Friday, March 14,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
- 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
Chapel Hill Presbyterian
Church in Gig Harbor for their support and help over the past few
- 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
- 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.
for over four years of love, prayers and support. Take care.
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