At some point in our lives we all meet someone who changes our lives. I happened to meet mine on December 24, 2009. Michael Bradlee Christian (or Mikey) was born on the way to the hospital at 70 mph. To go along with his high speed birth, he’s wanted to be a race car driver since he knew what that was. For someone of such small stature, he’s impacted the lives of everyone around him and even those thousands of miles away.
When you first look at him you would never guess that he is in bone marrow failure. When Mikey was 3 years old, he had a nosebleed at preschool. My dad went to pick him up expecting the nosebleed to stop. It didn’t. He was rushed to the ER where my dad sat with him and waited for hours. It wasn’t until Mikey went unconscious that they finally paid attention to him. His nose bled for 10 hours. He was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for about 6 days. A very renowned hematologist-oncologist came in to take a look at him. He ordered a blood count to check his platelets. Platelets are the blood cells in our body that help your blood clot. Normal counts are around 150-400. Mikey’s were 4. The doctor took all of this into account along with his small stature, his speech impediment, the birth marks on his body and suspected he had Fanconi Anemia. FA is a rare, inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. Although FA is a blood disorder, it also can affect many of your body’s organs, tissues, and systems. Children who inherit FA are at higher risk of being born with birth defects. FA also increases the risk of some cancers and other serious health problems. Mikey’s main issue is that his bone marrow is failing, but he also has a speech impediment. He also has a special helmet that he needs to wear anytime he is active to prevent head trauma. Treatment options for Mikey are slim to none. He receives blood transfusions as needed (usually once a month). But his doctor recently started him on a type of steroid that produces blood cells. With this steroid it has stopped his nosebleeds so far. The bad part of the steroid is that it only works for so long before it stops.
The main cure for Mikey’s FA is a bone marrow transplant. So far we have not found a match. This is where you guys come in. It is absolutely free to sign up to be a bone marrow donor at bethematch.org. It does have restrictions such as you have to be 18 and you do have to answer a few health related questions. Donating bone marrow is super easy. You will be put under anesthesia. While the donation varies slightly from hospital to hospital, generally, the doctors use special, hollow needles to withdraw liquid marrow (where blood-forming cells are made) from both sides of the back of the pelvic bone. The incisions are less than one-fourth inch long and do not require stitches. Most donors walk out the same day.
Just please if you see this, sign up for him. If you are unable to sign up please reblog this. I want everyone to see what a wonderful boy he is. My brother is my best friend. His laugh is something you’ll never forget. Through all of these treatments, all of these procedures, he ALWAYS keeps a smile on his face. He never lets it get him down. He’s the strongest person I have ever met. Anyone else might get down in the dumps and feel depressed but he’s a special one. Every nurse or doctor he’s come in contact with has had their hearts captured by him with his great spirit. I sincerely hope that one day all of you get to see, in person, what type of person he is. But until then please, I am begging you to sign up to be a marrow donor or spread this wherever you can. If you end up not being a match for him, you could very well be a match for someone else and save a life.