My name is Rachel; when I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with (MDS) Myelodysplastic Syndrome Monosomy 7. I underwent a bone marrow transplant, and many occurrences of Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD).
For the majority of five years, I was home-bound, unable to go to school and lost connection with my friends. My teen years were spent isolated and alone, and it changed who I am and who I was to be. If RJ's had existed when I was 12, it could have been my safe haven, a place to provide support for me and others like me. I don't want other children to go through what I went through.
My name is Weston, and I was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of leukemia (JMML) three weeks after my eighth birthday. My only hope for a cure was to have a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant.
I lived in the hospital for four months and when I got home, I was home-bound and isolated for almost a year. I couldn't attend school, see my friends, play sports, or go to public places. It was hard not being around other kids and I was really lonely. Having a place like RJ's would have made things so much better and I would have had other kids to talk to and feel like I wasn't the only person going through something so very difficult.