When Emilio was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), our feelings of fear and desperation gradually turned to feelings of hope and promise. The success rate is 75% and we believed that Emilio would survive this dreadful disease and that the three of us would then be able to move forward with our lives. When Emilio relapsed, we were devastated and had no idea what the future held for our son. Without a sibling to be Emilio’s donor match, intensive chemotherapy began while the marrow registry was searched to find an unrelated donor for Emilio. A more intensive chemotherapy protocol brought Emilio side effects that he had never experienced before.
Two months into the donor search, we found out that our insurance plan did not cover the expense of the search. To thoroughly search a potential donor the cost was $800/person. We received an outpouring of support from the community and, despite the tragedy of our son’s illness, we were comforted by the love we felt coming to us from our friends, neighbors, and from people we didn’t even know. We want to offer this same kind of support to other families who are experiencing this tragedy.