Transplant Impacts Everyone
I had the privilege to speak with an amazing family : Jason (Dad), Tanishia (Mom), Deidre (grandma), Jason Jr. , Janique , Jasyra , and Jahreem.
The Huery family lives in Tacoma, but for now they are managing 2 homes: one in Tacoma and one in Seattle. Jason Jr. is preparing to begin a bone marrow transplant at Seattle Children’s Hospital. His father Jason Sr. is his donor.
During the transplant Jason Jr. is required to stay at max 20 minutes away from the hospital. So Grandma Deidre drove up from Colorado Springs to stay with Jason Jr. in Seattle while parents, Jason and Tanishia , continue to work and care for the other 3 kids in Tacoma. They also travel back and forth to Seattle to be with Jason Jr. throughout the week.
As you can imagine life right now is hectic, but this family is dedicated to support Jason Jr. who wants to undergo transplant so that he can get back to living his life. Right now Jason said he lives in pain “most of the hours of the day”. He has missed a good amount of school because of the pain and he is ready to go back and eventually even play baseball.
The tension between feeling incredibly hopeful and immensely afraid is constantly at play in the Huery house. When asked how everyone is thinking as they prepare to take this journey there were a mix of emotions.
Jason Jr. – “I am not really scared about the transplant.”
Jason Sr. – “ Initially I was eager to learn more about bone marrow transplant,” but after learning about Graph vs. Host Disease (GVHD) and that 70%-90% of patients in this particular trial develop GVHD Jason Sr. was reluctant to continue. “ Speaking with another family who has been through the process helped me and also knowing that Jason Jr. really wanted to do it changed my opinion”. Jason Sr. is still concerned about the chemo and recovery process.
Tanishia – “Initially I thought everything was going to be fine”. She too was surprised by the high percentages of GVHD, but she “feels positive that Jason Jr. is going to be healthy”. She is most concerned about juggling everything and everyone in the family.
Grandma Deidre-“I am excited and believe this is going to improve Jason’s quality of life”.
Twin Sister Janique- “I am feeling good. I am hopeful and thankful that he got a chance to do this. “
Jason Sr. then asked his younger children how they are feeling about the transplant and this was when our interview took and unexpected turn.
Jasyra (age 9) “ I have hope that it is going to work for him. I am scared that he is going to die.”( She then begins to cry and Jason Sr. tries to console her)
Jahreem (age 7) “I miss Terrell. (Jason Jr.) I feel sad. I don’t want him to get hurt.”
As tears ran down my face suddenly the weight of what this family is about to undergo became so real and I was reminded that every single family member is impacted through this process.
Jason Jr. is scheduled to begin Day 0 on July 6th. This date has already been postponed twice due to an unexpected surgery to remove his gall bladder and some complications associated with the surgery. Once the transplant begins he will be followed in Seattle for 100 days. He then will go home to Tacoma and be followed monthly.
Although the transplant is covered by insurance there are other cost that are not covered. Neither parents have paid medical leave and need to continue to work to provide for their family. They are also in need of funding to help with transportation, food and parking cost. They have set up a go fund me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/aez7jj24. Please consider support this incredible family.
We wish the entire Huery family well during this journey. They are asking for your thoughts and prayers!
Tanishia also says “please remember to join the bone marrow registry”. To learn more http://bonemarrow.org/help/become-a-donor/
If you would like to contact the family directly you can email Tanishia at firstname.lastname@example.org