Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gee Family Update 12/30/08

Hi everyone, thank you for your outpouring of love and support for Jodie, my dad and the rest of our family.

Here is the latest, plus some other important updates.

Jodie was checked into the hospital on Friday (12/26), her fever that started on Tuesday was not improving plus she needed a blood and platelet transfusion. Jodie is still in the hospital, her fever will not stabilize and the doctors have not been able to determine the source of the infection. She is good spirits overall. Holding down food has been a problem though, so she has not had much of an appetite.
The latest news from our transplant team at MD Anderson is that we have 22 potential marrow donor matches for Jodie!!! Additional testing and typing is still needed from this short list of donors, but we remain hopeful and confident that God will deliver the perfect donor for Jodie in His time.

My Dad:
He is on his last round of medication to treat the kidney cancer. He will visit his doctors in a couple of weeks to see if there have been any improvements with his kidney. Praise God that he's had minimal side effects from the medication. Besides feeling a little extra tired and dry skin, my dad has felt well throughout the drug treatment.

Prayer Requests and Praises:
Jodie - quick recovery from her current fever and infection and a return home
Jodie - that God will provide a marrow donor very soon
Jodie - Praise God, Jodie's white blood count improved to 0.1 (up from 0.0). 0.1 does not sound like a lot, but we'll take it! Normal range is 4.5 - 11.
Jodie - pray that the immunosuppresive drugs (ATG/Cyclosporine) help improve Jodie's blood counts
Family - Praise God for the many helping hands He sends us, especially Jodie's sister Joyce and now her parents who just arrived from Taiwan.
Family - we need God's direction in setting up the best situation for the kids after the holidays. Full time school, nanny or a combination?
Family - pray for continued good health and strength (if one of us gets sick, Jodie will get sick)
Alex - pray for a smooth return to work
Dad - pray for great results from the medication
Mom and Dad - They are feeling well, let's pray that it continues
Mom and Dad - Praise God that my brother Brian and his family (Jennifer and Kendall) are in Houston visiting from out of town.

Blood Donor Information:
Many of you have asked about donating blood in Jodie's name. Here is the information you will need.

> Dallas and surrounding area (a Carter BloodCare facility, http://www.carterbloodcare.org/)
- provide Jodie's sponsor number, spon047378

> Nationwide
- center should be affiliated with the National Blood Exchange
- then provide name, treating hospital and city
Jodie Gee
Richardson Regional Medical Center
Richardson, TX

- Visit our Save Jodie Gee Facebook page.
We'll post updates, donor event details and other important information.

Upcoming Bone Marrow Drives:
Sunday, January 4, 2009 - Bread of Life Church (Torrance, CA)

Sunday, January 11, 2009 - Austin Chinese Church (Austin, TX)

Sunday, January 18, 2009 (tentative) - Chinese Baptist Church (Houston, TX)

What is Severe Aplastic Anemia:

Always in His Care,
The Gee's

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas From The Gee's

We must say this Christmas was unlike any other in our lifetime. Jodie's battle with Aplastic Anemia for one and the overflow of blessing we feel as family, friends and complete strangers cover us with prayer. Although Jodie is sick, we know that it is part of God's perfect plan for our life and His plans are bigger and better than what we could ever imagine for ourselves. So we choose to trust in Him and His promises.
On Christmas day were thankful to be at home all together. Today, we are in the hospital getting a blood and platelet transfusion plus some antibiotics to help with a fever that Jodie started a couple of days ago.

My dad continues to do well, he is on his second round of medication to treat his kidney cancer. Praise God that the side effects to this point have been minimal. He'll have a doctor visit in January to see how effective the medication has been on the cancer cells.

- Visit our "Save Jodie Gee" Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49735991409
We'll post updates, donor event information and other information to keep you all posted.

- Upcoming Bone Marrow Drives
Sunday, January 4, 2009

10:30am - 1:30pm

Bread of Life Church (Torrance, CA)


Sunday, January 11, 2009


Austin Chinese Church (Austin, TX)

Blessings and a Merry Christmas to all!

The Gee's

Today a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gee Family Update, 12/15/08

So sorry it's been a while since the last update, here is the latest.

- Jodie is at home now and feeling well. We continue to do all we can to keep her healthy until a transplant.

- My dad is at home and feeling well, he's finished the first couple of weeks of medication and side effects have been minimal. We hope the cancer cells on his kidney are destroyed, plus the other growth on his rib and lung.

- Jodie spent 12/5 - 12/12 in the hospital getting treatment for her tonsils. She also received platelet and blood transfusions and also started a treatment called ATG/Cyclosporine. It will hopefully help her bone marrow recover and start producing new blood cells. It's a temporary treatment that will help until God brings Jodie a bone marrow match.

- We had a bone marrow drive at our church this past Sunday, 77 people joined the National Marrow Donor Program. Wow!!!

While I am here at home caring for Jodie and the kids, there is a movement already in progress that is trying to register more marrow donors, not only to help Jodie, but maybe to save the life of someone else too. Look for more details in the future on what you can do to help.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Last thought....

We hope this message finds you all well, but we know many of you may be in your own season of brokenness. In fact, many of my dear friends and colleagues at AT&T have recently lost their jobs through layoffs.
And get this, I even saw my old manager visiting his dad at the same hospital where Jodie is being treated, he was having a pacemaker put in.

Whatever your need, God alone is more than enough.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Psalm 34: 17-19

In His Care,
Alex, Jodie, Tyler and Elizabeth

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bone Marrow Donor Testing for Jodie Gee

Jodie was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia on November 10th. Her bone marrow is not making any of the cells she needs for her blood. As a result, she is very susceptible to infections, she can bleed easily and she feels tired. The recommended treatment for a full recovery is a bone marrow transplant. The best chance of a match comes from a donor with a similar ethnic background (Jodie is Taiwanese), but a donor of different ethnicity could still be a match too, just less likely.

Many of you have asked about getting tested to see if you are a match for Jodie. Below is some important information for you to consider if you are interested in getting tested. Getting tested is easy - it only involves swabbing the inside of your cheek with a cotton swab.


Option 1. Join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) national registry. By joining the national registry, you become a potential donor for Jodie as well as others in need of a bone marrow transplant. Becoming a donor is easy, find an affiliated donation center in your area, fill out a registration form and then get a cheek swab, you will then be added to the national registry.
Jodie's doctors at MD Anderson monitor the registry regularly for potential donors.

For more info on the NMDP and local donor centers, visit www.marrow.org/ or call 1-800-MARROW-2.

Other important information:
FAQs about joining the registry
Medical Guidelines for Joining
Myths & Facts about Bone Marrow Donation

Donor centers:

Option 2. If you would like to be tested for Jodie ONLY, meaning you do not want to be a potential donor for anyone else, then you can get privately tested. You will need to request a test kit from Kashi Clinical Laboratories (KCL) at www.bonemarrowtest.com

-Test kit fee, $165
-Kit Includes: Two cheek swabs, a consent form to KCL and label for return of the sample to KCL.
-Please complete the consent form with the information below to direct a copy of the results to our MD Anderson search coordinator.

Michele Alvarez
Lead Unrelated Transplant Coordinator
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd. Rm R8.1602
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-745-3216
Fax: 713-563-8037

If you have additional questions, please contact JoAnn Wu, Betsy Wong, Karen Chin or Connie Chuan.

In His Care,
Alex, Jodie, Tyler and Elizabeth

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gee Family Update 12/4/2008

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
-Lamentations 3: 22-25

God reminded us of this passage through a friend the other day and it came at the right time.

Since our last update we had GREAT week of Thanksgiving, Jodie felt well and we had a nice Thanksgiving lunch at home with her sister Joyce and a couple of friends. But this week has brought us some new challenges. Monday, we found out that neither JoAnn or Joyce are a bone marrow match for Jodie. Also on Monday, Jodie started to run a fever and her throat started to feel sore. It turns out she has tonsillitis.

Because we have not yet found a match and the process could take months or even longer, Jodie will start a drug treatment next week called ATG/Cyclosporine. We hope it helps her bone marrow recover and start producing new blood cells, but ultimate cure is still a bone marrow transplant.

We fight every minute of the day to try and keep Jodie and our family healthy. Limiting visitors, frequent baths and hand washing and attention to the food we eat. Plus the other concerns of finding and unrelated donor, care for the kids during all the doctor and hospital visits, trying to work when I can (Alex). All of this is overwhelming at times, BUT that is why God sends us his Word like the passage from Lamentations. It sustains us and reminds us that God alone is sufficient.

An update on my Dad: He and mom are doing well. Mom even returned to work earlier this week. Dad started a drug called Sutent which is supposed to reduce and kill the cancer cells in his kidney, lung and ribs. The hope is to treat all the cancer and remove the diseased kidney. They will evaluate his progress after 6 weeks of treatment.

We thank you all, family, friends and even strangers for your prayers and support. God continually uses his Word and you all to encourage us and lift our spirits.

Here are a few things you can specifically pray for:
-Jodie's immediate health.
-Dad's (Jon Gee) Suntent treatment, pray that it is effective and side effects are minimal
-Jodie's ATG treatment works quicker than normal (typically 2-3 months)
-Health for my mom, Tyler, Elizabeth and Alex.
-A bone marrow match for Jodie
-A fun birthday for Tyler, he will be 5 years old on 12/5

We are deeply touched by the overflow of your love and care, from preparing a simple meal to wanting to be a bone marrow donor. Look for a couple of follow up emails, one on "Helping Hands" an online calendar and resource we've set up for local folks to help with meals, grocery shopping etc. and the second on what to do if you are interested in becoming a bone marrow donor.

Thanks for taking the time to keep up with our family.

In His Care,
Alex, Jodie, Tyler and Elizabeth