Friday, November 6, 2009

Jason

I tend to talk about pretty inconsequential subjects here on my blog. I post silly pictures of my husband and I, of the food that I bake, the places that I visit, and anything else that I find amusing. Some might claim that these subjects are actually of eternal importance. In fact, I'm pretty sure that some very scholarly papers have been written on the subject of the delights of vainity. An entire book of the Bible if I recall correctly (Which I do.). But as Elizabeth Bennet in says "Of some delights, a little goes a long way."

Today, however,  I'd like to take a short break from my usual silly fare and talk to you about something a little more serious and close to my heart. This is my cousin Jason and he's four years old.

This picture was taken just a few months before he was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was  misdiagnosed for a long time before they finally ran blood tests to discover the cause of his mysterious sickness. By the time he started chemo, the day after Christmas, he was a very sick little boy.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for longer than 8 months will recall that I ended up flying from Oregon to Iowa to help my aunt and uncle look after my cousin at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

I spent three months in the hospital with Jason. I learned all sorts of things about the hospital and caring for sick children. I also got to know several of the other children who were cancer patients on Jason's floor. He gradually improved over the period that I spent there and by the time I left he was in remission. None of his immediate family were bone marrow matches, so the doctors decided it was best to not pursue a transplant at that time. Jason left the hospital a healthy little boy.



A few days after Silas and I got married the news reached us that Jason has relapsed and was scheduled to return to the hospital the next week. Silas and I were really glad we had decided to stop and visit on our way to Pittsburgh. Jason looked great when we saw him. It was hard to believe that his body was actually fighting cancer. Shortly after we left he returned to the hospital. As you can see, his hair had barely started to grow back from his last round of chemo when he had to return to the hospital.

One week ago he had a bone marrow transplant. Someone we don't even know donated bone marrow for Jason so that he can have a chance to live. We're hoping and praying that this will mean Jason will be rid of his cancer forever. You can follow his story here.

His chance, however, was only possible because someone, somewhere wanted to share life and joined the "Be The Match" bone marrow registry. I'd like to encourage you to think about joining the registry if you are in a position to donate bone marrow. They send you a little kit in the mail and you just swab your mouth and send the kit back in, no needles required.

In addition to bone marrow Jason requires platelets and blood while he recovers from his transplant. These things are often in very short supply and hospitals sometimes try really hard to put off transfusions so there is enough blood for everyone.  Recently at the University of Iowa hospital they were down to 4 units of platelets for the entire hospital. So if you are in a position to give blood, I encourage you to consider donating.

There are so many resources available with information about doing either of these things. So I hope if you take an interest in helping people with conditions like Jason's, you will do the necessary research  to make an educated decision regarding donating and sharing life with your fellow man.

"Freely, freely, you have received. Freely, freely give."

3 comments:

  1. So glad to hear his transplant went well! What a scary time for your family.

    My husband and I are on the bone marrow registry. I really really hope that someday I'll get the call.

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  2. So glad for Jason! Thanks for the update. This was a post of the utmost quality.

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  3. Thanks for a muse that was somewhat less amusing, but very important.

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Muse with me. Please?