Help for a family dealing with so much

Bone Marrow for Kai
May 2, 2009 5:17:56 PM PDT
This is about a story of one family, battling two rare cancers, not to mention a heart problem.Their story touched so many in their Tribeca neighborhood -- more than a thousand people came out in a huge show of support. "It totally came as a complete shock to us...We're still in disbelief," Kai's mother, Birgit Anderson said.

And you can't help but wonder -- why any family should have to cope with so many blows.

First Birgit Anderson needed heart surgery, then, a few months later, her 41-year-old husband was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.

".. It's considered, currently, incurable..." Birgit says.

But the worst came one year later -- on April 6th, and it involved their 4-year-old son, Kai, who seemed tired and had swollen glands.

"And they said, we don't know how to tell you this...we're so heartbroken for you, because they knew about David..but your son has leukemia and you need to take him to the emergency room immediately," said Birgit.

"..And then, to be told that, your son is gonna go through it, you know you're gonna have to watch him go through itjust all the suffering and the pain...But, you know he's makes me very, very proud," David Anderson's/Kai's Father.

The family, from Battery Park City has tremendous help from their whole community.

At Kai's Tribeca school -- they held a bone marrow drive...finding a donor - Kai's chance for survival....the screening test -- a simple cheek swab....but finding a match -- is not as simple.

Right now there are 7 million people in the National Bone Marrow registry, but statistically, for every 10 patients, only 3 will find a match.

Experts were on hand to explain the relatively easy procedure of donating bone marrow. Eighty-percent of the time -- it's taken from the blood only....and hundreds turned out to help....

"We don't want any child or anyone to be going through this," one volunteer said.

As the Andersons know all too well...about struggle..about chemotherapy...

"..I call him my little guiding star..he's gonna get through it..and he's gonna show me how to get through mine," David says.

To find out how you can help the Anderson family or participate in other bone marrow drives, click here

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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