Hey, guys. I know that this isn't LiveJournal, or grouphug, or whatever, but the fact is that I consider a lot of you people to be good folks, and some of you friends, and I need a friend right now.
My childhood best friend, Chad, his wife Kim (whom I have also known since childhood), and their family are going through an almost impossibly difficult time.
Now, I have known Chad literally all my life. Our mothers were best friends in high school, and were pregnant with Chad and me at the same time...the friendship we shared was practically forged in utero. I don't have a whole lot of memories from my childhood that don't involve Chad and his family. He is the sort of guy who seemed to spring from the womb with a compassionate heart and a fully-developed sense of right and wrong. Despite the fact that he was bigger than me for most of our friendship (and I have always been a lippy smartass), the only time we ever fought was when I hit my sister in front of him. And he beat the snot out of me for that. Important lesson. He is the manifestation of all of the working-class sensibilities of our hometown, so we grew into profoundly different people, but we have always kept in touch.
Anyhow, a couple years back, practically on Christmas, Kim seized during the middle of the night. When she came around, she wasn't able to speak clearly, and they were afraid she'd suffered a stroke. As it turns out, it was even worse: a massive, 3" brain tumor, sitting almost on top of the speech center of her brain. A couple years and a lobectomy later, she was mostly better. Then, almost simultaneously, they discovered that the cancer had returned, this time spreading to her frontal lobes (therefore making it inoperable), and that she was also suffering from a totally unconnected breast cancer.
Then, Kim and Chad's daughter, Kaylee, was diagnosed with leukemia.
Her brother, Tyson, is not a match, and because Kaylee is half-Native American, half-Caucasian, they are virtually certain to fail in finding a suitable donor. On top of this, Kaylee's leukemia is exceedingly rare; it is only the 5th case of its kind seen in the US in the last 10 years. And even if they do
somehow manage to find a perfectly compatible donor, the doctors say that she faces a less than 60% chance of recovery.
They are living out of their camper here in Seattle, splitting time between Kim and Kaylee's treatment facilities. Chad's coworkers have graciously pooled 12 weeks of their vacation time (as much as their employer will allow), and given it to him, so that he can spend as much time with his family as possible.
I'm not sure why I felt it necessary to mention all this, except to say that it is really tearing me up. My friend Erika just stopped by my office, and I spent fifteen minutes sobbing about Kim, Kaylee, Chad, and their family. I am not, but if you are a praying person, please feel free to do so.
I am sorry if this is meandering and nonsensical, but I am extremely torn up about this.
tl;dr Life shits on my old friend Chad's family.
KING5 news story about them (wouldn't run on Firefox for me...had to use IE).
UPDATE ABOUT KAYLEE, 10.27.07
UPDATE ABOUT KAYLEE, 04.10.08