In July, on the same day we flew from Mexico to Panama to Ecuador, we learned that Daniel’s youngest brother had an aggressive form of leukemia. Though we had paid-for reservations in Ecuador for the next month, and further plans to stay in Ecuador (and then more reservations in Peru for October and November), we were very thankfully able to fly out of Ecuador the next week to head to Kansas.
We then learned that Daniel was a 100% match for his brother as his bone marrow donor. The donor facilitator told us that Daniel would be needed for multiple bone marrow donations over the next 2-3 years, and on that information, we decided to purchase a house in South Carolina and resettle in the States so that we could both work and be available to more easily travel to Kansas City for transplants. (We don’t really have extended family in any one area, or a “home base.” However, we had an AirBnb and other business in South Carolina, and felt this would be our best US base for now.)
The first transplant was delayed by about 3 months, and we later learned that the information we were given on multiple transplants does not appear to be correct — there will not be multiple transplants. However, with resettling back in the USA, income and job loss, travel and lodging costs to and in Kansas City, medical bills from Daniel’s reaction to the transplant and my ovarian issues, and many more unexpected events, we were set back a little over $100,000 to make this all possible. For us, there is a bit of a journey for the road to financial recovery ahead.
Most importantly, we are so grateful that the stem cell transplant for Daniel’s brother, Josh, appears to be successful, and he is on the long road to recovery and healing.
The experience — especially the initial 5 weeks — was somewhat traumatic for our family, and we are working toward getting back to a new normal. As time allows, I’ll look forward to going back and catching up posts on our travels and some of the amazing experiences our family had, as well as some of the unexpected adventures we were able to have in the States.
- The sunset drive from Quito to Otavalo, where we stayed for a little over one week.
- Our kids enjoying an amazing experience on the hacienda we stayed at in Otavalo.