I may not be there yet but I am closer than yesterday.
Markel was attending college at SUNY Canton and started to feel ill, out of breath and tired. Always an athlete she wondered if it was due to freshman poor diet and not getting enough exercise. She visited the doctor on campus who suggested blood work. Within 2 hours the doctor called us at home and said that Markel needed to get to the hospital immediately. She arranged for intake at Albany Medical Center in the pediatric unit and we got her there by 3 AM that morning, October 23, 2013. Her white count was 500 and her kidneys were starting to fail. The diagnosis was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia –ALL.
Within 1 day she was placed on kidney dialysis as it was not safe enough to start chemo. A few days later it was determined from a bone marrow biopsy that she was also Philadelphia Chromosome positive. This made the recovery more complicated.
There were several roadmaps completed including various chemo treatments, spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies. Some were in-patient and some in the hospital clinic and a few at home. There was a chemo drug called Tasigna that was taken daily to combat the chromosome problem.
In June of 2015 Markel relapsed and in October of 2015 she had a bone marrow transplant. She spent close to 3 months at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. Her unknown donor was a 19-year-old female with the same blood type and was a 10 out of 10 match.
Markel passed away on Thursday, August 9, 2018, surrounded by her loving family. She always had a special light about her and gift to give love and create happiness in her wake.
Markel had true faith and will tell you - don’t quit before your miracle.