Monday, March 15, 2010

Ryder's Story

Age 4

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Karrie sensed that something was wrong with her son when he was an infant and her instincts turned out to be accurate.

At the time, Ryder was always sick and didn’t recover easily. He finished antibiotics only to become sick again. At 18 months, Ryder was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer that is challenging to treat in children.

When Ryder should have been playing outdoors like a healthy child, he spent his days at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Ryder underwent five rounds of intense chemotherapy treatments, which sent his cancer into remission.

But the cancer came back and in order to prevent more chemotherapy, Ryder needed a cord blood stem cell transplant. After a successful donor match was found, Ryder underwent the transplant. The recovery took five weeks, but left Ryder as good as new.

Ryder is resilient, caring and wise beyond his years, although he is only 4. He loves his mom very much and often says: “We’re stuck like glue, Mom, right?”

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