5/3/2013 The Plight of Sam

Update from the Family

Dear friends

This is Lucy, Abbey's sister, posting on Abbey's behalf.

I'm sorry to say that Sam's leukemia has returned. As a result, Staff of Life will not be able to be at the markets for the time being.

Right now, Sam, Abbey and Mike are at UVA, where Sam is undergoing induction chemotherapy in order to put his leukemia back into remission (a phase which should last approximately a month). Once the leukemia is in remission, Sam will transfer to a hospital where they are capable of doing a pediatric bone marrow transplant. At this point, we are thinking that Duke is the most likely location.

The transplant process will take about 100 days total, after which Sam will transfer back to UVA for care. The entire process - induction chemo at UVA, transfer, transplant, and recovery -- will likely take about 4-5 months.

So many people have already reached out to us to offer their prayers and love - and most generously - registration as bone marrow donors. Thank you so much for offering us this gift! However, we will likely not have to rely on a third-party donor - our family is in the process of being tested, and in the event none of us are good matches, Sam will probably get transplant from stem cells from donated cord blood.

Many of you have asked how else you can help. To be honest, the thing the Whetzel family needs most right now, aside from prayer, is financial support. Abbey will likely not be able to work for several months (although she is trying to come up with a way to work at least some markets), and if Abbey cannot bake, the family has no income. Every single penny that you donate is tremendously helpful.

Like last year, our cousin's organization, A Little Birdie, is accepting tax-deductible donations on Sam's behalf. The link is below.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your love and support during this time.


- Lucy Boyd
Abbey's sister


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The Plight of Sam

Updates from the family on Sam's fight with leukemia Read More