Hi, guys! In this vlog, we visit the hospital for a check up with David’s bone marrow transplant doctor. All went well.
I hope you enjoy the video! 🙂
In this video, we visit Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for an appointment with David’s bone marrow transplant doctor. I also show you what a miracle his transplant has been, and you get to know David a little better.
I hope you enjoy this vlog! 😃
Shortly before David was scheduled to go into the hospital for his bone marrow transplant last year, we found out that he was going to be granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish organization.
While we were thankful, at the time, we were incredibly concerned with David’s health and the outcome of his impending transplant. We’d been riding an unpredictable roller coaster every day since his diagnosis in August 2013, and we knew things were going to get much worse for our son before they’d get better.
But knowing that something good (in addition to the AMAZING gift of new bone marrow that a man we don’t yet know would give to David) was coming after all of the heartache and pain, encouraged us to look forward to happier, healthier days.
And as you can tell from the pictures, those days are finally here! 🙂
As you probably already know, David wished to go to Disney World! We’ve been to Disney in the past, but every time is a new experience. And Make-A-Wish truly went above and beyond to make David’s wish awesome and unforgettable for our entire family.
From the limo ride to and from the airport, to the accommodations at the very special resort for kids with life-threatening illnesses, Give Kids the World Village, there were so many special surprises planned along with David’s wish that we weren’t expecting, but we’re so grateful for!
The villa we stayed in at Give Kids the World was large enough for eight people, and it had everything we needed. Every meal at the Village was free, and honestly, there were so many fun things to do at Give Kids the World that David and his older brother and buddy, Isaac, would have been content to stay there most days and not visit the parks at all.
But alas, we did leave the Village every day to venture out and pack in a whole lot of fun! 🙂
A favorite ride at Give Kids the World Village was definitely the carousel. The best part is that you don’t have to get off when it’s over. You can simply keep riding it over and over, or until your mother says four times in a row is enough. 🙂
The kids also loved the pool, which happened to be close to our villa.
And Mickey comes to you at Give Kids the World! He visits twice a week (I believe) along with other characters.
It was fun getting family pictures with our favorite mouse and with Scooby Doo. David ended up getting in LOTS of pictures with the minions at Universal Studios, which we were also given free passes to on David’s trip!
You may be able to tell from most of the pictures of David that he’s just a little bit fond of minions. 😉
Side note: David first saw the movie “Despicable Me” during one of his many hospital admissions. The rest is history, and we are now the proud owners of 1,543,798 minion toys.
One very unique way that Give Kids the World made David’s wish extra special is by giving him a star that he was able to personalize before it was placed in the “sky” at the Castle of Miracles.
David’s star will always be here, and anytime we visit Florida we can come back to visit Give Kids the World and look for David’s star in the sky.
We ate a lot of our meals at the Ice Cream Palace in GKTW Village. They offered an express breakfast, which we’d eat before we left for the parks almost every day. We also ordered lunch from the pick-up window at Katie’s Kitchen a couple of times, and enjoyed it in the air conditioning of the Ice Cream Palace versus eating outside or taking lunch back to the villa.
And, of course, one must eat ice cream when visiting the Ice Cream Palace. That happened, too. 🙂
For David’s wish, we received passes to spend three days at Disney World parks and two days at Universal Studios. We also received passes for SeaWorld, but we decided not to use those.
Despite the heat and humidity, we had a BLAST at the parks!
Back in August, as the time for David’s wish trip approached, his Wish Coordinator asked about his favorite Disney character and which character meal they could schedule for us. That was an exciting day!
David ended up deciding on Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and the reservation was made. That particular day ended up being rainy, but it didn’t matter.
We threw on our ponchos and made our way to the food and fun! During the show portion, David even had the chance to hold Mickey’s hand and make a very special memory that I was able to capture on my camera. 🙂
We spent a total of ten days in Florida. Seven of those days were at Give Kids the World, and the final three days were spent at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. We’d prearranged with Make-A-Wish to extend our trip by a few days and so enjoyed the extra time at Disney World!
It’s been a long, tough year for David and our whole family, but we’re thankful for all the people behind Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World who offered us happy, joy-filled days after so many difficult ones.
With so much love…thank you!
And, David, we love you. 🙂
As I sit here writing this post, my 5-year-old son sits next to me.
His name is David.
He had a bone marrow transplant nearly six months ago on December 11, 2013. I know that if you’ve been reading my blog for the past year, you probably know about David. You know all about how he was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant as the only means of a cure. I documented some of our painful journey here on The Sensible Mom in blog posts. Then leading up to David’s transplant and throughout his entire month-long hospital stay, I shared videos when I could.
Now more than ever, I’m thankful that even through the sorrow and the roller coaster that life was at that point, I was able to find small ways to remember David’s reality through it. We’ll never forget what he’s been through, and because of that, we’ll praise God for the rest of our lives for what He’s taken us through and for what He’s given back to us.
To be completely truthful, looking at pictures of David before his diagnosis — from when he was sick and we had yet to realize it — is downright gut-wrenching. As his mom, I see those pictures and my heart aches, because I know that while the rest of us were smiling, he was suffering inside. We simply hadn’t yet connected all the dots and made that trip to the emergency room.
I have similar issues when I look back at pictures of what David went through in the hospital during his transplant. I posted a few on his Facebook page, but there are far more that I can’t share publicly. I try to prepare myself mentally to look back at those photos.
I know that it’ll all get easier with time and as we continue to heal as a family, but right now, it’s hard.
Another thing I’m dealing with is fear. There’s this fear that lives inside of me that wasn’t there before. At times, it triggers frightening thoughts. Other times, it makes me tense up, and I feel all edgy. I know that this fear is a part of me now because of the trauma of this whole experience.
On August 3, 2013, a bomb exploded in my life, and we’re still recovering from the devastation that it caused.
I believe that my Savior is going to get me through this, and I won’t live with this type of fear forever.
Enough about how I’m doing, let’s talk about David. 🙂
He’s just about to approach six months post transplant, and he’s doing well. He still has some issues with graft versus host disease of the skin as a result of the transplant, but we’re praying for a total healing of David’s body over time. Graft versus host disease is a very serious complication that can occur when you’ve had a bone marrow transplant, but thankfully, David’s GVHD has not spread beyond his skin.
Also, while it’ll be a LONG while before David truly looks like his normal self again (because of the side effects of current and past medications), he is starting to look more like himself.
Here are pictures to give you a better idea of some of the physical changes that David’s had to endure since his transplant:
As you can see, it’s been quite a journey. But we’re here — six months since a complete stranger (whom we can’t wait to meet one day) donated his bone marrow so that our son could to do what he’d constantly talk about doing — GROW UP.
We love you, David. You’ll forever be our #1 Superhero.
Click here for more posts and videos about David’s Story.