Cheryl's story began a year and a half ago when she was reigniting her career, excited about traveling again, and sending her daughter, Sydney, off to start her freshman year of college. Then, suddenly, she found herself in an Atlanta emergency room and life unraveled.
She was eventually diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and began the long process of chemotherapy while researching a more permanent solution. She learned that her best chance was a stem cell transplant. Finding a donor was a frustrating rollercoaster ride, "We found a match! Oh no, wait, that won't work," time and time again until they ultimately discovered that Sydney was a perfect match to be her stem cell donor. In May of 2019, both ladies began their arduous preparation for the transplant. The prep was intensive, involving the removal of all of Cheryl's teeth to prevent infection and a painfully invasive stem cell extraction procedure for Sydney. Finally, on June 5th, the transplant was successfully completed!
But her battle was just beginning. Cheryl had to endure what her doctor called the worst case of mucositis (a painful side effect of chemo) he had ever seen and this was followed by a series of dangerous infections.
On July 1, Cheryl officially reached engraftment, meaning her body had accepted the transplanted stem cells and they started producing red and white blood cells and platelets. But this victory was quickly followed by a life-threatening bout of anorexia -- which is somewhat common in transplant patients due to the anti-rejection drugs and many other factors.
With the help of a feeding tube, Vanderbilt's medical staff and amazing care provided by her family and friends, Cheryl is back in her temp apartment on the Vanderbilt campus and regaining her strength day by day. She even got to enjoy a milkshake picnic in the park recently!
She still has frequent clinic check-ins and another 50-ish days of recovery time in Nashville before she can go home to Huntsville but Cheryl and her whole family are now hopeful and excited to move forward.
As you can imagine, this ordeal has devastated the family's savings. The financial strain not only adds to an already stressful situation and it also takes away from Cheryl's ability to make recovery her number one priority.
Please help Cheryl keep her focus on her health and healing by donating to her GoFundMe campaign. Any and every contribution is valuable and hugely appreciated! If you would prefer to donate airline miles or send useful gift cards for every day expenses, we can make those arrangements as well -- just contact us by clicking on the Fundraising Team email link on the front page.
And please, SPREAD THE WORD -- share her GoFundMe campaign with everyone that may know this amazing woman. Cheryl is a very private person; many of her friends and former co-workers do not even know about her cancer diagnosis or the stem cell transplant. But we know her friends would want to help if given the opportunity so, please, give them that opportunity: SHARE this campaign.
GoFundMe link: http://bit.ly/HelpCherylFightCancer
Your support -- both financially and emotionally with words of hope and support -- are a godsend! Thank you for visiting and contributing.