We arrived in Phoenix, AZ on March 7, to check in to the famed Mayo Clinic, and had our first visit with Rachel's Transplant Nurse Caseworker on Monday, the 8th. Then after going through a barrage of tests, her Transplant Lead Doctor, Dr. Jeanne Palmer met with us on the 15th and let us know that all systems were go for the stem cell transplant. Rachel was admitted on the 17th of March to begin a massive amount of chemo for 5 days, then one day of infused anti-rejection treatment. Then they were kind enough to let Rachel have a day of rest. :)
The stem cell transplant took place on Wednesday, March 24th, at 10:00am. The procedure was fairly uneventful (done by transfusion.) But a stem cell transplant is an incredibly complex process. In order to do a stem cell transplant for AML, the doctor mush first wipe out Rachel's stem cells - hence the massive doses of chemo. Then the donor's stem cells (thank you Jesus for Rachel's brother Andy being a perfect match, and being so willing to be a donor) were infused into Rachel through her port.
Now is when the battle begins! Once Rachel's stem cells are killed off by the chemo (takes a couple weeks for that process to complete) Andy's healthy stem cells are there waiting to connect with her bone and start the arduous process of rebuilding a healthy immune system.
This is where Rachel is now. Right now is the crucial time when the battle really turns from us being defensive to being offensive. This is why we need your prayers and support now, more than ever. We appreciate all our friends and followers for being so faithful to pray, and encourage us. And we appreciate those who have been able to reach out to us with your financial support. We are truly a famiily!
As most of you know, Rachel and I are unable to work for at least a year, while she is recovering from this (and I am her full time caretaker.) Some have asked how they can support us financially through this time. Our daughters have setup a GoFundMe account for those who have a desire to help.
Here is the link - GoFundMe - Steve & Rachel Young's Fearless Fight
As Andy's stem cells fight for the position in Rachel's body to set up a new immune system, medically speaking, there may be many challenges. There are many battles in a war. But we intend to win each one, through Jesus and His promises of health for us! We will not only win the battles, but we will win the war. We are not fighting for victory - we are fighting FROM victory!
We love and appreciate all of you!
God is faithful!