30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2020
What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, Tommy was going to Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital for his third round of chemo due to his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and we were hoping to be home for the 100th anniversary Bangor/PenArgyl football game, where he is the Varsity football manager. He was able to be present at that football game and the student body, who everyone calls “The Quarry”, teachers and parents had an orange night dedicated to Tommy and leukemia awareness. Our tiny town has been incredibly supportive and we are forever grateful.
Since Tommy did not reach remission after his first round of chemo, he was referred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a bone marrow transplant on 11/22/2019. He had his third bone marrow biopsy at Lehigh Valley Health Network on 10/30/2019 and was told he was MRD (minimal residual disease) negative going into the transplant. This was truly a miracle, and everyone at the pediatric oncology clinic was thrilled. We arrived at CHOP on 11/12/2019 for 10 days of conditioning chemo and then he received, according to the staff, the biggest bag of cells they have ever seen!
I remember one of the first days there, Kris from PCFLV messaged me asking our room number. A few hours later, I received an envelope from food service, filled with meal vouchers from the hospital cafeteria. PCFLV has been so generous to our family. I never ask for anything because I always feel that there is a family in much more need than ours. It’s amazing that things such as gift cards, family dinners and much more are sent to us when we least expect it.
Unfortunately, we recently found out that Tommy has relapsed, and he is starting outpatient chemo at CHOP and will receive more donor cells in the future. He received a letter from his donor and his mother hoping to meet him one day.
Written by his mom, Shelly