…92 Days Until Race Day
Happy 25th birthday, Jonathan.
There are things that you marvel at. And then there’s Jonathan.
There are things that defy odds and explanations. And then there’s Jonathan.
There are miracles. And then there is Jonathan.
What this young man has endured and overcome since August 25, 2008 when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia is incomprehensible. Had I not seen him win this battle with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe that, not only is he alive today, but that he is THRIVING.
Jonathan‘s mother takes it from here:
“I will never forget the day Jonathan was diagnosed. It was the first day of school and my girls were chatting away about all the happenings of the day.
Jonathan had already been to the doctor twice and also the ER in the last few days with what we thought was tonsillitis so my husband, Kevin had taken him to an ENT that day. As I was sitting at a red light, I received the devastating call and heard the words, “your son has leukemia…”. Our world turned upside down and to this day has never been the same and never will.
We took Jonathan to the ER where he was transported by ambulance to Texas Children’s Cancer Center two hours away from where we lived. We spent the next nine months there while Jonathan received intense chemotherapy and scared us more than once with stays in the ICU due to infections and breathing issues.
He went into remission and we finally got to go home in May 2009. We thought the worst was over.
Three months later, Jonathan relapsed and needed a bone marrow transplant. There was a problem though…he had no donor. Our only option was to go to MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital for a double cord blood transplant which he received on February 5, 2010.
This is a significant date for all of us because it is the day that Jonathan went into remission and has stayed to this very day.
But the road has not been easy.
These years since Jonathan’s transplant have been riddled with complications.
In the first two years after his transplant, we spent most every day in the hospital.
Due to his lowered immune system, the common cold caused him to have fluid on his heart, then both lungs, then his brain and he was on a ventilator fighting for his life for three weeks and didn’t know any of us.
The fight between his body and the new cells caused internal bleeding in his GI tract, and his 5′ 11” frame was down to 108 pounds.
One day, he began to have terrible headaches and also noticed that his teeth felt loose. His dentist at MD Anderson Cancer Center rushed him for a CT scan where it was discovered that he had fungus growing in his sinuses.
After a six hour surgery, most of the palate of Jonathan’s mouth had been removed and half of his upper maxillary bone and teeth were gone all the way up to his sinuses. He now wears a device in his mouth to replace it.
These are just a few of the complications. There are so many more that it is scary to think back on even though I lived through every moment of it with him.
Due to all of the necessary treatments that saved Jonathan’s life, he has had both hips replaced, and just 2 months ago, he had his knee replaced. But that’s small potatoes compared to what he’s been through!
He still goes to clinic at Texas Children’s Cancer Center every 4 weeks to have blood taken because his iron levels are still too high from how many transfusions he had over the years.
Jonathan now has his own apartment, works full time training as a mechanical engineer, and discovers more each day how grateful he is to be alive and to have the opportunities he has to share what he’s been through with other people.” – Melanie
Happy birthday, Jonathan. We had a solid run today. 2 mile warm up, then 30 minutes of sprints, then 1 mile cool down.
Who will you meet tomorrow?