Monday, February 23, 2009

Still Waiting...

Thank you to everyone who continues to lift our family up in prayer! The health of the bone marrow donor looks good, and now we are waiting on insurance and the final consent to be official!

We are so grateful that God brought us the donor when He did. Jodie's body was getting more tired and it was increasingly difficult to fight the many germs that surround her.

The amazing thing is that God knew all along what He had in store for Jodie. His timing is always perfect!! This donor did not come from one of our drives, as our first donors just got on the registry a few weeks ago. We are very mindful, now more than ever, that God is using our situation to help someone else in need.

As we have said before, there are still many patients searching. God was so gracious to us in bringing Jodie a perfect match within 2 months! Many patients have been searching for over 1 or 2 years.

Here are some of them:

Rohan Karer is an 18 month old boy who has a rare primary immune deficiency called X-linked Hyper IGM syndrome. The only permanent cure for this deficiency is a bone marrow transplant. Until Rohan receives this life saving transplant, he must go to the hospital every 3 weeks for IVIG infusions to build his immunities. This is in addition to the multiple times that he has been hospitalized fighting infections that couldn't be prevented using IVIG alone. Rohan's outside activities and interaction with others is limited in order to avoid exposing him to potential infections.

Maile Lamela (3) is half Filipino and half Mexican/Puerto Rican. In 2007 she was diagnosed with and infant form of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). She was able to reach remission through chemotherapy, but her leukemia relapsed in June 2008 and she is now in an urgent need for a marrow/stem cell transplant. Because she is mixed, it will make her search that much more difficult.

Jisong (15, Korean) from Queens, New York was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in February 7, 2008. She is an active member of the Korean Catholic Church, the cross country team, swim team and her school orchestra.

In 1998, Wincheng organized a bone marrow drive, trying to save the life of a young Chinese American MIT undergrad. Now she needs your help to find her a match! On June 9, 2006, 26 year old Wincheng Lin was diagnosed with AUL, an extremely rare combination of AML and ALL with a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her chest. Although she is completing several rounds of chemotherapy, doctors believe this might not be enough. Due to the rare form of Leukemia she has, a bone marrow transplant is her best bet for a cure. Neither of Wincheng's two sisters are bone marrow matches for her. So far, no match has been found.

Zhonglin Li (37) and his wife Nianliu are from China. They came to the United States in 2001, and studied in the University of Arizona. On March 13, 2007, detailed blood and bone marrow test results confirmed that Zhonglin was suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). In the following months, Zhonglin received a course of initial chemotherapy and two courses of consolidation chemotherapy. He was in remission in July 2007. During this period, their second daughter was born in June 2007. Unfortunately, before long after the youngest daughter’s first birthday, in July 2008, they found out Zhonglin relapsed.

Many thanks on behalf of these patients and many more who may benefit from one of the Save Jodie Gee drives.

"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:11-14

Praying and BELIEVING,

JoAnn Wu

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

God Delivers a Bone Marrow Donor!!!

Shout for joy to the Lord!!!

God has delivered a bone marrow donor for Jodie!!!

We've been notified that a bone marrow match for Jodie has been found. We are overjoyed with this wonderful news.

We need your prayers. Although a donor has been found some unresolved items remain:

> Additional test results are being reviewed right now on the donor to determine their overall health and ability to donate.
> Appropriate approvals (insurance and hospital) for the bone marrow transplant
> Donor consent. The donor has already submitted to additional bloodwork and the additional testing, their willing participation so far is a good sign.

Regarding the upcoming bone marrow drives, please continue to plan and work toward a successful drive. Although a match has been found for Jodie, anything can happen that could jeopardize the plans for a transplant. And like with any transplant there could be rejection of the bone marrow and another bone marrow donor may be needed. And lastly, the drives have been in honor of Jodie, not only hoping to find her a donor, but the thousands of others like her that need a life saving bone marrow transplant. Since starting the bone marrow drives back in December, over 1,200 new donors have registered directly through one of Jodie's drives. Please help continue this awesome work.

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

-The Gees

Gee Family Update 2/16/09

Hi everyone!

Our family is doing very well. All of us were together this weekend for the first time in a while. We enjoyed time together on Saturday and Sunday. Jodie and I even got to spend some alone time together without the kids.

Jodie continues to feel well. She still has sinus headaches once in a while, but other than that she still remains healthy enough to stay out of the hospital. Today was a normal Monday for Jodie, complete blood work followed by a platelet transfusion and then a long nap at home.

This was a big weekend for bone marrow drives, 4 in Houston and 1 in Dallas. There were more than 350 new bone marrow donors added to the national registry from these drives alone.
We praise God for all the new donors and all the people that helped to coordinate the drives in honor of Jodie.

Thank you all for continuing to stay connected with our story and Jodie's search for a bone marrow donor. Your prayers for Jodie and our family are a blessing.

In His care,

The Gees

Our family continues to be amazed at everything that God is doing through Jodie's need for a bone marrow donor! It is an honor to be a part of a cause that can potentially help not only my sister, but thousands of other patients around the world.

As we learn of other patients and their needs, we keep them in our thoughts and prayers and continue to believe that God has a wonderful plan for Jodie and for those patients as well.

We are speechless as we see the many, many people who are coming together to support Jodie and this very important cause.

So far, our campaign has resulted in over 1200 new donors!!! God is good!!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

JoAnn Wu - Jodie's sister

Friday, February 6, 2009

Separate Lives

It has almost been 1 full month since Jodie's last hospital stay. That is by far the longest she's gone since being diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia.

Living apart from the kids and I has obviously been good for Jodie's health, staying at her mom's house and being cared for by her has been a wonderful blessing, but it's been very difficult on our family too. The kids and I have been sick a lot lately, first normal coughs and runny noses, then a stomach virus and the latest has been a cough with congestion. I'm even using a breathing machine on Elizabeth right now so she can inhale some medication.
All of this means that we can not see Jodie. She's probably been with the kids for no more than 4 hours over the last 2-3 weeks. It's hard on me too taking care of the kids on my own, but as soon as I get tired or frustrated I quickly remind myself that I can hug the kids anytime I want. Jodie can't!

Although Jodie has not been in the hospital, she still battled some other health concerns. Severe sinus headaches from a sinus infection, high blood pressure and early onset of diabetes. She's still getting regular transfusions of platelets and blood too.
We are also still waiting to hear from the transplant team on potential donors. There are 3 left out of the original search and we are still waiting on test results from them. We pray that God would make one of those people the perfect match for Jodie.
BUT, with all that going on, we press on. We press on with the hope and strength only the one true God can supply.
We press on too because there is still so much to be done and we thank many of you for doing most of that work on Jodie's behalf.

- Right now there are 13 bone marrow donor drives scheduled into March and more are being coordinated.
- Numerous stories have already been published in asian newspapers. Jodie will even be on the front page of a local korean newspaper here in Dallas.
- The Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News will also be publishing stories on Jodie.
- A local TV station in Houston is also planning on doing a story to help publicize the drives scheduled for next weekend.
We pray that all our efforts help find Jodie's perfect marrow donor match soon and bring more awareness to the need for minority marrow donors.
Take a look at Jodie's new website,
In His care,
The Gees
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11: 28-30