Several weeks ago, my wife and I went camping at one of our local state parks – Fall Creek Falls. While struggling to put up a portable screen canopy, a helpful neighbor lent a hand. Thereafter, we got further acquainted with him and his family that included three energetic, outgoing daughters and a son. He candidly shared that one of his girls, Autumn, had been struggling with Leukemia; specifically Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). One would never imagine, based upon her effervescent personality – emoting so much carefree joy – the overwhelming struggles and trials she had endured.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal cells that build up in the bone marrow and blood and interfere with normal blood cell production. As an acute leukemia, AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated. In 2015, AML affected about one million people and resulted in 147,000 deaths globally. The five-year survival rate is about 35% in people under 60 years old and 10% in people over 60 years old.
GoFundMe for the Achey Family: This fund was set up by family members to help alleviate medical expenses for their youngest daughter, Autumn. In May of 2019, Autumn was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She underwent five rounds of chemotherapy and was discharged from the hospital in November 2019. In May 2020, the Achey family received news that Autumn’s leukemia had returned, and she underwent additional chemotherapy. Autumn is now in need of a bone marrow transplant.
This fund will support her parents, Melanie and Jon, by helping with medical expenses, time off from work, and other associated costs of caring for a child with a significant illness, including gas money to and from the hospital, parking at the hospital, and providing quick, easy, and nutritious meals for their other children.
Ongoing updates on Autumn’s status can be found at Caring Bridge. One entry from 2 days ago (November 10, 2020) reports, “Last evening, Autumn started having more withdrawal symptoms, saying she was cold, shaking and dry heaving. During these bouts, her heart rate rockets up to the high 180s and you just wait for the other meds to kick in to get her to relax and finally fall back asleep. Unfortunately, she still has a way to go on one drug, so the battle will continue.“
Fortunately there are a lot of people in their corner praying for and supporting them, including the community at the North Star Community Church. If you are interested in participating in Autumn’s healing process, there are fundraisers set up through HelpMeBounce, GoFundMe and Caring Bridge as well as a private Facebook page for Autumn entitled Autumn Strong.