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Team KLA (Kick Leukemia's A**)

$14,829 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 189 people in 14 months
Created July 27, 2017
Thank you for visiting Karley's page! My name is Allie Sirrine -- I am Karley's girlfriend, and we are from West Hartford Connecticut. Most of our friends and family may know that Karley was diagnosed with Pre B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July, 2017. She is currently receiving inpatient chemotherapy treatment at Smilow Cancer Center of Yale New Haven Hospital.  As her oncology team at Yale did genetic testing, Karley also learned that she is "Philadelphia chromosome positive," meaning she has a chromosomal translocation abnormality, found in some patients who have leukemia. As a result, once she beats this, she will need to take a tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug called Dasatinib for the rest of her life in order to suppress that abnormality from causing a relapse.

This illness was completely unexpected for Karley and presented very aggressively, but she is the strongest girl we know, she is in the best place, and she will get through this!!!!

Please consider donating to Karley's fund to help soften this financial blow. Karley will remain out of work throughout her entire inpatient treatment at Yale. We ask for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and any financial support you may be able to offer Karley so she can focus on her health as she starts this uphill battle. These funds will go toward Karley's medical bills and for any other costs she will accrue while being in the hospital. We appreciate any and all support you may be able to offer.

#teamKLA
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Hi everyone!

I know we are overdue for an update, so...
Karley is now almost 2 months out from transplant! She had her first bone marrow biopsy on Day 30 (today is Day 52) and received amazing news. Her biopsy demonstrated 99% of Kayla's cells, no trace of any blasts (leukemia), and no sign of the Philadelphia chromosome. Needless to say, there were some serious happy tears in the room learning that Karley is cancer free! There have been a few setbacks throughout her recovery, although none of them are insurmountable. Karley is still feeling pretty weak and unable to move around much. An increase in energy will come with time, and likely once she is able to taper off her anti-rejection medications. She also developed two blood clots in one of her neck veins, which just bought her 3 months of self-injecting a blood thinner every day. She is still crushing it though, and is the strongest person we all know. She has two more bone marrow biopsies in her near future, just to make sure everything is on track. Stay tuned for those results!! Our girl is cancer free!!!!!!!! #teamKLA
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Hi Team KLA!

Quick Karley update! She is currently post-transplant day 12 and doing so well. The initial 'conditioning' she went through was extremely rough. The heavy chemo & radiation had very delayed effects of severe sores in her mouth, esophagus, and all the way down her GI tract to her painful bum. Her pain is adequately controlled, now, although she still has a very hard time eating or drinking.

This process over the last 2-3 weeks has had its moments of extreme pain and fear. Over the course of this past week (especially), she experienced fevers up to 106/107 for several days, which required cooling with Tylenol, ice packs and a continuous cooling blanket. During this time, she developed some fluid on her lungs, which made it difficult for her to breathe at times and was almost moved to the ICU. For fear of a serious infection brewing, her transplant team threw the whole 'kitchen sink' at her in terms of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and other medicines. Thankfully, as soon as her white blood cells began to rise, her symptoms improved and we are so happy to report that she has passed that very difficult and scary time.

Now let's talk counts! KARLEY HAS ENGRAFTED!!!! As Karley's whole immune system was wiped out from the chemo and radiation, it took a few weeks for "engraftment" to happen. This refers to when her marrow recognizes Kayla's donor stem cells, and begins utilizing them for re-growth of her own blood cells. Karley's numbers are steadily climbing each day, and we are so happy to see it! Her transplant team mentioned some patients can take a really long time to engraft, so we are all feeling so thankful that this happened for her sooner rather than later.

So, how do we know if the transplant worked?? ... So far, so good! All signs point to the transplant doing its job, and Karley will undergo several bone marrow biopsies over the next 6 months to determine the effectiveness of transplant. First biopsy will be day 30 so just over another two weeks! Keep your eye out for an update following those results.

What's next for Karley?? She will probably be able to go home in the next week or two! Her transplant team explained that it's most important to see her counts rise above zero, as well as to see that she can tolerate eating and drinking and moving around independently. One of those items has been checked off (her blood counts rising) and she is trying to work on tolerating the pain of eating and drinking. Day by day! She is ELATED at the thought of being able to return home soon. While she still has a long road ahead of recovery, getting booster's of all necessary immunizations (since she now has a 'baby' immune system), not drinking tap water for ~6 months, home cooked meals only for ~6 months, she says "anything will be better than being in the hospital!"

As always, we thank you for your continued support, thoughts, and prayers. Karley is one lucky girl to have the massive support standing behind her. Have a wonderful weekend!!
Karley & Lexie on transplant day! 11/20
Kayla's frozen stem cells!
Short video of transplant day!
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Hello!

It's getting closer to transplant date and I know we are long overdue for an update!

I hope this finds you all doing well. Karley's stem cell transplant is scheduled for Nov 20th! Right around the corner, and she is both nervous and excited for the potentially curative effects it may offer. Since finishing chemotherapy, she has had several blood draws and appointments at Yale which have all demonstrated stable blood counts. More specifically, her latest bone marrow biopsy revealed < 10 % myeloblasts. This signifies 'remission' and means Karley is healthy enough to undergo transplant!

Some of you have been inquiring about the transplant process, so this is likely what it will entail: Kayla (Karley's sister) will have injections of a medicine that will increase her own blood count and stem cells in her peripheral blood. Those stem cells will then be retrieved through IV blood draw. Beginning on Nov 13th, Karley will be admitted to Yale for 1 week of "conditioning." This means she will have several days of total body irradiation as well as chemotherapy to deplete her bone marrow. Then, on Nov 20th, Kayla's harvested stem cells will be infused into Karley's IV for her bone marrow to latch on to. It can be a grueling, difficult process, but Karley knows we are all behind her 100%.

During Karley's time off, she has been able to relax, visit a few fun places, and participated in the 2017 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Light the Night" walk - organized by her sister, Kayla. This was a special event where Karley, her family and friends were able to be among many other survivors and supporters of blood cancers. We had a wonderful time, and hope to have an even larger group next year!

Transplants are referred to a "second birthday" in the transplant community (which we did not realize!), so Karley's birthdays will now be March 20 and November 20!!!! As always, thank you all. We are forever grateful for the support, and will update as the transplant progresses. BIG LOVE.
Karley and her sister Kayla!
Karley + family at "Light the Night!"
Karley + Allie!
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Hello everyone! Just wanted to give a quick update on Karley and share some amazing news (which many of you already know)... :-) She is making us all so proud!!!! She has completed hyperCVAD part A and B, and goes back Monday for her third round overall (part A again). When we initially spoke to her oncologist, he said "the ideal situation is you complete A, B and then A again, then stem cell transplant. The talk of a stem cell transplant for Karley started early on, because based on the chromosomal translocation she has that predisposed her to leukemia, she was likely to relapse even if she went in remission from chemotherapy alone. So, we began the search of a stem cell donor that would match as close to 100% as possible. The goal of a 100% match is to prevent complications of her body rejecting the donor's stem cells. Low and behold... her older sister Kayla got tested and was a 100% match!!!!!!!!!!!! This was such good news after a few setbacks in the last week like Karley's spleen getting enlarged and bleeding again and needing to be removed, as well as a meningitis scare. All is well though -- Karley is being the strong, amazing fighter that she is and things are moving along in a positive direction. As always, thank you to all of you who have come to visit, donated, sent positive thoughts & prayers, and been there for Karley during this challenge. We appreciate you all more than you will ever know!

Stem cell transplant is scheduled for end of October. It will be a long, grueling process that often takes 3-4+ months of constantly being in the hospital. She's up for it though, and she has us all behind her. #teamKLA forever!!!!

Stay tuned for stem cell transplant updates. I'll keep you all posted. So much love to you all. <3
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$14,829 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 189 people in 14 months
Created July 27, 2017
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