Jeff Christenson

First post: Dec 19, 2018 Latest post: Oct 11, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

In December 2018, Jeff was diagnosed with leukemia. At first we weren't sure about what type of leukemia Jeff had, and there it was a possibility that he may have lymphoma.  This news came after Jeff began complaining of difficulty swallowing . After an ENT ordered a CT scan, a mass was revealed under Jeff's breastbone, below his Adam's apple. We went to Mayo for blood tests and a PET scan.  The blood work suggested Leukemia.  After a consultation with Hematology at Mayo we have made the decision to pursue Jeff's care at the U of MN, so Jeff could be close to home and family.

Jeff was admitted to the U of M, working with a team that specializes in acute Leukemia.   Jeff had a bone marrow biopsy and genetic testing to determine  the treatment plan.  Jeff spent nearly 60 days doing induction chemo, was in and out of the hospital and had a stem cell transplant in April 2019, using his younger brother John's donor cells.  He passed his one year transplant milestone in April 2020. In early December, (Dec. 9) we learned that his leukemia had relapsed. He went through several rounds of chemotherapy at the U of MN and was eventually accepted to a clinical trial through Baylor College of Medicine in the spring.  He received a promising CAR T Cell therapy in June at Houston Methodist, again using his brother's cells to create the treatment to fight the leukemia. Upon return home in July, 2021, Jeff learned he had achieved remission from leukemia, a tremendous milestone.  

Around his 43rd birthday, Jeff was overcome with Epstein Barr Virus which led to a very rare and complex post-transplant lymphoprolific disorder. This created a very aggressive lymphoma which the doctors tried very hard to fight with a combination of immuno- and chemo therapies, which just couldn't fight back the aggressive growth.  Looking for a better therapy, Jeff was accepted to a second clinical trial at Baylor on Sept. 30, the day before he passed away. While we hoped for a cure for Jeff's body, his soul was healed and left this world to be with God on Oct. 1. Jeff leaves a tremendous legacy of courage, grace and love, of which he can be eternally proud. 

Thank you for your love and support through Jeff's journey.