The Vibrant Healing of Anu

$15,900 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 21 months
Anu’s Story

Thank you for your support and for sharing this stage of Anu’s journey as she heals and rebuilds her immune system using her brother, Peder’s, blood stem cells. Some time ago Anu was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called essential thrombocythemia, a condition in which DNA damage to developing stem cells in the bone marrow lead to increased production of platelets. Over time this condition developed into a new disorder called myelofibrosis where the improperly functioning blood stem cells release chemicals causing scar tissue formation in the bone marrow and reduced blood cell production. The only cure for this type of blood disorder is a stem cell transplant which is expected to halt the continuation of this disease, considerably repair the damaged/scarred bone marrow, and lay the groundwork for a well-functioning immune system.

Anu chose to undergo this procedure and experienced a successful transplant on August 11, 2017 with the gift of her brother’s stem cells. Because Peder’s cells were such a close match with Anu’s, the transplant engrafted exceptionally quickly. Doctors expected Anu to be in the hospital for over a month but she was released early after only 25 days. From the hospital Anu moved into a Seattle apartment for 3 months. Anu’s apartment was close to a clinic where she could be routinely monitored. At Day 28 and again at Day 80, biopsies have shown that there are only healthy stem cells remaining in Anu’s bone marrow! Additionally, the scar tissue caused by the disease is continuing to disappear.

However, during this time the new cells began to attack her digestive system in a condition known as graft vs. host disease (GVHD). In order to address this condition, steroids were administered on a fast-taper regime. Unfortunately, after the first round of steroids the GVHD flared up again and was stronger. At this time, Anu had to go back onto steroids at a higher dosage, accompanied by a new medication called Jakafi. She is slowly tapering off of the steroids, but it is unknown how long the GVHD may persist and the trajectory for her healing has been extended.

She will be extremely susceptible to even minor infections at this time and during the year ahead. Even a cold would be a challenge to her system. Please keep this in mind even when visiting with anyone who will be in contact with her.

If you would like get updates and follow Anu's journey, please visit or subscribe to her CaringBridge site:

We thank you for your continuing love and support.
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It been a year!! And thanks to love I made it. Thank you all for you incredible support. I have been speechless so many times during this journey of the way friends and family have supported my family and I. The money through gofundme, the local fundraisers, the random cash people have given us, the grocery shopping, the child care, the house cleaning, the driving when I couldn't drive, the lawn moving, the massages, the cranio-sacrals, the naturopathic consultations, the acupuncture, and the facials(when the steroids were so high, I grew full facial hair and looked like a werewolf). All of this made our day so much lighter in the midst of the darkness and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In some ways what has surprisingly surprised me the most, is how much the prayers, the light, the love, and the candles lit for me, transformed my life and kept me alive during this experience. The transplant went so smooth and from November till July was a really long ride. As fare as I remember on the back of a fire dragon. My body just couldn't handle the medications and I got lost in the many cracks of the medical system for awhile. And I found my way and I'm close to out. I'm being tapered off of the medications as fast as is possible and I feeling like my (new) self again.

Before I started this journey a bone marrow biopsy technician told me, she believe from her experience working at the SCCA clinic that the most important part of having a good outcome, is having a strong community around you. I knew from experience that group energy can transform life. And what I experienced on this journey is like nothing I have ever truly known. Love and light so palpable you feel every molecule inside and outside your body transforming beyond time and space. Love brings miracles. May we always feel love surrounding every moment of our life.
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As Anu prepares to relocate to Seattle August 1, 2017 for bone marrow transplant and the essential recuperation period, let's rally together and bring more support so the Byal family has no financial stress! Thank you!
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Update on Anu's healing journey: Beginning in June Anu will begin the medical preparations for a bone marrow transplant. The transplant will begin in August, and will require Anu to relocate to Seattle and stay at hospital housing for 4 months. We are calling out for more support for Anu and her family (Jason and kids will remain in Bellingham as she undergoes this transplant) Anu will need an on site caregiver in Seattle and Jason will need support/ childcare before, during and after the transplant. There will be great expenses for the family that are not covered by insurance including the healing modalities Anu will need post transplant to insure life long healing and prevent the return of this disorder. We thank you in advance for your generosity, love, energy and for gathering together in community to help lift each other up in times of need. Thank you.
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$15,900 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 21 months
Created February 24, 2017
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Laya Shriaberg
10 months ago

Big Blessings, Anu!

Camille Lindelien
13 months ago

Run, Alex, run! (And have fun!) Happy to support you in your cause. Hope this helps Anu and her family.

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