Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

McKinley's Tree

In one of my previous posts, "The Maple Tree" I posted a photo of this beautiful tree and explained how it becomes more and more beautiful throughout the fall. I explained how I am drawn somehow to this particular tree, like it is an old soul with much beauty and wisdom to share with me.

I have just read a very touching article in our local paper about the family who lives in the house just behind this tree. They are the Nicholas family (coincidentally enough). Their 15 month old baby girl McKinley Rose has been diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). This is a very rare and aggressive form of leukemia that usually effects adults. About 1 in 300 children are diagnosed each year.

The Nicholas family have 4 lovely children. One of them, Emerson attends the third grade with Nicholas. The husband, Mark has been laid off from his job shortly before receiving their daughter's diagnosis.

McKinley Rose started eight days of aggressive chemotherapy in August, followed by 5 weeks of closely monitored recovery in the hospital. Doctors were disappointed when when the expected remission did not occur. She is going to need a marrow donor but none of her relatives are a match. If she's not in remission after the second round of chemo, she will need a marrow transplant. She has already had 3 blood transfusions and 3 platelet transfusions. Treatment for AML is grueling.

McKinley has just enjoyed a week at home after her first round of chemo, but on Monday her father took her back to the hospital for the next 8 day round of chemo and another 5 week recovery at Mass General in Boston.

The family is going to need help with expenses. The McKinley Rose Team was created to develop a forum of supporters and to promote awareness of the importance of bone marrow donation.

The family's friends have created a Facebook page that has more details on fundraisers, as well as explanations on how to donate to the family and how to become a bone marrow donor or a blood donor for McKinley Rose. Search for The McKinley Rose Team or The McKinley Rose Benefit on Facebook.

I will continue to post photos of this tree in honor of McKinley and in an effort to raise funds for her care.

Please consider donating.


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