Joshua Rich celebrated his second birthday on September 6, 2012, just over one year after receiving his first bone marrow transplant, and a few months before he will undergo his second. These two years have not been easy for Joshua, who was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when he was four months old. HLH is a rare and potentially fatal auto-recessive genetic disorder, which attacks the immune system and the major organs.
In order to fight this disease, Joshua and his mother had to move from their home in Georgia to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. Joshua then endured six months of chemotherapy, which caused him to lose his hair and become swollen from the steroids. Although these were difficult side effects, the chemotherapy put the disease into remission.
Even after the chemotherapy, there was still a risk the HLH would return. To reduce that risk, Joshua underwent a bone marrow transplant in August of 2011. Unfortunately his body never fully engrafted from the first transplant, and he spent the majority of 2012 in the hospital battling complications.
Joshua’s second bone marrow transplant was on November 21, 2012, but it did not achieve the results his family was hoping for. He and his mother have been living in the hospital for the majority of the last 18 months and Joshua’s health has been declining for the past year. He has developed severe organ damage, osteoporosis, and cannot walk after being bed-ridden for so long. The difficult decision had to be made to grant Joshua a reprieve from his suffering. He was transitioned into hospice on November 8, 2013.
As they face Joshua’s final months, his mother wanted to take the time to say thank you for the tidal wave of support they have received. Her women’s group from Asheville is helping her with their continued fundraising efforts. They are hoping to raise money for Joshua’s funeral expenses and to support her in the healing process. After Joshua’s death, she would like to move to a residential facility where she can be supported by professionals in healing and grieving. If you feel inspired to donate and help with these endeavors, please contribute to Joshua’s One-to-One Fund. All donations go directly to Joshua and his mother. They are very thankful for your support and prayers.
Or you can send a check, payable to The Bone Marrow Foundation.
Be sure to include Joshua’s name on the front of the check.
Send check to:
The Bone Marrow Foundation
515 Madison Avenue, Suite 1130
New York, New York 10022