After having a really bad sore throat for about a week, my brother, Chris, went to the emergency room on July 31, 2012; he was convinced that it was just strep throat, and he just needed some antibiotics. After blood tests and a throat culture, the diagnosis at that time was Babesiosis which is caused from a nymph tick bite. He also did have strep throat. Chris was given prescriptions for two antibiotics and was instructed to return in two to three days to have his blood tested again because his blood count levels were not normal. The doctor wanted to make certain the antibiotics were working effectively.
On Friday evening, August 3rd, Chris returned to the emergency room and had the same series of tests completed. The blood test results showed no improvement, and in fact, they had become worse not better. He was admitted that evening for closer monitoring and more tests. The next day, Saturday, August 4th, after another series of tests, the infectious disease doctors told my brother that they were leaning toward a diagnosis of Ehrlichiosisis, an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of an American dog tick, deer tick -- which can also cause Lyme disease, and the Lone Star tick, but they assured him it was very treatable. He immediately called my mom to let her know that the doctors said that he may be able to get released that afternoon. In the mean time, the hematologist on staff saw something different. Chris was then told that they were testing him for Leukemia. In a matter of minutes, our world changed.
Saturday, August 3, to Monday, August 6th, was the longest wait of Chris’ life. The tests were sent to a California laboratory for screening. On Monday, August 6, 2012, it was confirmed by the hospital hematologist that Chris had Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). This type of Leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease. At present, Chris has been transferred from Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, NJ to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. Chris's family and friends know him as the fun-loving guy with a big heart. He would truly go above and beyond to help anyone he meets. Now, I see my brother struggle to remain brave, calm and in control, as he has undergone an aggressive chemotherapy treatment for seven consecutive days -- only to also be diagnosed with Typhlitis (this is a life-threatening, necrotizing enterocolitis occurring primarily in neutropenic patients). Neutropenic means he has no ability to fight infection. Typhlitis occurs most commonly in individuals with hematological malignancies who are neutropenic and have a breakdown of stomach mucosal lining as a result of the chemotherapy. My mom and I are hopeful that Chris will have a full remission, with hope and faith being our guide. My goal for Chris is to fully focus on conquering this disease and getting well without worrying about the cost of his medical treatment. Our goal is to raise $20,000.00 to help with all his medical expenses and after care expenses. On behalf of all my family and brother, Chris, I thank you for your kindness and generosity.
Beef & Beer October 19th 7pm - 12am
Saint Michael's Mutual Club, Gibbstown NJ
Tickets $30 in advance $35 at door
For tickets, questions or benefit information please contact:
Katie Dell 856-803-8764 or [email protected]
Stacy Carlucci 609-313-0505 [email protected]
‘Caring for Christopher ‘ c/o
Century Savings Bank
800 E. Broad Street
Gibbstown NJ 08027