Team Mitchell - Tackle AML

For: Mitchell Henry
Elizabethtown, KY
Organizer: Ben Henry
of $15,000 goal.
Raised by 313 donors
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The Story

Mitchell was recently diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia). While the diagnosis was a stinging surprise, there were many blessings along the way that have actually helped tremendously and he wants you to be aware of. Many of you have followed as Mitchell continues to pursue his NFL dreams and it was those very dreams that may have helped the most. Last year, he spent the majority of the season on the practice squad for the Green Bay Packers. Going into this year it was his hope to continue with their organization, but an untimely hand injury resulted in him being placed on injured reserve and released by the Packers. It was due to this injury release that he has any sort of health insurance currently at all (Blessing #1). At the time it was heartbreaking news but now it can be viewed with a purpose. Blessing #2 came just a few weeks ago. Mitchell was signed to the practice squad of the Baltimore Ravens and was released shortly after, with the intention to re-sign him a week later. He took the week long break to return home to Kentucky at which time he began to have severe shoulder pain. With the expectation of a return trip to the Ravens, Mitchell elected to have an MRI performed to see if he needed to rehab his shoulder before returning. It was at this time that a growth was found in his chest and began the series of tests that has led him to his treatment today. If not for the (seemingly terrible idea at the time) release by the Ravens, Mitchell may not have been able to be in Kentucky while his treatments occur and it possibly could have taken weeks longer to determine a diagnosis. Mitchell and Madison wanted to share this story so that you can better see God's hand in this process.

While Mitchell does have limited health insurance at this time, there will be significant bills that he will incur during these treatments and in the months ahead. The #1 thing you can do as a 'donor' is: Pray.  Prayer is a powerful tool and one that will help more than anything with this cause. The goal of this campaign financially is threefold: 1) To help reduce the expense burden that will be on a pair of newlyweds in Mitchell and Madison 2) To help with family expenses that Mitchell's parents will incur through travels and stays to be close to their son and 3) To help with BeTheMatch.

BeTheMatch helps to manage the national bone marrow registry list. This list is used to find potential donors for those with Leukemia and serves as an awareness organization as well. Outside of the medical expenses, the goal is to help raise awareness and possible funds to contribute to this organization.

A bone marrow donor registrant drive will take place in January in Elizabethtown. There will also be t-shirts available for purchase in the coming weeks so keep checking back for details on both!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 20, 2017

Posted on March 20, 2017

Update #8: Happy “Transplant” Birthday!

"Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have NO fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes." Psalm 112:6-8

Happy Sunday everyone!
I hope each of you have felt God’s blessings not only today but everyday. We are continually reminded of God’s love through many things such as the random people He places in our path and constant answered prayers (thanks for your continued ones). We have all been in agreement that since November we see God’s goodness everyday in the smallest and biggest of ways. But anyway, I could talk about God and how he’s moved through us more than any of us could have even asked for and while I know that’s what God’s purpose is, I’ll save that for another post. Mitchell on the other hand is doing GREAT. He finished his fourth round of chemotherapy this morning, it was four straight days of treatment including three different drugs along with various medications following, but God has shielded him and protected him again. Amen! Monday morning he will undergo a low dose of total body radiation to help suppress his immune system even more preparing it for Ben’s stem cells. Tuesday is a day of rest followed by the day we’ve been waiting for, Transplant day. March 22nd is considered day 0 and another birthday to celebrate. They will remove Ben’s stem cells that morning and give them to Mitchell some point after that (we’re still not sure the exact time). Mitchell will then receive two more doses of chemotherapy on day 3 and 4. Following that, we will be in the hospital estimated 30 days from the start of transplant, but all of that will depend on how quick he grafts and having no fevers, etc. In Jesus name, he will not because we have had a couple of those. For those of you who aren’t aware, during all of this and even the other treatments, they suppress his immune system leaving him with a white blood cell count of 0.0 meaning he doesn’t have the ability to fight off infection or bacteria like our normal bodies would. So during this time of neutropenia it’s even more important to be very cautious of all of those things. It’s basically wiping all of your bad cells and even good ones out so your body can start to graft all the new ones. We don’t want him to graft them too fast or too slow but we know the One who executes in His perfect timing. We are all looking forward to Mitchell moving closer to COMPLETE healing and know this is the next step to getting there. Since we will be here for a few weeks I know some of you love sending cards and I can’t stress how encouraging they are to all of us especially Mitchell. We sit down every chance we get to read your sweet words and thank God for placing each of you in our life and being so grateful for your support during times like these. For those of you wanting to send some, the new address is:

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Charles Mitchell Henry G1844

1515 Holcombe Blvd.

Houston, TX 77030

Also, since Wednesday is transplant day we thought we’d ask everyone who purchased a Team Mitchell shirt to wear it in support of him and also Ben. We will all be wearing ours, even Mitchell! If you didn’t purchase one but would like to support him in some way if you have a WKU, Green Bay, Broncos, Ravens, or even camouflage shirt, wear it! Even if you can’t wear it that day then wear it on another day this week and if you can’t at all, we know you’re still supporting him! But if you do get the chance to wear yours if you could take a picture and post it or send it to Terry, Lesley, Vicki, or I! We know your all supporting and praying for us but just for him to physically see all the support is a HUGE encouragement.

We know your all praying fervently, so here are some specific prayers:

The doctors, nurses, and everyone in Mitchell and Ben’s care to have the knowledge, discernment, and hands of God to give them the best care

Ben and Mitchell’s procedure on March 22nd

Safe travels for Ben as he travels back and fourth during this time

Total Body Radiation to do only good and not harm

The mass and lesions disappear completely 

Pray for God to shield Mitchell that every medication, chemo, radiation, procedure, radiograph, etc. enters his body do only the good it is supposed to and not the bad, let all the bad flush out of his system.

Pray God to shield him of all possible side effects and complications that they will never arise. Absolutely no infections or set backs.

To protect every organ, good cell, and particle in Mitchell's body.

His body will accept his brother’s cells (yes yes yes)

His appetite and stamina each and every day

His immune system will be stronger then it ever has been before

Even on his weakest days he will be strong, In Jesus name

My health so that I can continue to be with him every day

Peace and strength that surpasses all understanding for both of us and our families

****Pray for complete healing, full recovery, full remission, and an absolute cure.

Again, we cannot thank each and every one of you for EVERYTHING you’ve done for all of us. It’s so overwhelming the amount of love we’ve felt and blessings you’ve given us. We can’t wait to get home when Mitchell is HEALED and share all the ways God has and will continue to provide through it all.

Posted on March 6, 2017

Posted on March 6, 2017

Update #7: God redirected our path

“For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17

I know this post is coming later than I wish it would have but these past two months have been extremely busy. The last I posted was when Mitchell had started his second chemotherapy treatment to try to remove the mediastinal mass in his chest. About halfway through that treatment Mitchell and I kept feeling like God had another plan for us. We could tell that since his case is a little more difficult the doctors weren’t exactly sure what the next move would be. With that being said, we knew a bone marrow transplant would be in the months to follow but we also knew the mass needed to be removed before that took place. So as we started praying fervently for God to reveal to us what He wanted us to do, He brought people into our life mentioning MD Anderson countless times within one day. So within the days to follow, we applied online at first but had a few other connections that got us in direct contact with the chief of the leukemia floor (that’s God all over that.) Within one week Terry, Mitchell, and I were on a plane headed down to Houston. We would have been down there sooner but Mitchell was overcoming an infection that kept him down for a few days. We got to go home the night of Jan. 26th to see Jack, pack our bags, and get ready to head out the following morning. We got to MD Anderson around 3pm on the 27th and all I can say is the second we walked through the door, we hit the ground running. It was even clearer why God sent us here. We stayed in the hospital for three weeks this time during which Terry and I were running all around Houston trying to find a place to live for Mitchell and I knowing we will have to stay down here for the next few months. God closed many doors and opened the perfect one to an apartment that fits us so well. Lesley headed down here a few days later with a loaded car and Jack. We were so excited this time because we would be right down the road from the hospital allowing me to go home everyday and visit him while were in the hospital. Even though this is not what we had planned for life right now we are both so thankful we get to have a place to call home instead of living in storage for those who know our story. Anyway, during this stay in the hospital Mitchell had three biopsies of the lesions on his pelvis and the mass in his chest to see why the mass wasn’t responding because it had grown since the second treatment. His bone marrow was still in remission, which was a huge praise! So, this is where it gets even busier. After the biopsy results came back, it still says the mass in his chest is AML and due to it not responding, we will be placed on a protocol that will take him straight to transplant and the sooner the better. Now, in Kentucky they had already started a search for an unrelated donor and his brother Ben had been denied a donor due to his head concussion years ago. So when the doctor sat down and told us due to timing they would be considering Terry, Lesley, or Ben, Mitchell and I were in shock-we all were. So the three of them had blood draws sent in to see who would be the perfect match. Terry and Lesley would be for sure half matches so we continued to pray Ben was a full match. They also went through the unrelated search that had already been done so at this point every one was being evaluated. During this time Mitchell underwent his third round of chemo for 10 days and on the 10th day we got to come home, which was February 16th. The difference with the treatments here and in Kentucky, we would have to stay in the hospital till his counts came up, but here they believe patients heal better at home which we all couldn’t agree more. Who doesn’t love their own bed, hot showers, home cooked meals, and Jack? During the next week we would go to the hospital every other day for daily lab draws along with doctor’s appointments. A week after being home we ended up in the hospital for his first fever spike that went down in ER triage but we were still admitted for a few days to be precautious. On February 27th Mitchell had his 5th bone marrow biopsy and started his first of 10 days of radiation treatments targeting only the mass. The praise in this is MD Anderson is the only hospital that has this type of treatment, it’s a low dose made specifically for mediastinal masses. On the 28th we ended up back in the hospital because of his second fever spike, which revealed he had an infection in his PICC line that has put him on IV antibiotics at home so be in prayer the infection will continue to stay away. On March 1st is when God revealed to us so many things we have been in constant prayer about. Our radiation doctor told us that before Mitchell’s first dose of treatment on Monday, they did a CT scan to examine the mass one more time and it has gotten smaller since the first CT scan they did a week ago meaning the chemo treatment this time has finally attacked the mass!!! Then his bone marrow biopsy results came back showing he’s still in remission in his bone marrow!!!! And then just when we didn’t think it could get any better, we got a phone call from our transplant coordinator telling us Ben would be the donor, he is a half match but they feel as though he is best fit for Mitchell. We were all speechless and just in awe of God’s faithfulness. He has brought us here for so many reasons; in Kentucky they weren’t even considering Ben! We know the next few weeks are going to be busy because the transplant date is set for March 22nd but we are so ready to tackle all of this. For those of you who do not know about a bone marrow transplant, 100 days is where he will be watched very closely. We will be admitted on the 15th to start a week of chemo to suppress his immune system, day 0 starts on March 22nd, we will stay in the hospital for about 30 days to watch his progress, then we will have to stay in Houston for the remaining 70 days to have daily to weekly appointments. So please be in prayer with us for the weeks to come because every day is a new day. Some things to be in specific prayer for:

These next two weeks are filled to the max with doctor’s appointments following approximately a month hospital stay for Mitchell and I, 100 days of living in Houston post transplant, and life after transplant!

Evaluations for both Ben and Mitchell
A port is being placed for Mitchell on Thursday
Multiple testings on Mitchell to prepare him for transplant
Ben and Mitchell’s procedure on March 22nd
Safe travels for Ben as he travels back and fourth during this time
Terry’s safe travels to Houston because he’s currently been at home retiring from work (woo hoo!)
Radiation treatments to do only good and not harm
The mass and lesions disappear completely 
Pray for God to shield Mitchell that every medication, chemo, procedure, radiograph, etc. enters his body do only the good it is supposed to and not the bad, let all the bad flush out of his system. Pray God to shield him of all possible side effects and complications that they will never arise.
To protect every organ, good cell, and particle in Mitchell's body.
His body will accept his brother’s cells (yes yes yes)
His appetite and stamina each and every day
His immune system will be stronger then it ever has been before post transplant
Even on his weakest days he will be strong, In Jesus name
My health so that I can continue to be with him every day
Peace and strength that surpasses all understanding 
****Pray for complete healing, full recovery, full remission, and an absolute cure.

“Rejoice in hope, persevering in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

“For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” Matthew 18:20

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

All in all we know who our healer and our doctor truly is, He is the great physician! He has been in control the entire time. We have seen him in work in each of our lives everyday. He has placed the perfect people in our path at the perfect time and continues to do so. We can’t wait to get back home to share with you how great our God is and how his faithfulness over pours.

I know this has been an overload of information, two months of life thrown into a few sentences. I know many of you have kept up with our journey through our parents but for those of you who have wanted an update I’m sorry I’m just now getting around to sending one out. I’m not always the best when it comes to being on my phone but I promise I will do my best to keep you up to date with the weeks to come.

We also want to thank every person who has sent a card, package, text, phone call, donation, whatever it has been we are so thankful for all of the outpouring of love and support. We also want to give a special thanks to everyone who participated in the Be The Match drives held in Elizabethtown and Green Bay, Beef O’ Brady’s and Pure Barre in Owensboro, Jordan Bowman for helping fundraise for the Team Mitchell t-shirts and for all the people who helped make these fundraisers possible. God has again overly and abundantly blessed us.

Be the Match Results:
Green Bay - 75 registrants
Elizabethtown - 135 registrants
Online - 111 registrants
We also know of someone who has already been contacted in being a potential donor for someone else, how amazing is that?

Thanks again everyone, we couldn't do this without you! 

Posted on January 6, 2017

Posted on January 6, 2017

Update #6: The Next Step

Last Friday Mitchell had his third bone marrow biopsy along with a CT scan the day before. In hopes he would be in remission, we were planning on heading home for a few weeks to then move straight to the transplant process. We received the news later that day that his CT scan came back revealing the mass in Mitchell's chest had grown in size over the past 30 days of induction therapy meaning the treatment did not touch the mass. Due to not being home in over a month, we both decided it was a good idea to head home for a few days, spend time with our golden retriever Jack, and get rejuvenated for the next step. We were admitted back to the hospital Wednesday morning and started his second round of chemotherapy that afternoon. We will be here for another 30 days waiting for his counts to recover after he finishes these six days of treatment. Our trust is completely in our Heavenly Father and we are praying fervently for Mitchell to be in FULL remission after this treatment. I know a post was made stating around day 14 that he was in remission, we were told yesterday the biopsy from last Friday came back clear meaning his bone marrow is in remission (which is a major major major praise) but due to Mitchell's diagnosis being rare, we now need everyone praying his bone marrow stay in remission and for this mass to disappear and shrink after this round of chemo. For those who don't know AML does not normally present with a mass so while Mitchell's case is more challenging, we know nothing is impossible for our God. Also, during our first hospital stay, Mitchell and I were amazed by the amount of cards we received on a daily basis. The amount of love and encouragement continued to inspire Mitchell in ways I cannot explain. For those of you that would like the address to the hospital:
Markey Cancer Center
800 Rose Street RM 335
Lexington, KY 40536

We also want to take the time to personally thank each and everyone of you. We have been in complete awe of the outpouring of phone calls, text messages, cards, packages, fundraisers, but more importantly the amount of prayers we can feel everyone covering us with. One day I was sent Exodus 17:9-13 explaining how God sent Aaron and Hur to pray for Moses when he couldn't hold up his arms so they held up theirs until the battle was won. This is a verse we have all been holding dear to our hearts knowing that all of you are holding your arms up for us. We can all testify that your prayers have given us a peace and strength that surpasses all understanding. We pray that the prayers never stop coming because this journey we are on is a marathon not a sprint. Terry, Lesley, Mitchell, and I just want you to know how extremely thankful we are for you. There have been so many times where I know each of us have been absolutely speechless. The outpouring of everyone's giving and generosity has shown each of us what it truly means to be overly and abundantly blessed.

Many of you have been asking for specific things to pray for, so here is a list of some:
1. Pray for complete healing, full recovery, full remission especially after this treatment, and an absolute cure. 
2. Pray for the mass in his chest to not only shrink but to fully disappear after this round of chemotherapy, when the CT scan results come back at the end of these 30 days we are asking God to have removed the entire mass. 
3. Pray for God to shield Mitchell that every medication, chemo, procedure, radiograph, etc. enters his body do only the good it is supposed to and not the bad, let all the bad flush out of his system. Pray God to shield him of all possible side effects and complications that they will never arise. 
4. Pray for God to protect every organ, good cell, and particle in Mitchell's body.
5. Pray for a 100% perfect match for his transplant, that his body accept the graft the first time, and no side effects or complications arise from that procedure.
6. Continue to pray for Mitchell's driven mentality and appetite, we have walked 4 miles every day and we pray that God continues to give him the strength to push through every day with a positive mindset. 

Team Mitchell T-shirts

Some have asked about the "Team Mitchell" t-shirts and bracelets being sold, if you are interested in purchasing one you can contact Lesley Henry at 270-763-3675 for more information.

Thank you again for all of your love, encouragement, support, and prayers! 

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