but also basic living expenses, Sam's mom won't feel that she needs to choose either going to work over accompanying and supporting Sam during his procedures and treatment, or taking care of herself after the bone marrow procedure in early August! Any amount is deeply appreciated and extremely helpful.
The Smiley family thanks you for your prayers, love, friendship and support. They are hopeful that the recent advances in leukemia treatment will give Sam a long full life.
Other ways to support Sam and his family will be writing him letters during his long stay in the hospital, visiting him if you are local (as his treatment and recovery schedule permits), and supporting his mom and sisters if you live here in town. We will let you know if and when we set up any meal schedules or something similar.
THANK YOU for taking the time to read this long message, and THANK YOU in advance for any support, financial or otherwise you can send to the Smileys.
- Melissa Prichett
- Micheal Rallis
- Gale Dunham
- Alicia Salling
- Dale Stutz
Organizer and beneficiary
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