32-year-old Joshua Thomas (Josh) is an amazing father and role model. Josh is also a husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin, youth soccer coach, U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, student pursuing his master’s degree, volunteer drug and alcohol counselor, and best friend with a contagious laugh who is loved by all.
Josh had been a healthy young man until the weeks following Hurricane Sandy. He and his family had evacuated their home in Lavallette, New Jersey the night before the storm hit in late October of 2012. Josh did his best to help everyone through as they learned how much damage was caused by Sandy and how long they would be displaced from their home.
Over the next few weeks, Josh was fatigued, so he went to the doctor who diagnosed him with strep throat and put him on antibiotics. Josh continued to look and feel run down, but everyone chalked it up to the lack of sleep, stress of the devastating hurricane, and everything that was going on with his home and the community.
On the evening of November 19, 2012, Josh’s symptoms progressed and he experienced blurry vision. He decided to go to the Emergency Room and was expecting to receive more antibiotics, but instead the staff ordered blood to be drawn. The test results were very concerning and Josh was sent via ambulance to the nearest Intensive Care Unit.
Further testing lead to a diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and Josh was immediately transported to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for aggressive treatment. He was given two rounds of chemotherapy, but the disease did not respond. Through all of this, he continued to keep a positive outlook even though he was away from home during Thanksgiving, his son’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Josh is currently undergoing a third round of chemotherapy in preparation for a cord blood transplant. Unfortunately, testing his siblings and searching the national registry did not produce a bone marrow match for Josh, so the decision was made to pursue a cord blood stem cell transplant and use his cousin, Meghan, as a half match.
The transplant process will mean continued chemotherapy treatments, a five week hospital stay, a minimum of six months to a year to recover, and around-the-clock care. Josh’s positive attitude and contagious laugh helped his family through Sandy, and now they are doing everything they can to help him beat leukemia.
To assist with the cost of health care and travel-related expenses, Josh’s family has teamed with The Bone Marrow Foundation to set up a One-to-One Fund on his behalf. They appreciate all of the support and generosity of family, friends, and well-wishers.
Josh’s family all miss him so much and want to see him home and on the road to recovery. They hope you can envision Josh happy and healthy, enjoying time with his son and family at their favorite place: the beach!
Or you can send a check, payable to The Bone Marrow Foundation.
Be sure to include Josh’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