I was the longest leukemia patient on G111 at the Cleveland Clinic. I spent 135 days on the floor fighting every day. I was there so long that when they could not find a way to get my numbers back up, we would call it Ground Hog Day. Every day for about a month, nothing would change. Finally they said that they can keep me alive like this for only nine months, and I have used five of them already. It was time for a bone marrow transplant.
I am the oldest of eight kids - seven boys and one girl. Well, my sister was my only match.She was PERFECT. So on April 24, 2013, we had the transplant. You could hear a pin drop as we watched her marrow enter my body. This year will be our second birthday. All I can say to other patients is pray and stay strong physically and emotionally. But most of all never ever give up.
My wife Joan stayed with me for 40 straight days without leaving my side. If you are lucky enough to have a wife and best friend like that you are going to handle these situations much easier. Being a patient sometimes you do not see or become aware of all LLS is doing behind the scenes.I could hear them talking to my family about parking passes and anything else my family might need.
Now that I am able to get out and around, our family is paying forward and we have had a team for Light The Night for the last two years. We will have a team this year also. I have seen firsthand what the money we raise can do for someone with leukemia so we must keep it up.