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Erin’s Story

Part 1:
On February 27, 2007 Erin had to check in Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  

Part 2:
On February 10, 2011 Erin came to the Irish with her new little sister expecting a clean bill of health for her regular check up. Her cancer returned.

Part 3: After her successful bone marrow transplant using her baby sister's cord blood, Erin's cancer has returned for the third time.


Erin was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on February 27, 2007 when she was just a little over 3. She went through 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland. On June 28, 2009 she had what was thought to be her last dose of chemo. 
She was clear for 19 months during which time she and her big sister, Annie, became a big sister to little Mary. Mary came as a surprise and we found out there was more to her than just adding to our family.
On February 10, 2011 we found out that Erin's cancer returned. Thanks to the advice of Dr. Jeff Auletta we had saved Mary's cord blood. We found out that even though the chances were so slim, Mary was Erin's perfect match for her necessary bone marrow transplant.
From February 10th through early June Erin went through intense chemotherapy and total body radiation. On June 7, 2011, she received her sister's cord blood in her bone marrow transplant. She was released to go home on July 30th and had been recovering beautifully until March 2, 2012.
Erin had another routine checkup that discovered once again the return of her leukemia. 
Now she begins her battle for the third time with her same relentless spirit and faith in success

Latest Journal Update


September 7th - We have started the ECP therapy and I have to say we were pretty amazed by what we saw!

Tuesday ended up being a day that consisted of checking labs and checking in with the surgeons.  The insurance company had not yet approved the ECP therapy. Ya...I am sure you can sense the eye roll there.  We had the surgery to place the line for the therapy, yet the therapy wasn't approved. Sometimes the insurance company can get things a little...well - ya know.  Luckily for us though, most of the time things sail smoothly;)  

Anyway, all was good to go for Friday.  Erin and I got down to RB&C in the morning.  They drew her labs first to make sure everything was set with her counts.  All looked good, so our lovely Sharon hooked her up to the machine.  The rest really blew my mind to be honest with you.

Erin's blood was drawn out of one of her lines and pulled into the machine.  The first stop was a spinning chamber.  This device literally separated her blood into 3 sections.  The weight of the red blood cells carried them down to the bottom of the chamber.  Her plasma was pulled to a bag in the front of the machine.  Her white cells and platelets were basically drawn down a hallway-type of chamber then out of the machine into another bag.  This was done in 4 cycles.  In all a little over 10% of her blood removed from her body during this procedure.  She did not feel weird, tired, sick, or anything strange. It was incredible.  There are all sorts of formulas that are used to determine what is a safe amount of blood to remove and treat each time.

Her plasma and red cells were returned to her and the white cells and platelets remained in their bag.  Then Sharon treated the bag with a chemical that made the cells absorb the UVA light rays easier.  The white cells and platelets went back into what I called the hallway-type chamber and the light went on.  The white cells and platelets were treated by the light for about an hour.  Then everything returned to Erin.  That's it. 

We were absolutely surprised at how quick and easy this process was. We expected it to take 4-6 hours.  It took about 3.  So that means Erin and I can plan on only missing 1/2 the school day on the appointment days.  That is awesome!! 

So Tuesday we are planning on being downtown at 12:30 to go through another round.  We are very happy with how she was feeling afterward, and we are very hopeful that it will work for our sweet girl.

I will try to keep updating next week to let you know of anything new.  I am also going to try to post some videos and pictures of it all too.  It is really neat.

Thank you for your continued love, thoughts and prayers.  Please continue with them.  We really want this to make a difference for Erin.  We want her to be able to do more for herself and feel more like a "normal" kid.


http://youtu.be/XuYYRAU131s - I loaded a video of ECP on YouTube.  Now you can get a little idea of what it looks like.