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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Quick Update: Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Hi Everyone,

Another change in plans. Our Corporate Angel Flight to DC has been postponed from 2/28 to 3/7, so we won't be able to spend any time in the New York area. Instead we'll fly into DC on the 7th and then head down to Duke via rental car or another flight a couple days later. It's a little disappointing as we were looking forward to seeing everyone for the first time in a couple years. The only good news is that it gives us another week to get ready for relocating.

We are a little worried that the flight will be postponed again, so if anyone knows of an alternative private flight from Seattle to the East Coast, please email me about it. Keep in mind it has to be a private flight with as few hops as possible. We can't fly commercial with two near-neutropenic kids during flu season.

Alex had her second Broviac surgically inserted into her chest earlier today, in preparation for her transplant. As I'm writing this update, I'm sitting next to her in the recovery room waiting for her to wake up from the anesthesia. After that we'll be heading home for a long nap and hopefully Nick will cooperate. We can't wait until he actually sleeps through the night!

Thanks again for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.

-- Todd



Quick Update:
Monday
, February 24, 2003 @ 2:00 am

Hi Everyone,

Well things are moving quickly. Corporate Angel has arranged for us to fly from Seattle to Washington DC this coming Friday. We'll stay in the DC area with friends for a few days, then fly up to New York to visit family and friends for a week. We need to be at Duke by March 9th, so hopefully we'll be able to get another flight from New York to North Carolina. Otherwise we'll probably rent a car and drive down. We really didn't want to leave this quickly, but we can't pass up a flight back east, since there might not be another one available in the coming weeks.

Both Nicholas and Alex are doing great right now. On the other hand Andrea and I (especially Andrea) are exhausted by Nicholas' 3 hour feeding schedule and the fact that he doesn't sleep through the night. We had forgotten how tiring it can be to have a new baby in the house. It doesn't help that we're stressed out trying to get everything ready to leave on Friday.

I wanted to thank everyone who has been donating money to Alex's Transplant Fund. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to raise enough money via donations and my business in the next five days. We did get some good news today, as we found out a church in North Carolina has offered to loan us a car while we're at Duke.

Well it's time for Nick's next feeding, so I'm going to wrap this up. I'll try to post some more photos of Nick and Alex before we leave on Friday. Thanks again for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.

-- Todd



Quick Update:
Tuesday
, February 18, 2003 @ 11:00 pm

Hi Everyone,

HE IS HOME!!!

Nicholas was released from the hospital today after spending the first 74 days of his life in Tacoma General! All four of us are under the same roof for the first time and it feels pretty good.

We want to thank all of the nurses, nurse practitioners & doctors who helped to get Nick home much earlier than expected. We'll post a longer update later this week. Right now we just want to enjoy having everyone home.

Thanks again for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.

-- Todd

Alex, Nick & Nurse Susan Nick & Sam, his Case Manager Sleeping Peacefully

Nick & Nurse Sheryl So Nick what did you think of your first car ride? At Home w/ Mommy


Sunday, February 16, 2003 @ 1 am

Hi Everyone,

She loves holding her little brotherJust when we thought we had everything under control, we had the rug pulled out from under us again. Without warning Fred Hutch denied our request for a Cord Blood transplant. We've been told that they will only do a peripheral stem cell or bone marrow transplant. We're not entirely sure of the reason for their change of heart, but we have our suspicions. Our doctors at Duke want a less favorable match (4 of 6) for Alex's second transplant, since we actually need more GVH/GVL than she had during the first transplant. The doctors at Fred Hutch didn't want to do anything less than a perfect 6 of 6 match, which may have been a good choice for a first transplant, but not for a second transplant.

A perfect 6 of 6 match would make the transplant itself a lot easier, but would almost surely lead to a quick relapse post-transplant. If she relapses post-transplant we will not be able to do another transplant, as you can only do Total Body Irradiation (TBI) once. Short of some miracle drug being developed, this is our final chance to save Alex's life. With that in mind we've made the decision to return to Duke for a second transplant. This is not an easy decision, but it's the right one.

We'll be leaving for Duke around March 3rd and will spend a minimum of 4 months there. As long as Nicholas is stable enough to fly, all four of us will be going. We've already contacted Corporate Angel Network and they're working on finding us a flight back east. I'm going to be contacting several organizations over the next couple of days and see what we can do to raise some funds for our expenses. We'll need enough money to rent a 2 bedroom apartment for the four of us, as well as a car to travel to/from the hospital while Alex is out-patient. Andrea is putting together a list of household items we'll need at the apartment to send to a church in North Carolina that has offered to help out.

During the first 40 days of Alex's first transplant we went through $10,000 of our savings, but there's no chance of that happening again, as we don't have any savings left! Seriously we're hoping to keep costs down this time and it helps that we've already gone through this once before. I figure we'll need to come up with about $5000 by the time we leave for Duke in two weeks. Needless to say I'm working my butt off right now, as I know it's going to be a lot harder to work once we start the transplant.

While everything else has hit the fan this week, Nicholas continues to do fantastic. He is now 5 pounds 5.5 ounces and is gaining 1-2 ounces every day. We're hopeful that he'll be released from the hospital sometime next week. To speed up his progress Andrea has been staying with him at the hospital for the past few nights, which means she is getting zero sleep. Once Alex goes in-patient with Andrea, I'm going to be the one getting zero sleep, as I'll be alone with him a great deal of the time. It's been five years since I've taken care of a newborn and I think I need a nanny!

Once again it's past midnight, so I'm going to wrap this up. Thanks again for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.

-- Todd

Bath Time!    Bath Time!

Donations for Alex


We are in the process of raising money for the expenses we'll incur during Alex's 2nd Transplant At Duke. We have three ways in which you can make a donation:

Mail to: Frontier Bank
c/o Alexandra Elaine Martini
P.O. Box 527
Lake Stevens, WA 98258

OR


via PayPal using your checking account or PayPal Account (this account cannot accept credit cards)

OR


via PayPal using your credit card (this account can accept credit cards)




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