It is with great sadness but also great hope that I write today. My friend Jaime's daughter, Jaidyn, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She is three years old.
|Jaime and Jaidyn|
On August 10, she was taken to the hospital, complaining that she was very tired and couldn't walk. Blood tests showed that her hemoglobin was at 24 (normal is 105-135). Doctors were concerned that she was severely anemic so she was transferred to the British Columbia Children's Hospital. Jaime met with oncologists to rule out leukemia, as the worst case scenario. Jaidyn's blood showed no signs of abnormal cells so the next step in ruling out leukemia was bone marrow aspiration. Her bone marrow test came back and her marrow was full of leukemia.
ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2–5 years of age. The overall cure rate in children is about 80% and luckily, children 2-5 years of age respond best to treatment. Her treatment will consist of two years of chemo, starting immediately. The doctors have told Jaime that the first six to eight months of that treatment will be the most difficult.
Once discharged from the hospital (in a few more days), Jaidyn will be treated as an outpatient. Jaime and Jaidyn will commute to the hospital three days a week for chemo and transfusions. The side effects of her treatment will likely be fatigue (requiring transfusions) and hair loss. She will also be more susceptible to infection.
Throughout the first month of treatment, Jaidyn will be given three types of chemos, and a steroid twice a day. After the first month, she will have another bone marrow aspiration and doctors will assess how well treatment is working and determine next steps.
During the next two years, Jaidyn's immune system will be virtually non-existent. As you can imagine, this means she will be home from school frequently and as a result, Jaime, Jaidyn's father, Andy, and their families will miss a tremendous amount of work.
|Jaime, Jaidyn, me, and Linden|
There is little I can do from Germany, but offer my love and support to Jaime. I can't hug her. I can't cook her a warm meal. I can't bring her a coffee to help her make it through the day. But I can help relieve some of the financial burden she carries during this trying time.
I set up an account in Jaime's name. If you would like to donate, please click the 'donate' button on the left side of this site. All donations go directly to Jaime and will be used to pay uncovered medical expenses and bills.
There are other ways you can donate, too. Please visit Canadian Blood Services or OneMatch (in Canada) or National Marrow Donor Program or American Red Cross (in the US).
Keep Jaidyn in your thoughts and prayers.