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In honor of my brother, AJ Slye, other cancer fighters like him, and the families that are left holding only memories, I am campaigning for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year.
CANCER. CHEMO. FAMILY. FEAR. DEATH.
When sitting in a hospital room being told your brother, best friend, hero is diagnosed with cancer, your mind is flooded with the above words. Then when it’s given a name—leukemia—your thoughts of hope take a punch to the gut.
My 19 year old brother, AJ, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a rare form of blood cancer, on December 15, 2012, after a minor hospital visit turned into an extensive stay. Immediately after being diagnosed, AJ was rushed by ambulance to The University of Virginia Medical Center to begin an aggressive chemotherapy treatment designed to force his cancer into remission and ultimately cure him. Two rounds of chemo and 45 days later…it didn’t work.
AJ was quickly transferred to John's Hopkins Medical Center to enter an experimental trial, again designed to battle his cancer into remission. Again…it didn’t work, but this time the doctors said, “We’re sorry, there is nothing else we can do here. Maybe there is another experimental trial somewhere in the country for which you qualify.”
Thankfully, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital gave my brother a chance to continue fighting against this horrible disease. After a few months within a new trial, AJ’s leukemia cells were reduced enough to permit a stem cell transplant—his only hope of survival. My mom provided the lifesaving stem cells and the transplant, which at first appeared extremely successful! But the cancer cells mutated in my brother and came back stronger than ever. Multiple drugs, multiple surgeries and a long 9 months of torturous fighting left my brother's body too weak to continue fighting, and he passed away February 27, 2014. AJ’s story can’t end here!
WITH YOUR HELP we can comfort, not only patients, but also the families whose lives are flipped upside down. WITH YOUR HELP we can spread awareness of cancer treatment opportunities and ways to rally support. WITH YOUR HELP we can raise money for research to find a cure for blood borne cancers.
I NEED YOUR HELP to kick leukemia into extinction! Visit my website below, read more about AJ and about the LLS’ Man & Woman of the Year campaign, join my team, but most importantly, donate today.
- Joey Slye, 2017 Man of the Year Candidate
Help Joey Kick Cancer.