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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Friday, March 14, 2003

Hi Everyone,

The Only Way to Fly!As always sorry for the long delay between updates, but we have been extremely busy over the last 2 weeks. We spent most of last week packing for our four months in North Carolina and ended up pulling an "all-nighter" the night before we flew out. Well Andrea pulled an all-nighter, I got a full 2 hours sleep!

The following morning we flew from Seattle to Washington DC on a Corporate Angel Network flight. The flight was fantastic as was the crew. We were a little nervous since it was Nick's first plane flight, but he did fantastic. For the most part the three of us slept, while Alex had a blast watching videos and getting spoiled by the crew.

She loves bugs!Once we got to DC, we stayed with our friends Sherri & Navid outside of the city. On Saturday we took Alex and some friends to see the Insect Zoo at the Smithsonian and as you can tell from these photos, she had a great time. In the first photo she is holding a grasshopper and in the next photo she's about to touch an Australian Walking Stick. We also got to see the Dinosaur exhibit and the Hope Diamond, which of course was Andrea's favorite part of the day.

We drove from DC to Richmond on Saturday night and then drove the rest of the way to Durham on Sunday. We immediately moved into a 2 bedroom apartment at The Forest apartments. NCCS is going to partially help us out with the rent for the rest of this month while Alex is still outpatient. Once she goes inpatient we'll have to pay for the apartment ourselves. If we're lucky that will only be a month, but it could easily be two months. We also got a great deal on a rental car with the help of our friend Connie who works for Enterprise.
If you would like to send something to us our new address is:

304 White Pine Drive
Durham, NC 27705

Alex & Her Australian Walking Stick FriendStarting on Monday and continuing through today we have had almost non-stop tests and appointments at Duke Medical Center. We'll have this weekend off and then Alex will start inter-cranial radiation on Monday afternoon. She'll have a total of nine inter-cranial radiation treatments over the course of five days. We're hoping that she won't immediately suffer any serious side effects, but there is always a chance that will happen. As long as she remains outpatient, we'll have the following weekend off before beginning five days of TBI (nine treatments of total body irradiation). At the end of those five days Alex will be admitted to the hospital and begin transplant conditioning (high dose chemotherapy and ATG, an immunosuppressant). Finally she'll have the actual transplant on April 1st. Yep first Nick is born on Friday the 13th and now Alex gets her transplant on April Fool's Day! I'm sure our next child will be born on Halloween!

I wish I could say that the transplant is a guaranteed cure, but it's not. Even if the transplant is successful, there is only a 25% chance that Alex won't relapse again. In addition there are several possible long term side effects of the double radiation treatments including a significant drop in IQ, a greater likelihood of secondary Cancers, cataracts, slow physical growth, etc... If there was any other way to save her, we would take it in a heartbeat.

We'd like to thank the following people for their generosity:

  • Pamela Sill and her daughter Carrie for donating the remainder of Carrie's transplant fund to us. Carrie has made a remarkable recovery from her kidney/pancreas transplant.
  • Shauna Schatz for donating the remainder of her son Ethan's transplant fund to us. Shauna lost Ethan to AML back in June 2001 when he was only four years old.
  • Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor for their support and help over the past few months.
  • Margot Hausman and everyone at Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham for all of their hard work in getting the apartment ready for our arrival by stocking it with food, toys, diapers, baby clothes, etc...
  • Chrissie Flynn and her fiancé Pat for house-sitting and pet-sitting while we're in North Carolina.
  • Dave Roberts for his incredible generosity. Dave's son David is a friend of ours who was diagnosed with Leukemia about a year or so after Alex. Thankfully David is still in remission today over two years later.
  • Steve Smith and Henri Thomas for making us feel so welcome here in Durham.
  • Navid & Sherri Abassi for letting us crash at their house on the way to Durham.
  • Liz and everyone at Corporate Angel Network for arranging for our flight from Seattle to DC. It was an amazing flight.
  • The flight crew of the Corporate Angel Flight for making our flight such an enjoyable one. I'd like to thank them by name and company, but I believe I need to get approval from Corporate Angel Network first.

...and all of the people who have helped us, whether by donating to Alex's transplant fund, helping us with travel arrangements, sending gifts and cards to Alex or just offering their support and prayers. We really appreciate everybody's help during this trying time. I hope someday we'll be able to do the same for other families going through this.

Well I better wrap this up and get it posted before I get any more emails wanting to know what's happening.

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

-- Todd

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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


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


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

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