Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the Martin Family.

The Matthew and Andrew Akin Foundation was brought to my attention by the Martin Family, who I met while working on my senior project at GVSU. Lisa and Coty Martin had their son Brayton for only seven weeks when he came down with a cold. They were originally told it was just a fever that needed to run its course, but Brayton was not getting better. In January of 2009, they took him to the ER with a high fever and red spots on his torso and head.

The doctors realized that he was seriously ill, and after doing a number of tests determined that Brayton had Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). After transferring to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Brayton underwent weeks of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. He had several complications following the BMT and spent most of 2009 living in the hospital.

After briefly being well enough to go home to Pennsylvania in September of 2009, Brayton became very ill again in December, and had to return to the hospital for another four months. He was diagnosed with another rare blood disorder, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, which is an uncommon side effect of the bone marrow transplant. 

I met this family in the summer of 2009, right in the middle of it all. At the time, they were living in an apartment near the hospital in Cinnci temporarily, keeping Brayton isolated from the outside world. He was post-transplant, but any type of sickness that he caught at that time could be life threatening. Nurses came into the apartment daily to check up on Brayton and do any testing they needed done. 

Brayton and his family had a long hard journey of hospital stays, tests, chemo, a bone marrow transplant. Now, almost two and a half years later, Brayton is not only HLH free, but healthy enough to have his isolation restrictions lifted! 

Brayton now -- a walking miracle
It is so amazing that Brayton has recovered and can now live life like a normal little boy. He is here today because of the wonderful doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and because of a donor willing to give their bone marrow to save his life. 

You can save a life to. Click here to register to be a bone marrow donor. Or click here to go to the Matthew and Andrew Akin Foundation website and make a financial donation to fund research for HLH patients. 

Be the change. Make the difference.

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