Current Beneficiary Family

Everyone meet Keeley and her family

Keeley's Story

I was diagnosed with AML (Acute myleoid leukemia) in January of 2021 after having extreme pain in my arm that ended up being a blood clot after running my blood to determine why I had the clot they found the blood cancer. My husband and I immediately drove to huntmans cancer Institute where I was admitted thru the ER where then I started my first round of chemo and spent 36 days in the hospital. I then did 3 other round of what is call consolidation chemo where I would spend a week in the hospital and then could go home for 3 weeks then come back. It was a very long, exhausting journey bit I was in remission. After almost 2 years of being in remission I had severe back pain that sent me to the ER. We found out it was bilateral PEs (blood clots in both lungs) I was flown from Wyoming to Huntmans that night where they preformed a bone marrow biopsy which proved that my cancer had relapsed. I did an induction round of chemo before I had to pack up my life up, leaving my family behind, and move to Denver with my parents again to go through the long process of doing a bone marrow transplant.

I had my bone marrow transplant on May 17th and 18th last year. The transplant was underwhelming and I thought oh this isn't going to be to bad....boy was I wrong. I stayed in the hospital for the next 3 weeks waiting for my system to recover for intense chemo and radiation. They finally came and told me I could "go home" to recover. I was barely able to walk but I made it to ring that bell! The next 3 months would be very challenging. I had blood draws and either blood transfusions or platlates transfusions every other day. It was a full time job not just for me but my family as well. I wasn't able to do much other than rest at my parents house as I didn't have an immune system. The only outing I would get would be to sit in the car while my mom would grocery shop. It was like this for a couple of months until I finally started to feel a little better. My strength was non-existent and even when I could finally go shopping it had to be in a wheelchair.

Everyone kept telling me this is a marathon not a sprint and man we're they right. I lost my appetite and ended up getting GVHD (graft vs host disease) of the gut which was pretty miserable but they were able to treat me with strong steroids. At just about three months I begged to finally go to my own home as my son was going to kindergarten and the thought of missing his first day of school was unbearable. Mind you while I was recovering I was in Colorado and my husband and kids were in Wyoming. I saw them here and there but had already missed out on so much. They granted my requested and I got to come home to see Emmitt off to his first day. It felt like the biggest accomplishment of my life. Since then it's still been a slow process of getting back into mom and wife life. I had to get my stamina back up and it felt alot like I was failing my mom duties as I couldn't keep up with the demand. I hadn't been able to be a mom or wife for 7 months before then.

Luckily, I'm just 1 week away from my 1 year anniversary of my transplant. I have a full day of testing coming next week and to say is causing anxiety and stress is an understatement but everyone keeps reminding what an accomplishment it really is. Most days I feel more like myself...I have days where my body demands to rest and I catch every single sickness that I come across but that's all building my immune system back. Next week I start my vaccinations again as I currently am a clean slate (baby blood all over again) I was told it just like having your first birthday all over again so I'm taking it literally and told my parents and husband that I want a cake and balloons after all this testing is completed. I'm so luckily and grateful to be here!

Well Happy "first" Birthday Keeley because you are going to Turks and Caicos!

When we started talking with Keeley a year ago, she mentioned that her cancer meant she and her family would be was missing out on a planned beach vacation. We promised her then, that once she recovered from her bone marrow transplant, an AMAZING beach vacation would be waiting for them.

Turks and Caicos November 2024, here comes The Sanders Family!