Day Minus 1: The Match

by Jana and Bill

Oliver sporting his "Nope, Not 
Today"' t-shirt, which he picked 
out to point at when asked if his 
vitals can be taken.  He always 
does it with a huge smile.
Somewhere in the world there is a twenty-five year old guy who had his cheek swabbed and signed up with Be The Match to be a bone marrow donor. This same guy, a couple of months ago, selflessly spent time and energy undergoing further testing and attending appointments specifically for the benefit of Oliver, an adorable goofy eleven year old boy with relapsed AML who was, and still is, a complete stranger to him. Soon after he did that, this guy was told that his recipient was too sick to go forward with a bone marrow transplant ("BMT"). Then, three and a half weeks ago, this guy was informed that his recipient might be cleared to undergo a BMT after all. He agreed to promptly redo all of the testing and rearrange his life so that he would be prepared to go forward as a bone marrow donor whenever needed. This week, this guy has likely been given daily shots to increase his bone marrow production. Today, this guy is voluntarily checking into a hospital to be put under anesthesia and have his bone marrow extracted with a long needle that will puncture his hip bones at least a hundred times. He will most likely feel like he has been kicked by a horse for the next few days.

This guy's harvested bone marrow, which is a ten-out-of-ten match with Oliver's, will be transported to Primary Children's Hospital and processed tomorrow, Day Zero of Oliver's BMT process. Tomorrow afternoon, the harvested bone marrow will be transplanted into Oliver's body, in a method similar to a blood transfusion. This BMT, with this specific guy's bone marrow, offers the very best, and close to only, available path to our son's survival.

We may never end up knowing who this guy is, but we will never stop being grateful for him and his willingness to sacrifice so much in an effort to help save a complete stranger's life.

It is true that there are a mass of people in this world who choose to be mean and selfish. We still go about our lives with the belief that people are generally, at their core, good and want to do good. People like Oliver's bone marrow donor make us more confident that our belief is based on more than just a hope.

Improvised physical therapy with Josh the nurse.  The effects of chemo
have not yet set in.

Baby Nigel goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for total body irradiation. 
Oliver's lung guards almost fit. 

Baby Nigel gets his vitals taken following radiation. 
Luckily the tech was able to track down a cat-sized blood pressure cuff. 

Oliver enjoying his tenth order of chicken stir-fry, sans the veggies, since Saturday.  

Popular Posts