We were devastated to learn just after the Carver family spent a couple of days with us at Bear Lake in July that our adorable Cami, my sister Lenna Carver’s granddaughter who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was four and was clear for nine months, has had a relapse. This just isn’t fair! This child who was a valiant survivor of massive chemo, steroid and radiation treatments has to do it all over again….plus much more! It looks as though she is going to need a bone marrow transplant.
However, if you think she is down or discouraged, you’ve got to think again when you see this incredible child’s determination to beat it again! When Rick/Dad and I visited her in the hospital as she was preparing herself for the horrors of chemo and radiation we asked her how she was feeling about losing her hair again. Matter-of-factly and with a smile she said, “You know, I’m kind of looking forward to feeling that cool pillow on my bald head.”
What a child!
What makes this especially hard for this little cherub, who just turned eight is that she recently spoke at her best friend’s funeral. She met Millie when they were both in cancer treatment. To take a look at this wonderful friendship, click here.
Channel 2 in Salt Lake City has fallen in love with Cami! Shauna Lake, their premier broadcaster interviewed Cami in her hospital room and they aired this heartwarming segment you can see below for several days on the news. This is truly an amazing little girl!
Incredible friends of Pat and Chelsea Carver,Cami’s parents, organized an stunning fund-raiser to help with the expenses of Cami’s future on Saturday, Sept. 7th in Bountiful, Utah. People were informed both by word of mouth and on TV that it would be an opportunity for anyone between the ages of 18 and 45 to become donors in the international bone marrow registry. The amazing thing is that all you have to do to become a donor is request a kit at bethematch.org which is sent to you in the mail. You swab your cheek with a cotton swab, put it back in the envelope and send it back and you are a prospective donor who may someday save someone’s life!
Four hundred eighty kits were available at the fund raiser so people could swab their mouths on the spot to join the bone marrow registry. To everyone’s absolute amazement and thanks to the coverage on Channel 2. and the love of lots of people, about one thousand people showed up to be donors. The line to sign up snaked all the way across the parking lot amongst the amazing booths created by family and friends to sell things and contribute the funds to Cami. The 500 people who were were left without kits. were sent kits in the mail. What a grand show of love and support! When we turned the corner into the parking lot the sight of the goodness of the human heart made us cry!
Here’s Rick with my darling sister on the left and a dear friend on the right. This family pulls together like no other. The “all for one and one for all” love for each other is unparalleled!
The line to join the registry seemed endless.What could be a better show of support from so many, mostly people who didn’t even know the Carvers personally! They just wanted to help!
Even though the last hour of fun was amidst a huge rainstorm, no one’s spirits were dampened. Cami even came at the end to dunk her dad in the dunking machine! For a glimpse of this amazing event, click here.
Even though the test for donors is simple, the process of finding a person in the donor registry who is a perfect match is not! Luckily, of the hundreds of thousands of donors “in the bank” there was only one perfect match for Cami’s blood and marrow type. The only information they could give the famly about the donor was that he was a young man in his twenties and that he was being contacted to see if he would be the donor. Even though there is a possibility that the transplant may not be absolutely necessary, they needed to know if this guy was willing when that decision is made.
After living on pins and needles for several weeks the Carvers just received the fabulous news that this young man is willing and able to save Cami’s life.. It’s a fairly simple process but does involve some risks. Cami’s dad posted this informative information about the myths of donating bone marrow.
We are so proud of this family for their courage in the face of great danger. The process will get worse before it gets better. To follow Cami’s brave attack on cancer, see her mom’s blog at kissesforcami.com or follow Cami Carver on Facebook. This is a remarkable story! We believe that prayer works and if anyone out there wants to join us, we would welcome a plethora of prayers being sent to heaven!
Here’s Cami having fun with her hair just before they shaved it off!