On Tuesday, 23 December 2014, Professional Triathlete Amy Marsh was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Amy is a 4x Ironman Champion, 2x Iron-Distance Champion, and has finished in the top-10 at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She and her husband are both top professional athletes and coaches living in Austin, Texas.
You can read the full story of Amy's diagnosis and journey on their personal website: www.Team-Marsh.com.
Amy's induction round of chemotherapy was at Seton hospital in Austin. Because Leukemia is a blood and bone marrow cancer, the only way to treat many forms is with a bone marrow transplant. Multiple rounds of chemotherapy are needed around the transplant process. Amy and her husband will make a shift to MD Anderson in Houston for the therapy before, during, and after the bone marrow transplant process.
Overwhelmingly, the question has been "What can I do to help?" They don't know for sure. What they do know is that this is a long journey. Long hospital stays, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation are all part of it. And there will be many other unexpected things along the way.
They have been self-employed professional triathletes and coaches for the past 6 years. The question about insurance and financial matters has come up in virtually every conversation that they have had. They are navigating the insurance process now. There will, however, be expenses related to Amy's care that they are not be prepared for or that insurance will not cover. Monetary donations will help with this. It is difficult for them to put an exact goal amount, so they have set a target of $100k since this will be a lifelong process.
They have set up a separate account for Amy's medical expenses during this process. Their YouCaring.com account provides a convenient and clickable way to donate. Please consider helping out with Amy's journey through this race.
Blood transfusions and platelets are part of the process. Amy is registered at The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas. You can donate at either their Lamar Blvd. location in Austin or in Round Rock. When they shift to MD Anderson in Houston for the bone marrow transplant and follow up therapy, she will also be registered near there so that donations can be made. The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas also serves MD Anderson. If you do decide to donate, please let them know that is is for the benefit of Amy Marsh.
Amy will require a bone marrow/stem cell transplant for her AML. The process will likely start within the next month or so. The timeline for this is very much TBD and based on a number of considerations including finding a suitable bone marrow match and donor. You can register with BeTheMatch to be considered for bone marrow donation for Amy or anyone else that may find you as a match. If you are between 18 and 44 years of age, please consider becoming a bone marrow donor.
Please continue to check this space as well as their website as they post updates through this journey.