Will was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on December 18, 2018 after experiencing a handful of weeks of “just not feeling right”. He had just turned 14 and, prior to diagnosis, was a very healthy, vital and strong kid and no history of cancer in our family.
The sub-type of Will’s leukemia put him immediately into the “high-risk” category (he also had central nervous system involvement which caused damage to his pituitary and an additional diagnosis of diabetes insipidus). The first two highly-aggressive rounds of chemotherapy had very little impact on his disease burden so we began the process of searching for clinical trials.
We learned Will would need a bone marrow transplant (BMT) to save his life and, fortunately, both big brothers were perfect matches. In the meantime, Will participated in a clinical trial that did have a considerable impact on the percentage of leukemic blasts in his bone marrow so he elected to repeat the same treatment regimen in hopes of achieving enough “remission” to move forward with a transplant.
It was a “Hail Mary” but, miraculously, the results of his bone marrow biopsy revealed he could proceed! The timeline for transplant was very aggressive but we knew it was his only hope for further treatment and big brother Stathi was waiting in the wings ready to donate his healthy marrow the very moment it was needed. We very much felt if Will could get through BMT then perhaps he could defy the odds and come through his diagnosis victorious.