Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's the Little Things that Count...

Matthew Farley was first diagnosed with lukemia at the age of five. After being diagnosed Matthew was treated for his cancer at Sutter Health in Sacramento. The people at Sutter worked fast and Matthew's body showed its strength when only thirty days after his diagnosis he bested the cancer and went into remission. As is often done, Matthew was told to go ahead and finish his treatment to insure the cancer would not come back. Matthew endured chemo and radiation for three years to finish up his treatment plan. Matthew had only been out of treatment for a year when he was given a harsh new diagnosis. In March of this year Matthew was told that he had contracted Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a disorder that causes the bone marrow to fail. He needed a bone marrow transplant.

Matthew's MDS is a cause of one of the treatments he received for his Lukemia. There is only a 0.1% chance that patients receiving this treatment will contract MDS. Matthew's doctor's recommended him to UCSF because of their specialization in bone marrow transplants. The Farley family found their way to Family House on July 4th. The next day Matthew went into the hospital to prep for his transplant. On July 13th, Matthew received his transplant. He has been recovering in the hospital ever since.
 At Sutter Health the Farley family stayed at a number of other facilities for families with children who are receiving medical treatments. He said that, "Family House is so much more accommodating then where we have stayed before. You do a great job of facilitating families here, like how you have a laundry facility on every floor at the 10th House."

Dealing with life-threatening diseases like Matthew's can be disheartening, but Darrel told me how they stay positive.
"Parents survive off of other families, and other parents...the other day my wife and I were putting groceries away in the communal kitchen with some of the other families and we started to talk, and out of that comes laughter. Here we all know what you are going through it is the same thing every day, so it is the little things that break up the monotony of our week that help bring us the most joy."

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