This week Barrington’s Bailey family received the news they’ve been praying for since spring. After months of treatments to fight leukemia followed by a bone marrow transplant in July, a biopsy performed Tuesday reveals that Barrington High School 2014 graduate Carter Bailey is cancer free.
Carter’s supporters along with the Bailey family will be hosting a Blood & Bone Marrow Registry Drive at CrossFit Barrington this Saturday, November 8th, to highlight the impact these types of donors have had during Carter’s road to recovery.
The drive will run from 8:30 to 2:30 p.m on Saturday at CrossFit Barrington (28066 West Commercial Ave. #8 in Lake Barrington – off Pepper Rd, N of 14).
Over the past seven months the Barrington community has come together in force to show support for the Baileys with the CarterStrong website and fundraising campaign launched just after his April diagnosis. To-date, over $40,000 have been donated to help cover the cost of Carter’s medical expenses. And the Bailey’s are crediting an anonymous bone marrow donor with helping Carter beat his cancer.
On CarterStrong’s Facebook page, the Baileys shared this heartfelt letter about the significant role bone marrow and blood donors have played in helping Carter during this difficult time.
Hello Relatives, Friends, Neighbors, Co-Workers & CarterStrong Supporters:
We are going to guess that most, if not all, of you have been invited to participate in a blood drive at some point in your life. If you were like me when you donated, you did it knowing it was a good thing to do, without really knowing just how critical blood donation is.
For our family, all of that changed on April 18, 2014 when we received a call that no parent ever wants to get. It was the doctor, calling to let us know that something was terribly wrong with the blood of our 18 year-old son, Carter. The doctor advised us to leave the house as soon as possible and get Carter to Northwest Community Hospital, where he had arranged for us to meet the Head of Hematology-Oncology. Within hours, Carter was receiving the first of the many transfusions he would receive over the next four months.
Five days later, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Carter learned what was wrong with his blood, when he received his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Two days later, on April 25th, at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Carter started the first of three rounds of multi-day, in-patient chemotherapy. This intense chemotherapy not only killed the leukemia cells, but it often left him with dangerously low red blood cell and platelet counts. Transfusions of red blood cells and platelets were critically necessary to support his body when his own bone marrow couldn’t produce enough of those cells. During his hospital stays over the next four months, including the 3+ week stay for his July 30th bone marrow transplant, Carter received at least 36 units of red blood cells and 42 units of platelets.
All of these products came from the blood bank, from donors who had generously given their time and their blood. It is also important to note that Carter’s bone marrow transplant also came from an anonymous donor. Again, it was someone who gave of his time and his marrow…someone who let doctors essentially drill into his pelvis, in the lower back, and then poke his bone approximately 100 times to extract what resulted in nearly 525,000,000 cells for a complete stranger. Without this anonymous transplant, we were told that Carter’s leukemia had a 60-80% chance of returning. Late next summer, after we pass the one-year mark, we are hoping to meet this incredibly generous young man and to thank him in person.
We ask you to think about this for just a moment… Carter was just one patient in one hospital. He was a patient that many probably wouldn’t realize was in desperate need of such blood products, since he hadn’t been in a traumatic accident, nor had he undergone surgery. He was just one patient who is now included in the statistic that is the need of someone requiring blood every 2 seconds of every day, for an average of 44,000 pints of blood used per day!!
So, as we celebrate Carter’s 100th day post-transplant (November 7th), we hope that you will consider helping us replenish the blood bank by donating blood or joining the bone marrow registry. You never know the life you will save with your generous and selfless donation.
No pre-registration is needed to join the bone marrow registry. There are some criteria that must be met, such as between the ages of 18-44 and in general good health. Go to www.bethematch.org for all the donor criteria. This process should only take about 15 minutes.
However, we encourage you to pre-register for a blood donation time:
If this link doesn’t work for you, just go to Lifesource.org, click on Donate Blood and then slide down until you can put in a group number. Our donation group number is 662B. You must be 17 years old to donate (16 year olds may donate with parental consent. Please find the consent form on the lifesource.org site). Start to finish, blood donation takes nearly an hour.
If all the timeslots are filled, please email me at email@example.com and we will see if we can get more slots added.
We thank you all for your endless love and support and hope to see you on November 8th!! Celebratory cake and ice cream will be served!!
We are CARTERSTRONG!!
Jim, Celeste, Carter and Griffin Bailey
To learn more about Carter’s story, CLICK HERE to follow the Carter Strong Facebook page or visit Carter-Strong.org.