In late February Chris, Gil Sr., Jason and Laura, Gil and Sandra all met on Grand Cayman. Jason had been ill the prior day, but he just assumed it was mild food poisoning. He had not been sick for close to 10 years, so when he looked extremely pale we just assumed that his body was showing the signs of his food poisoning. The rest of the week was fine and Jason, although a bit more tired than usual joined in the fun.
Around Easter time Jason had made a doctor's appointment after he lost his Cayman tan and looked very pale. He was easily fatigued and became lightheaded at times. The doctor gave Jason a prescription for his blood tests and sent him on his way. He went to get his blood drawn the following morning and a day later the office called to tell him that his blood had clotted and he needed to come in for another draw. Friday morning he had the blood test and at 9:30PM on Friday night the doctor's office called and told him to head directly to the Emergency Room for blood transfusions. His levels were extremely low!
Jason spent 3 nights in the Inova Fairfax (Virginia) Hospital having more transfusions, multiple tests and awaiting a diagnosis. None of the possibilities were good...we were told it was a strong possibility that it could be leukemia, lymphoma or aplastic anemia. His red blood cell count was extremely low (the reason for the blood transfusions), but his white count and platelet counts were low as well. Monday, they did a bone marrow biopsy. Unfortunately, that test was inconclusive because they did not draw enough bone marrow.
At this point we knew we needed to get him into a great hospital and with the help of some friends we were able to get an appointment at John Hopkins. Jason is being seen by Dr. Amy DeZern, an expert on aplastic anemia.
Jason did another bone marrow biopsy at John Hopkins and has been diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. Although, there are some treatments, the cure is a Bone Marrow Transplant!
The next challenge was to find a Bone Marrow Donor. That has been a roller coaster ride, but we have found our donor... Jason’s cousin, Samantha, is a 50% match and has volunteered to be his donor!
Day Zero...the day of the transplant is May 29th.
Jason has gone through numerous tests and had many doctor visits in Baltimore in preparation for his treatment. On May 20th, Jason, his Mom and much of the time Laura, will move to Baltimore for 70 days. He needs to get pre-treatments for 9 days prior to the transplant, the transplant on the 29th, and then 60 days of outpatient treatments. He will need to be very close to the hospital at all times during this period in case of any complications. The hospital has housing attached, so we made accommodations to stay at Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion.
Jason feels pretty well and has continued to work until the week prior to treatments. He is now on short-term disability with the support of Deloitte.
We will try to update this each day or two to keep everyone informed of his progress. Feel free to reach out to him via text, phone or FaceTime anytime and we will try to respond as timely as possible....we anticipate that boredom may be an issue.