October 8th, 2012 – We recently received the message from Daniel Rager in New York, that his 30 year old wife Jessica discovered she had acute myelogenous leukemia the same day her twin boy and girl were born last year. She has been battling since and it has been a struggle. This past week L.I.F.E. sent them some of the funds we have fundraised to maybe help make their lives just a little bit easier. L.I.F.E. was officially made a 501c3 non-profit organization 3 years ago with the intent of keeping Eric’s memory alive, and to make an effort at paying forward all the help that was given to Eric to other cancer patients like him between the ages of 18 and 30 across the country. From everyone here we wish you all of the best Jessica, Daniel, Elizabeth, and Joseph as you continue to battle and overcome this.
Dan wrote their very unique story to us, you can read it below.
Thank you for talking with me. I am so sorry about your brother. We have been praying for your family.
First week was pretty easy. She was recovering from the c-section she felt like an experiment, because has disappeared at this point in time). To if we don’t find her a transplant all we can do is consolidation chemo. So those were all our choices. That’s what we were dealing with. We weren’t given great odds. So we were really praying to God that he would help us. She kept plugging along day after day. The twins were discharged they went to her dads, her ex-husband decided to play some head games and cause some troubles so all Jess was allowed to see her older children for was a two hour visit once a week. When she has sole custody that is the first time she has ever been longer than a week away from them. She didn’t get to see the babies for a month after they were born. So you put all that together you get one really bad day in August. She was having pain so they gave her pain meds, well they gave her too much in to short of a time frame, and she got a little delusional and seeing things. So the doctors cut all of her meds which included her anxiety meds. Well she had a major anxiety attack and couldn’t calm herself down all the doctors thought she was going to sign herself out of Roswell, they ended up giving her meds back and she calmed down. That was the only time I have ever seen her have a break down over any of this. Her goal was to be released before her older daughter’s birthday at the end of august. Which she did get out a couple of days before. The day she got released she was so weak. She got in the car, we went to Tim Horton’s got an Ice Tea because she wanted one and went and got her two older kids because she wanted them in the worst way. She knew she could handle them. She couldn’t hold the babies yet. She wanted the babies, but knew she wasn’t strong enough yet. We went to her dad’s everyday to visit with the babies so she could bond with them.
Then we started the every other day trips to Roswell for blood, platelets all that good stuff. Then beginning of September her leukemia doctor started consolation chemo. She had to have a bone marrow biopsy done before the chemo could start and this was before my birthday which was September 8. This was the only bone marrow I was not there for. She had the bone marrow done, went and signed in to the infusion chemo center was told it would be two hours before they would her transfusion so she I will go get lunch. She was standing in line and fainted. They took her right to transfusion and got her in right away, I guess if you want your blood right away in Roswell all you have to do is faint. Well on September 7th we got the bone marrow results which showed some leukemia but not enough that she could start the chemo at home. Well she was napping on the September 9 when Lori the BMT coordinator called. So I woke Jess up, she found her a perfect ten out of ten match. Transplant scheduled for October 28, 2011. She still had to do the consolation chemo. Jess made sure that she had everything in order before she went in for her transplant. That the twins were baptist that she was baptist herself that our marriage was brought into the church. She made sure the older kids teachers and leaders knew what was going on how to reach her at all times. She was very proactive at this time and very upbeat. She went to Father Bakers Basilica and prayed before the transplant.
We are coming up on her one year from her transplant on the 28th of this month. She has her one year bone marrow test on the 18th, then we go back on the 25th and hope that we have some early results back. Her back and her right hip and knee are hurting her bad and she is PT once a week for it. They said it is disc degerenration and we think it was all the chemo that helped weaken it, plus her side of the family has a lot of rhemotiad arthritis. She is having a little neurapthy in her hands and feet. Some days that is good and some days it is bad. All in all she is doing pretty good I would say. The kids are doing great. There is a little boy in Jess’s sons grade that was diagnosed with acute lymphoplastic leukemia. Jess was asked to speak about her story and how it affected dylan and abby, Then the kids all raised money for the little boys family. Well we have no money ourselves to help the little boy out, let alone just enough to get by ourselves. Well Jess belives in paying it forward. Well it wasnt good enough for her to just talk about her story. She went and got pizza, chips, doughnuts all donated for all the kids to thank them for helping him, an electric leap pad for the boy to have at Roswell when he is having treatment. Then she is organizing a basket raffle for December 6th to help the family out with his costs. She is a strong believer in paying it forward. I love her for that. I hope that you are doing well. If there is anything I can do for you let me know. As soon as we have results from her bone marrow test. I will email you.