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Inspirational Stories


acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Two months after we were married, my husband was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in July 2021. I was 33 weeks pregnant with our first baby when he was admitted to St. Louis University Hospital for the next month of induction treatment. Prior to diagnosis, Zach had been experiencing fatigue and palpitations and would become winded just walking up our flight of stairs. We thought he was having residual effects from some prior illnesses that he was hospitalized for in April and May. We know now that those instances were the beginning of his immune system starting to fail. Zach had also lost his grandmother this same year to AML.

His diagnosis completely turned our world upside down as we were enjoying married life and about to welcome our baby girl. Zach finished induction chemo in time to be home a week before our daughter was born. He was also able to stay home for three weeks with us before his first round of consolidation chemo. Zach’s treatment was complicated after an infection after the first round led to a three-week ICU stay. After he recovered, our next months were filled with hospital stays for chemo treatments and blood transfusions. Zach was declared in remission in April 2022.

Cancer took away all the newborn moments, time, and memories we should have had with our baby girl. But family, friends, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) gave us hope and inspiration to never give up and fight for health. We love differently now having had this experience and are so grateful for so many things.

Written by Kayla

Zachary acute myeloid leukemia