In October 2015 (at 7yrs old), Kennedy started showing signs of random bruising. After coming home on December 16th with a pretty large bruise from bumping into her desk, a family pediatrician suggested we take her to a local ER to run a "simple" blood test. On December 21, 2015, Kennedy was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. Simply put, Aplastic Anemia is a disease where the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells for the body. Other than some bad bruises, there were no other signs that she had bone marrow failure. She was active, vibrant and healthy. In Kennedy's case, the cells that have been keeping her healthy were also the ones that were attacking her bone marrow.
Shortly after her diagnosis (one month to be exact) she graduated to Severe Aplastic Anemia and became transfusion dependent requiring regular platelet and red blood transfusions. After seeking a second opinion at Boston Children's Hospital, we decided to start Kennedy on a drug treatment called ATG to potentially suppress the immune system and hopefully give her bone marrow a chance to produce the cells she needed. After six months on the drug treatment, it was decided that she was not responding....still transfusion dependent and her ANC still falling below 500 (ideally you want her ANC at 2,000). At this point, the next course of treatment is a bone marrow transplant.
We have now relocated to Boston where she will be receiving her transplant. After almost 10 months of fighting this disease four bone marrow biopsies, five stints in the hospital, countless transfusions, isolation, and not being able to return to school, SHE IS READY!