Help Elijah kick cancer in the face
My son, Elijah was diagnosed in May of 2014 with Pre-B ALL (leukemia) at the age of 13. He has gone through extensive treatments, and endured endless complications. He has been paralyzed and unable to talk, sustained mouth sores so bad he couldn't eat for a month, and was sent to the ICU twice. He's endured abscesses that formed in his liver and the doctors have no idea what caused them. He's had a surgery on his leg to remove fluid buildup behind his calf muscle, which again stumped doctors. He had blisters all over his arms, hands, legs, and feet for months that were caused by a medication he was taking to treat an infection in his lungs. One of the chemo medications has to be given in injections to his leg muscles. These shots are given three at a time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They hurt so bad he gets anxiety the day before he has to go in. There are countless things he like this he has to go through daily, yet he remains positive and willing to fight this so he can live. He was due to complete his first treatment in June of 2017. On May 24th, 2017, we found out his cancer had returned in his spinal fluid. He immediately began a much more intense treatment protocol which included brain and spine radiation. That treatment was due to end March of 2019. On November 13th, 2018 he had a headache and eye pain. An MRI showed inflamed cranial nerves. An emergent Spinal tap showed the cancer had returned yet again and this time both in his spinal fluid and bone marrow. His current treatment plan is Car-t cell therapy, a brand new treatment using his own immune cells to kill the cancer. It comes with it's own challenges, but these pale in comparison to what he's lived through already. He has missed three years of school and is now unable to attend school. He's lost his entire teenage existence to this monster. He has spent about 2 years total inpatient in the hospital in the past 4.5 years. He has had over 50 spinal taps. He hasn't been off of treatment even for ONE DAY since the very first day we found out he had leukemia. We now are hopeful that this ground breaking therapy will save him and rid him of this cancer for good. We have already been to Denver for a week for collection of his t cells. We will soon have to return and stay for two months. He has 3 younger brothers and a baby sister. I have a fiancee who works very hard to help as much as he can. We have done our best and recieved help from friends and family, but it is impossible to keep up with bills when I am unable to work full time and now we have to move to a different state for two months. We are being provided a place to stay but we will have to provide ourselves with food and everything else. Our bills here at home will still need to be paid as well. We appreciate anything that is given, every little bit helps!!If anyone would like to help without giving money, please go donate blood or platelets at any local United Blood Services. There is a huge shortage of blood products right now that has directly affected Elijah. Anything is helpful. Thank you! Please keep praying for him!+ Read More
Elijah had his lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspiration yesterday. he has been doing well, so far with this treatment. He had to get an infusion of IGg yesterday, which we expected, and it is a good sign that the T cells are working! Thursday we will know for sure. I will post again tomorrow after we get the news. Thank you gain to all of you. we appreciate every prayer and donation.
Still in Denver. Today is day 19 officially. (Infusion of T cells is day 0). Elijah is doing very well. No adverse reactions, counts are going back up, and no extra infusions needed yet. He shaved his head because his hair was falling out in clumps again. I think this is the 6th time he has lost his hair. He was very neutropenic (no immune system) for a long time, which basically keeps him a prisoner in the apartment as well as severely restricts his diet. He will have another lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspiration to check for cancer cells soon. Thank you to everyone for your support and continued prayers.
Back in Denver! Elijah received his t cell infusion yesterday. Now we wait. He has to wear a mask everywhere. He can't eat out at restaurants or eat fresh fruit/vegetables because they can carry bacteria and fungus that he can't fight off. He can't be out in public places. Hospital visits three times per week. They added a couple more medications. He has to check his temperature aften and if he gets a fever or any other symptoms he has to go straight to the hospital. We have to stay within on hour of the hospital at all times. If he develops symptoms, it can progress in a matter of hours into a very dire situation. Our family is split up. We are away from the comfort of home...but I truly believe that this is the treatment that will rid him of cancer for good! God is keeping him string and we are praying for a very boring and uneventful next couple of months. Keep praying!