Eric Steven’s Story

Site created on July 25, 2012

As many of you know, Eric Steven entered Lake Forest Hospital on June 15 with excruciating chest and arm pain. He would go on to be hospitalized 15 of the next 30 days with pain in his arms, chest and back.  No correct diagnosis was made during this time.   Thankfully, a rheumatologist noticed at abnormality on his bone scan, and arrangements were made to do a bone marrow on July 16.  On July 18 at 9:00 PM, we got word that a preliminary diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia was made.  This diagnosis has been confirmed.  He entered Northwestern Hospital the next morning to begin an aggressive treatment program aimed at treating  this disease. His having previous radiation worsens his prognosis. Neverthless,  Eric Steven remains optimistic about attaining a cure and has complete trust in God's will.  He is deeply humbled by  the outpouring of support he has received from family and friends.  Thanks to everyone who has prayed.

Eric Steven says to keep those prayers coming!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Kathryn Petty

Dear Friends,As you know, we are approaching the 2-year anniversary of Steve's passing and his "birthday" into heaven.   My dad spent several months at Prentice hospital. During his stay there, he became increasingly concerned for a young African-American lady who had no match for a bone-marrow donation from either her family or the National Bone Marrow Registry (Be The Match). Unfortunately, she was too sick to go home, but without a match she couldn't get better either.  She was waiting in limbo and unless some benevolent stranger who could donate to her happened to join the registry, she was facing a grim sentence. 

Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia.  Yet 70% of patients needing a marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family.  And minorities are severely under-represented on the National Registry.

In honor of Steve's "birthday" into heaven, we are hosting the second "Steve Bower Memorial Bone Marrow Drive" at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. 38% of the student population is minority and 80% of the student body is between the ages of 18-34.  These demographics make CLC an ideal place to host a bone marrow drive.   Last year, we hosted a 1-day drive at the main campus.  This year, we are hosting a 3-day event: one day at each campus.   Last year, we had over 200 people sign up on the registry, and despite low odds, we had "a match" from CLC within weeks!   It turns out, that CLC student was the only person who could donate to a 61-year female with AML leukemia!  

These special days will be on February 10th-Lakehore Campus, Waukegan; February 11th- Grayslake; and February 12th-Southlake, Vernon Hills.  I hope you will consider joining the registry.  All you have to do is fill out a form and do a cheek swab- no needles involved! *If you would like to join online, please use the code "BOWER".*  You have to be between 18-44 years of age, in general good health, and willing to donate to a stranger in need.   If you are unable to register, I hope you will consider encouraging others to register and consider donating to the Steve Bower Bone Marrow Drive financially. It costs Be The Match $100 to process each potential donor.  Although we are hoping to sign up far more than 10 donors, we are hoping to raise at least $1,000 to help mitigate some of the costs Be The Match will incur on behalf of the Steve Bower Memorial Drive.

Finally, if you're in the area, even if you are unable to join the registry, please feel free to come hang out with us at CLC. The drives will run from 9:30-2:30 at Lakeshore and Southlake and 9:30-4pm at Grayslake. We will have evening hours on Tuesday at Lakeshore from 6:30-8:30pm.  If you cannot make it during this time, but would like to join the registry, please just let me know and I can help get you signed up anytime during the first three weeks of February.   Or see the CLC Health Center by February 18th.   Thank you to CLC and to the Communication Department for supporting the drive!

Thank you for your support!  Although we continue to miss my dad every day, I'm sure he'd be pleased if we could do our small part to bolster the National Registry so one day there won't be patients like his floor-mate who are left waiting for strangers like us to join the registry.  Every day there are people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell anemia, and other life-threatening illnesses who are counting on us to help save their lives.  Please consider joining the registry; you very well could Be The Match! 


Kathryn Bower Petty & family

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