Welcome to Justin's Caring Bridge site! We have created this site to keep you, our family and friends, up to date on what's happening with Justin's battle against B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and how you can help!
CANCER. Only July 1st, 2019, the Mellott family was rocketed into a new world ruled by "the C-word." Justin had been feeling tired, having headaches, shortness of breath with what should be easy tasks, and unexplainable bruising all over. Andrea (Justin's mom) encouraged Justin to seek some medical evaluation. Justin went to the clinic that morning and had some labs drawn. When the labs resulted, things got REAL. Andrea was called in an attempt to reach Justin and get Justin to the emergency room ASAP for more evaluation. Justin presented to the ER where blood work showed an elevated white blood cell count, low red blood cell count, and extremely low platelet count. All of these labs are highly suggestive of acute leukemia. Justin was immediately admitted to the oncology unit and began receiving blood products to stabilize the blood counts. Since admission Justin has had: bone and bone marrow biopsies, Philadelphia and genetic mutation screenings, CT scans, lumbar punctures, a portacath placed, and so many drugs--chemotherapy orally, intravenously, and into spinal fluid, high doses of steroids, and a slew of medications to help with the awful side effects of these drugs. At this point, there is still more testing that needs to result for a prognosis but what we do know is that the treatment plan is a long one: intense inpatient treatment for several weeks followed by 2-3 years of up to 4 clinic visits per week for chemotherapy, daily oral chemotherapy at home, and blood draws, bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures, CT scans. In addition to that is the very real potential for a stem cell replacement. Justin is handling this diagnosis and treatment well, rolling with the punches and keeping a positive/hopeful outlook.
We have been getting many questions about how to best help Justin and the Mellott family. We plan to use this site to update when and how help is needed. What is needed most right now is all of your good "things" whatever that means to you: prayers, thoughts, well-wishes, toasts... whatever it is--send it our way! Below is a list of contact people who are "championing" ways to help. Feel free to send messages of support to any of the family but filter all help through those listed below.
WAYS TO HELP--PLEASE make sure to "follow" this page--you will get notified when we make updates.
1--Gift card drive. We are collecting gift cards for food and/or gas. Justin is admitted at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center so anything around there is awesome! Please contact Jamie Dourley (503-853-9243 (tel:503-853-9243)) to arrange drop off (or mail) to her and she will deliver them to the family.
2--Meal train. We have set up a meal train for twice weekly drop offs to the Mellott home. The entire family is grateful for these donations! Charity McQuain (775-901-6493 (tel:775-901-6493)) is the contact for this but there is a website link: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/rk49mw
3--Home project organization. There is work that needs to be done and maintained on the Mellott home as they prepare for Justin to return home. Please send your contact information to Michelle Elorreaga (503-522-4057 (tel:503-522-4057)) to be added to the pool of helpers. When the Mellotts identify a need and a time, Michelle will broadcast to you and if you're available, we would love to have you!
4--Blood drive. Justin needs blood transfusions and lots of them! We are currently working to organize a blood drive honoring Justin. Even if your blood type is different, Justin can receive other products that are collected when you donate blood. This will be done through either the American Red Cross or BloodWorks NW, stay tuned for more information on this one. Working with big organizations takes a little more time! Your contact for this is Elizabeth Zhou (336-254-5680 (tel:336-254-5680)) and there will be information added to this site as it becomes available. If you don't want to wait--AWESOME--please go donate and then let the family know you've donated!
5--Be the Match! bone marrow drive. It is extremely likely that Justin will need a stem cell transplant. The chances that you will be a perfect match for Justin are slim, but you may just be a match for another patient battling this disease. This drive will be both an in-person and via mail drive. The in-person drive will occur at Kaiser Westside Medical Center at a later date (again, working with big organizations takes time!) but when the date is set, you'll find information here. Jeannie Manning (503-860-8483 (tel:503-860-8483)) is the contact for this. If you are already on the Be the Match registry, please take a minute to re-commit and make sure your contact information is up to date! And FYI...donation no longer involves tapping into your actual bone marrow! It’s so much less invasive now!!
6--General supplies delivery. Getting to the store for supplies sometimes presents a challenge. Amy Tews (971-221-0420 (tel:971-221-0420)) has been making stops and deliveries to the Mellott family. If you'd like to contribute financially to make sure they get what they need when they need it, please contact Amy.
Thank you so much and stay tuned!!