Sunday, July 12, 2009

An introduction...To say the least

So Hi.

I'm Jessica.

I know how to use a computer.

The only other person in my family who can is my dad. Unfortunately, he won't be able to update you for quite a long time about his health since he'll be pretty out of it for the next little while.

So that's what I'm for.

Most of you will probably know this, since you would have found my blog through the website, or through me, but I'll give a summary anyways....

My dad was recently diagnosed with Myelofibrosis and, without a bone marrow transplant, it turns into incurable leukemia.

After months planning, my mom, her team of volunteers, and the Gift of Life foundation pulled off an amazing bone marrow drive in order to find a match for my dad. We recruited more than 1400 people to get their bone marrow type tested, and had even more show up for support. In total, so far, we have recruited 2,057 people to get tested.

That drive ended up costing out family about $75,000 US, because the Canadian Blood Services organization that deals with bone marrow-Onematch- refused to help us run a drive. Instead, we had to go to an American Organization called The Gift of Life based in Florida. Each kit costs us $54 to be tested. Despite efforts, we were unable to find help from OneMatch to pay off the bill after they refused to help us run a drive. But in a mere 8 weeks, we raised the money ourselves, with the help of many volunteers and have paid off our debt.

After all this, we finally found out that my dad had found a bone marrow match.

His transplant date is set for July 28th 2009.

This will be called Day 0. Everyday before Day 0 I will be referring to as a negative number, and any day after will be referred to as a plus number.

He is set to move into the hospital on July 22, or, "Day -6".

From that day on (maybe a few more times before) I will be updating this blog with new information on him, his health status, and anything else you would want to know.

Keep checking~

For more information you can go to our website,
You can check out our Facebook group with some past history
A Toronto Star article about our struggle here
And you can email me @


  1. Hi Jessica. My name is Jessica too, and your father recently contacted my parents through our own blog. It seems you and I have a very big thing in common. Both of our fathers are suffering from this horrible disease. I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that you are not alone out there. My sister Lori and I understand how difficult it is to be this situation. We understand the worry and the fear you must be experiencing on a daily basis. You are not alone. Together, we must all stay hopeful and positive. You may feel helpless at times, like there isn't anything you can do. But by being there for your dad, spending time with him, smiling at him, blowing him a kiss, if he is anything like my dad, that is the best help ever! We are stationed out at Stanford in California. Dad had his stem cell transplant on July 3rd. He and my mother have temporarily located themselves in a short term apartment five minutes from the Stanford Medical Center where he will try and stay as healthy as possible for the next three months and be monitored for rejection of the stem cells. We will be thinking of your dad, you and your mom on the 28th, and those fateful months that follow. my email is feel free to use it!

    Sincerely, your kindred spirit in California,

  2. Hi Jessica,

    I just wanted you to know that there are some of us that you don't see or hear from too often but we're here with you and your family now all the way through this process.

    Hugs and love to all of you,


  3. hey jess,

    you're very strong. I know how difficult it is to watch someone you love be so sick... but I also know the strength that comes out of us in such times. You'll get through this. It's great how much media attention you've worked at getting for your father. He must be proud.

  4. Hi Jessica,
    Thank you for being the means through which we can all try in some way to be part of this huge journey that your dad and your whole family are setting out on. Give your dad a big hug for me and let him know that our thoughts and hopes are with him.
    Lots of Love to you all,
    Cousin Renee