American Rachel Hunnicutt Knight from Texas needs donations to cover her bone marrow transplant operation expenses not covered by her insurance. Rachel is currently in a critical condition but still needs donations to cover the extra medical expenses incurred for her bone marrow transplant operation, such as aftercare & various drugs. Normally co-pay insurance pays around 80% of transplant operation costs so well done to Rachels health insurance for paying nearly 100% of her bone marrow transplant operation costs.
At 14 Rachel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She received her first chemotherapy the same day as being diagnosed. This was about 9 years ago. She was in remission for 7 years but has spent the last 2 years + undergoing relapse treatment. That’s 3 rounds of chemo Rachel has been through now and that’s why I called her a cancer fighter. Unfortunately the disease spread to her bone marrow and on 5th November she received a bone marrow transplant operation. All the chemo & stress on her body has caused liver, kidney and respiratory failure, leading doctors to decide to put her in an induced coma last weekend. Running out of options, Doctors have treated her with a new drug still under clinical trials & not FDA approved yet. This new treatment started 4th December. I fully understand her family have bigger worries than updating blogs right now, the 2 related sites could use a little updating but Shawn had no problem with answering a few questions so I could make sure I had my facts right (see update at bottom of post).
You can find out more about Rachel at www.got-marrow.org. This website was set up by a close friend of the family, Rob Jones, in Texas where Rachel Hunnicutt Knight lives (Keller, near Fort Worth). Rachel is described as a fighter which is good. Right now her bone marrow transplant operation has left her very ill as her body adjusts to the new bone marrow. Below is a picture of Rachel just after her transplant operation (Taken from the got marrow website above) with her husband Shawn & daughter Alexis.
On the Got Marrow home page please use the ‘Donate’ button. All donations are gratefully accepted. If you are in the US and would prefer to send a donation by check there is a PO box also listed on the site. I’ve just made a donation of £20, about $30US, myself. You can also leave a message on the ‘well wishes’ page and read about her progress on the ‘updates’ page.
Update 5th December 2010
I’m now in email contact with Rachels husband Shawn. He kindly answered a few questions of mine so you know both a latest update on Rachel’s condition as well as what the money raised will be used on & why. This is the second email Shawn sent me on the 4th, the first reply I posted in comments. Below is his reply:
I have no problem answering all of your questions. I haven’t been too guarded about what’s going on because I know there are so many people pulling for Rachel and I want each of them to be as informed as possible. It helps them make their prayers more detailed.
Rob’s website did say $80k for possible co-pay, but that is no longer the case. At the time the website was created, we had not yet heard back from the insurance company on what they would pay. Since then they said they would cover almost 100% of the cost. The $80k came from 20% of $400k, the total estimated cost of the transplant. We were told several months ago that typically only 80% is covered. We are still getting some bills along with other expenses such as clinic co-pays ($80/wk for a year), presciption medications (up to 20 at a time), and income lost from her being out of work for up to a year, plus income I lose each day I stay home to take care of her. So although every dime may or may not go directly to the actual transplant cost, I assure you it is going towards the cost of keeping her alive. If anyone feels leery or uncomfortable donating, please remind them they are not obligated to. This is our fight and I don’t want to burden anyone else with this if it’s not needed.
We’ve received around $3900 from the got-marrow.org website. I was updating Rob on the amount, but we had a 2 month period between September and November when we didn’t receive any donations. Rachel’s mom has also put on a few benefits and auctions and we’ve raised around $8000 from those. The donations have been a blessing and if I don’t receive another penny I’ll still be happy.
We do live in Keller, which is about a 20 minute drive into Fort Worth depending on traffic. It’s nice to have such a great hospital only 20 minutes from family. We’ve needed the extra support lately.
They just started the experimental drug 45 minutes ago. It’s taken longer than we were hoping, but better late than never. Now we look for bleeding and blood pressure drop since those are the two major side effects. Also, the drug may not work so we’re looking for improvement starting in a couple of days.
Any support you can gather would be great. Just let me know if you need any additional information. Right now the best source of info. is Facebook, but not everyone has an account. If you do, search for me and ask to be friends. I’ll approve it.
From Shawn Knight, 4th December 2010. He has also added an update to Rachels blog, it’s a doable deal on the 4th.
Keep fighting Rachel Hunnicutt Knight! My best wishes are with you and your family for a speedy (and permanent) recovery after your bone marrow transplant opp. You can also read Rachel’s own blog. it’s a doable deal, where you can read Rachel’s own accounts of her illness & living with it. When I find out more updated info I’ll post it in comments.
Update 8th December 2010
Unfortunately I’ve just heard that Rachel lost her fight against cancer at 2.55am in the ICU of Cook Children’s hospital, Fort Worth, Texas. Her husband Shawn has requested that no more donations be sent and that you save your money for some one else in need of help. I’ve requested a favourite charity of Rachel’s to donate to in memory of her and have suggested the Cook Children’s Hospital, who supplied her treatment / care all these years through her fight with leukemia. You can place a tribute / gift in Rachel Knights honour. The donation will be used to help save another child’s life, of which I think Rachel would have approved. I’ve made a donation already, as I believe you should lead by example.
Rest in peace Rachel. My condolences to your husband Shawn and your family. You should read her husbands touching last update on Rachels blog, its a doable deal, so named after the term her mother used when she was first diagnosed with leukemia at age 14.
Update 9th december 2010
Rachels husband shawn has requested you donate to Curesearch for childrens cancer. You are able to donate in Rachels honour if you like. Curesearch is a network of over 5000 doctors, scientists and nurses who’s research and collaboration helps increase the survival rate in childhood cancer patients. Make a donation to Curesearch. I’ve given a small donation to Curesearch too.
Both Curesearch and the Cook Childrens hospital are great causes in the fight against childhood cancer.