Friday, August 2, 2013

Bits & Pieces: Anytime, Anywhere, Anything

I have a saying for the kidlets in my life: anytime, anywhere, anything.

There’s lots of details related to the phrase, but the gist of it is this: if it’s physically, mentally or remotely possible for me to help out a kidlet in need, I’m there.

Sunday was one of those days. I found myself in Southwest City, Mo., (because it was a good “meet in the middle place”) connecting with Eric and Bekah, two friends from Siloam Springs, Ark.

I’ve literally spent the last few years watching their son, Canaan, grow—ever since he came to church in his carrier for that first Easter.

He’s had a special place in my heart for years, and frankly, it’s because of him (and a couple of partners in crime) I have three folders of “kidlet games” on my iPhone.

Remember the scene in “Finding Nemo” when the birds chirp “mine, mine, mine”? Well, Canaan and his buddies would see me walk into the church nursery and instead of saying hi, would start to chirp “phone, phone” and hold their hands out.

I knew I’d spoiled him, when at about age 3, he told his dad he was “calling China” on his mom’s iPod. (My running line when I hand a kidlet my phone to use is “don’t call China.”)

Canaan’s been sick most of his life. At first doctors thought it was related to food allergies, and then, frankly they were just baffled.

In the last couple of years, doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital figured out he has Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a rare disease that only four out of every million children have.

The long, short story is this: Canaan’s immune system doesn’t work right. For now, his treatment—a regimen that includes a daily antibiotic, steroid and anti-fungal—helps keep him from getting sick.

Doctors told his parents eventually he would need a bone-marrow transplant. Last month, eventually became reality.

The good news is, the transplant is expected to cure him of this wretched disease. The not so good news, is that no one in his immediate family is a match for the transplant. So now doctors are searching for a non-familiar match.

There’s a chance tests this week will identify a donor. Doctors are pretty hopeful the search is narrowing quickly. In the meantime, Canaan’s parents are encouraging friends, family and heck, even strangers, to check out http://bethematch.org and learn more about becoming bone marrow donors.

So here’s my challenge this week. Take a few moments and check out the National Marrow Donor Registry, and see what it might take to become a donor.

I’ll probably write about Canaan again. If a donor is found, he’ll go to Houston to Texas Children’s Hospital to have the transplant. The leading expert for this disease is based there. He’s done 19 bone marrow transplants specifically for CGD, 18 of which were a success. Scary odds, but good odds. Here’s praying that the “odds be ever in his favor” as Canaan fights this disease.

Anytime, Anywhere, Anything.

On a side note, I hear you can sign up to become a bone marrow donor during the “Guns and Hoses” blood drive, set for Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Grove Community Building.

So, have you picked your side yet? Are you Team Police or Team Fire? Signups for donation slots are underway at both departments, or you can contact Sam Edwards at the Grove Sun office at 918-786-2228.

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Aug. 2, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun

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