On August 4, 2017 we took Zac into his primary care because he was getting bruises all over his body for 2 weeks. We figured the bruising was from him water skiing, playing baseball and just being his normal active healthy kid. There was one bruise that stuck out to us on his ankle as it looked like he had a very bad sprain without a sprain. The moment we took him to his primary care, they suggested we rush to the ER in Newark, Ohio to get labs done. That was the moment that it hit me and I broke down as I knew it was something serious. I had that feeling in my gut like something is seriously wrong with our son. The lab results came back within 10 minutes and his WBC were .8 and platelets were a 4. All his blood counts were dangerously low. I could see the level of concern in every doctor and nurses face. We have doctors and nurses in our family and everyone suggested we get down to childrens hospital ASAP. So we were addmitted immideitley to get a biopsy on his bone marrow. All the doctors kept talking about was leukemia and preparing our family that his is Leukemia as he has EVERY sign of leukemia. Well for 4 days we had a lot of people praying for him, this was the longest most dreadful 4 days for us all as we just waited for a diagnosis, so we can come up with a plan to fix it or is there a fix? We didnt know. So after 4 days of waiting for bone marrow results--- it finally came back with no cancer cells. However- it came back saying he has 10% of his bone marrow left. When it should be at least 90%. So his diagnosis was "severe aplastic anemia" which it's a very rare blood diseases that kills his bone marrow which helps produce all of the blood cells. This is so rare that childrens hospital has about 3 cases on an average a year. Most of the genetic tests came back negative and they are pretty positive its an autoimmune which something triggerred it about 6 weeks ago and they are calling it "idiopathic" meaning they have no idea what caused it. The best cure option for him was if his sister Cayden was a match--we should get a bone marrow transplant from a sibling donor. Well results came back and she was not a match. Now there are two different routes we can take, national donor list for a BM transplant also known as a "MUD" option or a more conservative approach which is called "IST" which is basically jump starting your marrow by a treatment. There are risks to both sides. So we will have some tough decisions to make over the next couple of days.
As for an update with Zac physically and mentally. He hates being locked in a room for 14 days straight. He has always been super active and running around being a normal 9 year old boy. When we told him he wouldn't be going to school this year and not able to play baseball really crushed him. He understands how hard this year will be but he is ready to get this fixed and be a normal kid. He is strong and we are all in this together. You will never be able to tell he is so sick internally because he still has so much energy and is doing great.
Thank you for reading Zacs story; for those of you who dont know Zac personally. I can sum him up very easily. He is a very smart kid who is in all the gifted classes at school. Very well liked and easy to get a long with. He is one of the kids that will protect another kid if they are getting made fun of or bullied. He has one of the biggest hearts that would do anything for anyone. He loves baseball. He started playing when he was 3 years old. He is a pitcher and plays short stop. He loves water skiing and spending time at the lake at his famlies lake house. He can do an arubic cube in 1 minute and 12 seconds with his EYES closed. He loves playing ROBLOX with his friends and face timing them.
Zac and our family want to thank you for ALL the love, prayers and support. We have a lot of people on this jouney with us and no doubt in his or our minds, WE WILL WIN and He will be back on that baseball field in no time and back playing with his friends at school. He is an advocate and ready to crush this challenge!
- Julie Barker
- Julie Larson
- Ira Sully
Organizer and beneficiary
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