Ethan was just five years old when he was diagnosed with very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The following years involved countless hospital visits, chemotherapy, bone marrow aspirates, lumbar punctures, steroids, and blood product transfusions.
Ethan’s sister, Sienna, was three years old when this journey began. She was Ethan’s constant companion, joining him for most of his hospital trips and treatments. Near the end of Ethan’s three year treatment, he relapsed. He was again considered very high risk. Preparations for a stem cell transplant began; extensive testing, chemotherapy, trial antibody treatments, full body radiation, and cranial-spinal radiation.
For two months, Sienna experienced her own extensive testing, doctor visits, and pokes, proving that she was Ethan’s perfect stem cell match. August 9, 2016 was a big day for both children. Sienna underwent a three hour bone marrow harvest. She wasn't fully recovered from her procedure when her stem cells were ready for Ethan.
They Skyped from their separate hospital rooms. When their conversation concluded, Sienna proclaimed, “This is the best day of my life, because I got to save my big brother’s life.” Ethan and Sienna call themselves the “Super Sibs”. Now they share the same stem cells and a bond unlike any other.