It was a total shock to be hospitalized. From one day to the other my life was changed upside down. Not only my life, but also my sister's and parents’ lives. The only times I was in the hospital were, of course when I was born, and when I sewed over my finger. And they had only been short visits. This one was going to be a long one.I was a strong, healthy, 13 year old boy who went to school, and never had any complications with his health. One day, at the end of September, we noticed strange bruises all over my body. Constant nose bleeds were also one factor that seemed a bit strange, and so we decided to go to the doctor. The doctor listened to my story and drew blood labs from me. After the appointment I returned to my normal life, school. Unfortunately this wasn't going to last long. As school finished I spotted my mom outside the gate. When I asked her what was going on, she told me that the lab tests came back, and that I had to report to the hospital that day. She told me that my white and red blood cells were low. Additionally my platelets were down too. I didn't know exactly what I needed them for, but it was clear that it had to do something with my blood. I had no idea what to expect, so I entered the hospital with a neutral feeling. Soon it became clear that this was something more serious.
The doctor told us the situation. My bone marrow which produces the important “ingredients” of my blood, wasn’t doing its job. This meant that I have bone marrow failure. “Now, there are many reasons bone marrow failure can happen, and it may be connected with leukemia, blood cancer. To make sure you have no cancerous cells in your bone marrow, we are going to perform a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow,” said the doctor. This hit me hard. I had always had a fear of cancer, and a procedure this suddenly? For two days we waited for the lab results. It was a huge relief to hear that I didn’t have cancer.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be Aplastic Anemia. This is a disease that can be caused by a virus or genetics. In my case, the cause is probably a unknown virus. The virus caused my own immune system, especially the T Cells, to react against my bone marrow and kill of the platelets etc. I learned more about the disease by talking to my specialist; Dr. Cheng. I learned that there were two types of treatments: bone marrow transplant and Immunosuppressive therapy. There was 25% chance that my 10 year old sister’s genes match with me. If she is a match, they would do a bone marrow transplant straightaway. My sister was my best chance, but after testing, we found out that she is not a match. My parents only share 50% of their DNA with me. After this, we were all very down and pessimistic again. Then, Dr. Cheng said that they were going to proceed with the immunosuppressive therapy.