Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clark's Brothers Gather for Test

Pick Me, Pick Me! Clark's five "full" brothers gathered from North Dakota, Sioux Falls and Watertown to begin the testing process as a Bone Marrow Donor. As their brother Clark waits in Utah for his own bone marrow to begin functioning and producing white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, these five boys left their jobs and school to be at Brown Clinic in Watertown this morning, to have their blood drawn and shipped to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Clark is at risk of needing a bone marrow transplant in the near future. Currently he goes to the hospital two to three times a week for blood transfusions while they also try adjusting medications in hopes that his own body will soon take over and begin functioning properly. Meanwhile, because of the time involved in testing for a donor for a near perfect match, we are moving forward with the testing so the donor can be named. You see, in my child bearing years Jim and I only planned on having six children. When Jim and I got married, I already had a son (Ryan) from a previous marriage. Our first child together was a beautiful little girl (Kristin) and then to follow came four more boys (Clark, Myls, Wyatt, and Fletcher). In time, I pouted and begged Jim to let me have just one more baby (even though we had agreed on six) in hopes to have another girl. He finally gave in but little did we know at that time, that I was already pregnant with Bjorn. Well you know the rest of the story. I didn't want Bjorn to be alone with the 3 year gap between him and Fletcher so it was easy to convince Jim that we should try just one more time for a girl, but this time we got Huxley. Eight was enough! Today I give much thanks for all these boys and understand now the purpose. The best bone marrow donors come from same sex gender and "full" sibling. Clark hasn't been very lucky with many things but IS lucky to have five chances for a perfect match within in own brothers. Of course Ryan who is a half brother, and Kristin & I are not of the same gender we wouldn't qualify. The youngest and most healthy boy is who they will hope first to be a match and work up from there. Guess that puts those last two little boys I begged for on the top of the list. If the transplant takes place, the donor will need to go to Utah for approximately 2 weeks. First Clark will be put in the hospital where he will receive chemo and or radiation for a week before, to kill off the abnormal blood cells. The donor will undergo a surgery where long needles are drilled in the hip and suck out one to two quart of bone marrow and blood. Usually about 20 entries are needed. He will be hospitalized over night but necessary to stay in the area for follow up. Once the bone marrow is harvested from the donor, Clark will be waiting to receive it by infusion by a port placed near his heart. No incisions are necessary for Clark or the donor. Clark's stay will be four to eight weeks if all goes as planned. It is expected that Clark will be very sick during that time until the new bone marrow graphs and takes over. The donor will feel like he has a broken bone in the area of harvest and will replace his own bone marrow in about four weeks. Our family would request from family, friends, and blog followers, specific prayers that the transplant will not be needed. For today, I stood with tears in my eyes as I watched my five sons step up and have their blood drawn knowing that any one of them could be the one to be the donor. Which one will it be?

This is Huxley, he is 14 years old. He is the youngest and healthy so chances are good he is it!

This is Bjorn, he is 16 years old. He is the one I was already pregnant with while the begging was going on for one more baby. Could it be him?

This is Fletcher, he is 19 years old and lives and works in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Is it him?

This is Wyatt, he is 20 years old and works in North Dakota. Is it him?

This is Myls, he is 22 years old and works in North Dakota. Or, is it him?


Stephen said...

Thanks for this poignant post. I love these guys.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are definately with you and your family. I cried all the way through the post especially when I got the those young boys willing to suffer much pain to help their brother that so depends on them. What a sacrafice for all of you. I pray that the transplant will not be needed at all and will continue to keep you in our families prayers.

Nichole said...

Hi Rhonda, I just wanted to let you know we are all praying Clark does not have to have the BMT. And if he does I pray that one of your boys will be a match so he wont have to wait.
How are you doing thru all of this? I know it has got to be hard not being here with your son. If you ever need anything please let me know.
Hopefully this will give you a little hope. When they stopped a couple of the medications that Logan was on, his WBC and platelets dropped. But once all of the medication was finally out of his system they went back up to normal. So I know that medication does affect all of that and I pray and hope that they can adjust his medications so that he wont need this transplant.
Just know that our thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hey Clark -

We all know you are SUPER CLARK. I am starting to think that your entire family are super heroes in disguise. Kristin is obviously Wonder Woman, caring for you and her family with grace and good humor. Those five brothers look like the Fantastic Five to me, each hoping that they can be the one to be a donor. I know you know Rhonda and Ryan's secret super hero identities!!! Mega Mom and Mr. Incredible maybe?

We are still praying for you here in Kansas. I have your name and story on the list for the 24 hour prayer vigil we are doing at church this week end.

Keep working hard at getting well!

Carol in Kansas

Anonymous said...

Hi Clark and family!

I knew you were in the clinic today and it was exciting to read up on your visit through the blog. I hope the transplant isn't needed, but know the chances are good with 5 great brothers! Wishing you well...our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dr. Likness and family

Douglas Lai said...

Would love to talk with you guys. Our daughter just had her liver transplant on Nov 10th. We are still at Primary Children's. our blog:
My cell 801-361-4112 would also like to know how to contact Logan and Nichole.

Douglas Lai said...

Can we add clark's blog to the Utah Liver Familes blog?