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Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Related Versus Unrelated...

It's 2:00 in the morning and I'm still awake, listening to kids run around the downstairs, some playing air hockey and others playing playstation. I'm awake while Albert is sleeping soundly and warmly in bed. I'm trying to be inconspicuous, just minding my own business...blog hopping and researching different things...
such as...this little bit of information. I found it here, but I'll copy and paste the paragraph I am currently gushing about...

Severe aplastic anemia
Matched related donor hematopoietic cell transplantation is the treatment of choice for pediatric patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). A 2006 study of 36 pediatric SAA patients demonstrated no significant difference in four-year overall survival between related and unrelated donors (93% vs. 89%, respectively; p=ns). [19]

To say that this brought a smile to my heart would be an understatement! Do you guys SEE how great those survival rates are? And only a four percent difference now between matched related donors and matched unrelated donors?!?! Dr. Rob was right, once again. I feel like a giant safety net has just been placed under us, since we were never able to get Brandon a sibling match.
For what its worth...is four percent better odds worth having yet another baby for? More factually, is the CHANCE of bettering odds by four percent worth having yet another baby for? You bet it is. And would we do it in a heartbeat if we felt needed to? You bet we would. In. A. Second. But you know what? I'm pretty convinced we just don't need to. And thrilled to see that at least one study (albeit a small scale one) has shown that even if we never produced the match and he DID need it, medical science has pretty much filled in that gap and continues to do so more and more each year.
It should be pointed out that there is more at stake than simply survival. There are other factors to consider when weighing out a related donor versus non related donor...in the case of Aplastic Anemia, most specifically Graft Versus Host Disease.
And what's more, this is pending of course that an unrelated match could in fact be found in the national registry, which is never a given, particularly for those of minority or mixed heritage. But, just knowing that hope has been increased with this type of study brings me immeasurable joy and happiness.
I actually do find it odd that I even still contemplate this type of scenario. As I said, I'm feeling more and more confident as the months and years pass that these are all hypothetical issues that will never come to pass for us. Yet, at 2:00 in the morning, these are the things I think of....that, and the fact that my joy at these advances isn't just for Brandon, who will probably never need to rejoice in them, but for the thousands of children who these advances in medicine may come just in time for. Children who have been holding out for just this type of development. I'm happy for that tonight as I watch Brandon play with all his friends, totally healed and all better.
And on a closing note, it hasn't escaped my attention that Dr. Rob has been continually correct on every single point he's ever made to us, and in every single thing he's ever said to us. Each and every outcome he has predicted has come to fruition. Like clockwork.He hasn't been wrong yet on anything he's told us. Not once. We can't begin to say how grateful we are that God led us to him and his partner, Dr. Bob. The trust that I have in them runs so deep, I'd trust them with my life. More importantly, I trust them with my child's life. And I'm so grateful to them that they are a big part of the reason that I am, at this very moment, watching my healthy eleven year old play Madden 11 on PS3. Fun times...fun times...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So thankful for the great odds!
Continuing to pray!
2 Samuel 22:2-3 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me...
Prayer Bears
My email address

Anonymous said...

Praying!
2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
Prayer Bears
My email address

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