The human body is a magnificent machine, and each cell has a role to play. In a way, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle that ordinarily is put together perfectly. The only thing we have to do is take care of it. Provide the body with proper nutrients, get enough exercise, rest, etc. But what happens when a piece of the puzzle is missing? The machine breaks down.
Evelyn Lavender Loso is only six years old, but she knows a lot about what happens when bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. Evelyn has aplastic anemia, and her only hope is a bone marrow transplant.
Until Evelyn got sick, her family was pretty much living the American dream. They had no financial problems, a nice house, and two new cars in the driveway. But illness has a way of eating into a family’s finances.
Aplastic anemia costs roughly $780,000 a year to treat.
At first, with the support of their insurance provider, the Lavenders were doing okay. As their savings were depleted, they began downsizing. First the house was sold and they got a smaller place to live. Then the cars were traded in for less expensive older models, until like so many people in America, the costs overcame them.
Neither of Evelyn’s siblings were a match for her bone marrow type, and because a stem cell transplant is usually not recommended for young children because of the risk of rejection, her parents underwent in-vitro fertilization to have a new baby who would be a perfect match. (And before you freak out, the new baby is wanted for all the right reasons; and, stem cells will be taken from the umbilical cord.) Presently, Evelyn’s new sibling is traveling through the embryonic journey.