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Eric Grush Bone Marrow Transplant

$20,209 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 159 people in 12 months
Created May 30, 2018
Anyone who knows Eric, knows that music (and all things Disney) is "in his blood". On Jan 29, 2015, he received the shocking news that there also was cancer in his blood. He had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, treated it successfully with intensive inpatient chemo, followed by 2.5 years of outpatient chemo, and thought he was cured. In March 2018, a new challenge emerged - Myelodysplastic Syndrome, known as MDS, which actually was caused by the previous chemo, and only treatable with a bone marrow transplant. Eric remains steadfast in his fight to overcome this new obstacle.

Eric is a husband and active father of Katie(16) and Will(13). Prior to this diagnosis, he was a band teacher at Cary Academy where he touched the lives of so many during the past 21 years, and church music director.  He will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant in June and will be in the hospital for at least a month followed by another month in a hotel near UNC to be able to receive the special care he needs. His wife, Marianne, also will be in isolation as his primary caregiver. Eric is the sole income earner for his family and will not be able to work for at least a year. This has placed an even greater strain on the family. In order to help with this additional burden, we are starting this GoFundMe campaign. We welcome any assistance you can provide. 

It is not easy to ask for help, but support and encouragement from the community have carried them through.  Marianne has made a list of primary needs for their family this summer as Eric undergoes treatment.  Please go to the Planner in the “Ways to Help” section (heart in hand icon) at the bottom of the home page of Eric’s Caring Bridge Site, https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericgrush , for details.  Please note that donations made by clicking on the “Donate to CaringBridge” button do NOT go to the Grush family but to the non-profit CaringBridge site to run this service. 

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the family, please do so through this GoFundMe site or contact the family directly.

All prayers and acts of kindness are greatly appreciated as we support Eric's fight to get healthy and return to his family as soon as possible.
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Wonderful news from Eric!!! Thank you all again for supporting him and his family.

Day 100
Journal entry by Eric Grush — Oct 5, 2018

Thursday, October 4 was my milestone day 100 since transplant and coincidentally the birthday of my brother Keith, whose donated cells have literally saved my life!

For those who have not heard, at my 90-day appointment, my oncologist said there are NO SIGNS OF EITHER CANCER. What they saw in February is back to normal!!! I have resumed eating a regular diet and go out in public more. Now I will be looking for a job to start in January. Currently, I am investigating jobs outside of the field of education.

I could not have made it through this without the care and support of Marianne, Katie, and Will as well as too many friends and family to name. Thank you all!!!

Although I am not out of the woods, the doctor says that MDS is one cancer they will actually pronounce as cured. So no signs of cancer at day 100 is a tremendous milestone to celebrate and I look forward to hearing the word "cured" in the future.

The prayers are working! Please keep them up.
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Eric's wife, Marianne, shared the following great news!

Day +74
Journal entry by marianne grush — 22 hours ago

Eric is 3/4 of the way through the most critical part of his transplant recovery and is doing amazingly well. His leukemia treatment prepared us well for all the dietary and germ restrictions and precautions. What's less predictable is the depth to which the doctors scour his every blood lab. I'm amazed by all the things they regularly watch (and medications they constantly adjust) to ensure that things are at just the right levels while he takes on these new cells. I told the doctor that it seems like Eric's body really likes Keith's bone marrow. She agreed. Reality is that he will always have precautions and always need to take special care to ensure his safety. But he's a pretty good rule follower!

His appetite has arrived! And although he's still on a restricted diet, he's determined to gain back some weight. Many of us have offered to donate ours, but unfortunately, there's not a fat transplant procedure available and I don't recommend the bone marrow transplant route for weight loss. We expect the dietary restrictions to end around Christmas.

I'm still the only driver for our family and it has been very difficult, even with help! There's no way everyone could get where they needed to be without the awesome people who have stepped up to offer their personal taxi services at various times. We are hopeful that by next month, Eric will be cleared for driving, and (pause for dramatic effect), Katie will have her license. She doesn't have a car, but will hopefully have the option of driving, should a vehicle be available for her use. Just helping transport Will to/from sports practices will be a huge help!

We are so thankful to the friends who have given so much to us, from calls, visits and texts, to meals, rides, gas, groceries, yardwork, money - it all adds up and has helped tremendously during this time of stress, fear, financial instability and insecurity. It's no fun for any of us. We are now attempting to enter the job searching phase and hoping for much happiness and new beginnings.
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We did it!!! Thank you SO much for helping us hit the $20,000 mark. WOW! I know that this money is a huge relief for Eric and his family. What a way to honor Eric for all that he has done in his teaching career too! All this positive energy is sure to give Eric a boost. I know he also loves to get your messages through this GoFundMe site or his CaringBridge site ( https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericgrush). I'm truly humbled and inspired by everyone's generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Great news! Eric and his family are finally home (see his update below) and we only need $541 to reach our goal of $20,000 earned! We are SO, SO thankful for all the contributions. If you know of anyone who may not now about this campaign and would want to help Eric and his family through this very tough time, please forward the link to this page. Thank you all again for making this happen!

From Eric's Caring Bridge site:
Homecoming 8-13-18 (Day 48)
Journal entry by Eric Grush — Aug 16, 2018

After almost 2 months of hospital and hotel stays we finally got home on Monday! All four of us are more comfortable and look forward to a sense of normalcy returning.­­­

The doctors feel I am doing well enough that I no longer need to stay so close to the hospital. Being at home for Katie and Will to start school is very important and I am grateful. Katie started her junior year at Cary Academy this week and Will starts his 8th-grade year at St. Mary Magdalene next week.

I am tolerating medications very well. The doctors say that I look like most people on day 70-80 and I have encountered few problems, large or small. They also say that a bone marrow transplant is one of the toughest things that can happen to a body. I am thankful for my recovering health, the expertise of wonderful medical professionals, and the support of friends and family. This entire process is wearing on all four of us and we are still only at the beginning of the marathon.

So, I will stay out of the sun and out of public, keep eating like a horse to gain back some weight, and look forward to more independence come October (Day 100)!
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$20,209 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 159 people in 12 months
Created May 30, 2018
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