I first learned of Reefie over a year ago. He captured my heart immediately. He needs our help. This brave baby warrior is suffering from Graft vs. host disease.
Each time I write, I try to provide an opportunity for readers to learn more about childhood cancer and to become childhood cancer advocates. Even the click of a button on your computer can help organizations raise money for research. Today, I am reminded how important it is for us to give not only to childhood cancer research, but how important it is for us to dig deep to help individual children in need.
From CureSearch website:
Graft vs. host disease (GVHD) – This occurs only in an allogeneic blood or marrow transplant. Certain types of donor cells, called T cells (or T lymphocytes) react to the patient’s body and recognize it as “foreign.” Medicines are given post-transplant to prevent this complication, but it may occur despite this.
Acute graft vs. host disease – most commonly occurs within 3 months of transplant. The skin, liver, and intestines may be affected. Skin involvement occurs as a red rash that may be itchy or develop blisters. Liver involvement may cause jaundice or elevation of other liver tests. Intestinal involvement may cause very severe, watery diarrhea. Medicines such as steroids are used to treat GVHD and are often successful in controlling it.
Chronic graft vs. host disease – may occur months or even years after the transplant. Most commonly it is a continuation of acute GVHD. Many different parts of the body may be affected. Skin is the most common organ affected – patients may have red, scaly skin or skin that is thickened and tough. There may also be changes in the lining of the mouth, dry eyes, dry mouth, joint stiffness, lung restriction, and difficulty absorbing nutrients from foods. In addition, patients are at risk for infection because of the medications needed to control the GVHD as well as the effect of GVHD upon the immune system.
Rather than tell Reef’s story in my own words, I will let Kendal explain…
A message from Kendal Robinson
“I am raising money for REEF CARNESON AND HIS FAMILY….REEF IS ONE OF GOD’S MIRACLE WARRIORS…HE IS IN REMISSION FROM CANCER, HOWEVER HE FIGHTS ANOTHER DISEASE CAUSING HIM MUCH PAIN…GRAFT VS. HOST DISEASE AND ALSO DEALS WITH OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES. REEF IS THE ONLY CHILD IN SOUTH AFRICA TO HAVE RECEIVED A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT JUST BEFORE HIS 1ST BIRTHDAY, AND IS THE YOUNGEST PERSON TO HAVE RECEIVED ONE THUS FAR. THE DOCTORS THERE DONT KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT GVHD, SO TREATMENT IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT MIGHT BE IN THE USA. THIS FAMILY HAS BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH THE LAST TWO YEARS, IT’S BEEN NON STOP!!! REEF IS A FIGHTER…AS THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW TIMES THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD LOSE HIM….I BELIEVE GOD HAS DIFFERENT PLANS FOR REEF. ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO STRUGGLE FINANCIALLY, WHILE TRYING TO SAVE YOUR CHILD AT THE SAME TIME…..PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO GIVE TO THIS FAMILY, AS THEY ARE LIKE A FAMILY TO ME….I LOVE THEM DEARLY AND HAVE BECOME VERY CLOSE TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY. TO READ ABOUT REEF’S STORY…YOU CAN GO TO SAVEBABYREEF.COM OR ON FB, TYPE IN 1000 CANDLES FOR BABY REEF, THAT WILL GIVE YOU A BETTER OUTLOOK ON THIS FAMILY’S STORY…GOD BLESS AND THANK YOU.
WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW, TO GET REEFIE TO THE USA FOR THE TREATMENT HE SO DESERVES…PLEASE PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO GIVE….THIS FAMILY HAS A VERY LONG JOURNEY TO TRAVEL BEFORE REEF IS ABLE TO BE THE BOY HE SO LONGS TO BE….PLEASE HELP BRING REEF TO THE USA…..
The money collected will go towards THE MANY MEDICAL NEEDS FOR REEF AND TO HELP THE FAMILY WITH HOUSEHOLD BILLS, FOOD AND LIL’ SISTER MISS PAYTENS NEEDS TOO.”
Baby Reef… may the citizens of the world share their blessings by giving all that you need, and may the United States welcome you with wide open, healing arms.
May you receive healing, sweet baby boy.