We are very involved in activism and
fundraising on behalf of Cancer Support Groups and Organizations including
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society, NCCF, National
Children's Cancer Society,
of Western Washington,
Starbright Children's Foundation, Make
a Wish Foundation and Corporate
Angel Network. Twice over the past 5 years we've
gone to Washington DC (once on behalf of
NCCF and once on behalf of
lobby for increased funding for Cancer Research. During those visits we have
met with Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressmen Norm Dicks, and Andrea has testified before a congressional sub-committee on Childhood
We are also very involved in providing support to the dozens of families who
have contacted us over the years asking for help with treatment options,
financial aid, and emotional support. We feel it's both a duty and a
privilege to help other families who are dealing with the same situations
we've dealt with over the past six years. Many of these families have become
our closest friends and we remain in contact with almost all of them.
In the 4 years since
we arrived back home from North Carolina a lot has happened. Alex is over 4 years post-transplant and aside from cataract
surgery on one eye (the result of the targeted radiation for her Chloroma),
short term memory problems
and some hormone issues, she is your typical 9 year old.
Albeit an 9 year old who has relapsed seven times, gone through two Cord
Blood Transplants, and been treated with innumerable rounds of conventional
chemo, experimental chemo, targeted radiation, total body irradiation,
spinal cranial irradiation, etc...
Nicholas is now four years old and
aside from being small for his age, you would never guess in a million years
that he was a micro-preemie. He's your typical "terrible four year old" but
he's also one of the happiest, funniest toddlers you'll ever meet. I'm
convinced that he's going to grow up to be a comedian!
Andrea fully recovered from her
near-death experience and other than a six week gap in her memory (a result
of the staph infection and the subsequent medical treatment), is back to her
normal self. As for myself I wish I could forget everything that happened
during those six weeks!
visit Alex's Place if you'd like to
read more about Alex and the rest of our family. There are updates on the
site going back as far as Alex's first transplant in October 1999.
Todd, Andrea, Alexandra & Nicholas Martini
August 17, 2007
January 2004 to October 2005