Supporting those with life-threatening diseases, big bills, and nowhere else to turn
Copyright 2010 One of Our Own Fund
A Chronology of Treatment
After years of medical treatment and a life of pain for Cristy, she and Liz headed to Istanbul, Turkey, with a brief, restful stopover in London. Once admitted to Anadolu Medical Center on February 28th, she began powerful chemotherapy designed to kill her immune system, followed by stem cell harvesting and transplantation. The new stem cells are building a new immune system, one that won't be trying to kill her. After assessing the transplant as successful, and giving strict aftercare instructions, Dr. Gulbas released her and they were back home in Honolulu in time for Easter services at St. Clem.
None of this would have been possible without the generosity of our donors. Your contributions got her to the first stages of this lifesaving treatment, and a generous loan from a very special person allowed the treatment to go to completion.
While Cristy deals with the challenge of a fragile, new immune system and protecting herself from infection and building necessary antibodies, we have a challenge of our own. This challenge, like the one we have now met, is to raise the funds to repay this loan.
Your contributions are as important as they ever were.
July 5, 2011, was day 100 from Cristy's transplant and her recovery is going reasonably well. Many of the pre-transplant symptoms have disappeared, particularly the problems with scleroderma but there are some issues that continue to plague her. The esophogeal dysmotility and pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis are still with her, so she must remain patient while the stem cells continue to do the work necessary to relieve these symptoms.
Hip pain has been a reasonably new problem and requires pain killers. Dr. Gulbas, via her doctor in Honolulu, ordered some MRI’s. She has mild AVN (avascular necrosis) which probably started before the transplant and made worse by the large doses of prednisone and chemotherapy during the transplant process. Dr. Gulbas believes the stem cells will fix the problem, but it is going to take time. Months, he says.
Healing, then, will take TIME. It also takes the emotional support of her family and friends, and espeically Liz. Her mom and her cousin, Abby, each came to visit, and even though it takes a toll on Cristy's energy, it does her heart good.
We are extremely grateful for the lender who made the transplant possible, but we still need to raise the money to repay that loan. In the meantime, Cristy is selling her treasured Jeep Liberty. It will be a painful parting, but the sale will help meet the obligations for repaying the loan and for continuing medical costs related to her recovery.
Cristy sold her beloved Jeep Liberty as a means of helping with her medical bills and the loan that saved her life. It was a difficult decision because it is so much more clear now that she must depend on others; being without a car means the end of any sense of independence.
On Christmas Day, 2011 it was nine months and four days since Cristy's stem-cell
transplant and her "re-birth." Her Christmas message can be found here.
See the new Home page for the most up-to-date information on Cristy's recovery.