My Fundraising Page
Aug 01, 2009 by LaKeshia Bond
Racing to Save Lives
to my Team In Training home page.
I'm training to
participate in an endurance event as a member of The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In
Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin
lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in
honor of Keely Thompson, 4yo diagnosed in March 2009 (you will find Keely's story below), as well as all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are
the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the
ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a
donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance
I hope you will visit my web site often.
Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your
Keely Thompson's Story (a letter from her Dad)
I hope this message finds all of you blessed and in good standing. As you all know, Keely was diagnosed with high risk type b A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) on March 29, 2009. Since that day, she has had surgery to implant a port-a-cath in her chest for permanent IV use, been hospitalized on three separate occasions for a total of 14 days, had 8 ER visits at two different hospitals, 27 clinic visits, 83 individual chemotherapy treatments using 10 different chemotherapy medicines, taken hundreds of doses of 12 different prescription drugs at home, 5 blood transfusions and 3 platelet transfusions, had her port accessed 32 times, 12 shots, 4 IVâ€™s, been put to sleep 10 times, had 10 spinal taps, and 8 bone marrow aspirations, 4 CT scans, 3 x-rays, 3 Electrocardiograms, 2 Echocardiograms, had to pee in a cup 15 times, had her blood pressure and temperature taken over 100 times, lost 10% of her body weight and all of her hair!! Over the course of the next 8 weeks she is scheduled for 8 clinic visits, 6 different chemo drugs, 20 individual chemotherapy treatments, 3 different times being put to sleep, 3 spinal taps and bone marrow aspirations and 14 days of steroid treatments. I know most of you read that and are in shock. We did not tell you that for you to feel sorry for her, but to be in total amazement at the work God is doing in this childâ€™s life. When you see her and hang out with her for even a minute, if you missed her beautiful bald head you would never even know that anything was wrong with her. She is so vibrant, happy, energetic and full of spirit! She is absolutely by far the strongest, bravest person I know. She amazes us and causes us to fall more in love with her each day. She is a trooper, and quite frankly can take a needle in her chest better than most grown men I know including myself! All of that this little 4 year old girl has gone through in the last 5 months, and she still has 2 years left of treatment. But she will not be beaten! She already has victory in this battle thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!
With all that is going on, this family has truly been blessed! We are surrounded by awesome family and friends, including the greatest church on the face of the earth!! God has truly blessed us and we know that He will use this that the devil intended for evil, for the good of His Kingdom. Keely will have an awesome testimony and will be an absolute warrior for God.
Keely's treatment at UNC is top notch, and the actual treatments themselves have been much improved even over the last 5 years. Where as Keely is put to sleep now for bone marrow and spinal taps, less than 5 years ago they did not have the medicine to be able to put children to sleep. The doctors used local anesthetic and distraction techniques to perform those procedures. Just a couple of years prior to that, they could not even use local anesthetics and had to do it with no numbing or sedation... Can you even imagine doing that to a small child once a week, week after week? Like I said before, we are truly blessed and are thankful for all of the research that has made these advances possible. That being said, there is still so much more to do in terms of research and development for leukemia. They still have no idea what causes it or how to spot it early. Many doctors rarely see it and many times it goes undiagnosed for a while due to the lack of testing. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had to make one of the hardest decisions of our lives to take Keely off of one of her chemotherapy drugs due to the side effects she was experiencing. None of the doctors and specialists could tell us at all what it would do to her prognosis to take her off of the drug. They just simply do not know.... they do not know!! The doctors and research professionals have come so far just in the last few years, but there is so much further to go.