The following letter was emailed to friends and family on 10/28/05
Dear Friends and Family,
First, thank you for all of your prayers, good wishes, and offers of help. We are truly blessed to have you all in our lives. We would love to thank each of you individually, but the outpouring of love is overwhelming and it would be impossible for us reach out to each of you and express our thanks adequately. Trust us when we say that everybody’s kindness is noticed and tucked away for future reference.
Next, we have had many questions about Kerstin that we have not been able to answer. Here’s what we know. She has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. The good news is that if you are going to have one of these types of leukemia, this is the best one to have. Kerstin will be in Children’s Hospital (
Until then, Kerstin can receive visitors at the hospital. Here are some of the rules: “Parents and/or grandparents may visit any time. All other visitors may visit between and . Siblings may visit after passing a screening process (for illness or infection). Children other than siblings must be toilet trained in order to visit. Siblings or friends must stay in the child’s room, and are not allowed to go to the playroom without the patient and guardian.” Additionally, the chemotherapy Kerstin will be receiving will lower her immune system and there may be times that no visitors will be allowed. The best bet is to call first to see if visitors are allowed that day. If you have a cough or are sick yourself, please do not plan on visiting at that time. (We just can’t risk having her catch any unnecessary germs.) As far as flowers and balloons, no live plants are allowed and only Mylar balloons (no latex products).
As for Kerstin’s big sister McKinsey, she is handling the situation very well. It is obvious that the two miss each other which is evident when McKinsey is able to visit Kerstin in the hospital. (It’s hard being away from your best friend.) The amount of offers to take care of McKinsey is heart touching, and I know we plan on taking many of you up on that offer. Just FYI, McKinsey is tackling her new health challenge as well: braces.
As for Kerstin herself, she is taking this in stride. Right now it is like a vacation in a hotel room (except you don’t have to pull your IV pole around with you at a hotel. ☺) Anyone who knows Kerstin knows she is a pretty tough little camper and she is holding up very well. We still have a long road ahead of us and we are pre-paring her for the journey. She hasn’t even complained about any of the procedures she has had to endure. She is very brave and we are very proud of her.
As you can imagine, we are a little overwhelmed right now with trying to learn as much about this disease as we can, spending time at the hospital (one of us will be there 24/7), and balancing our lives outside the hospital. With the help and support of our friends and family, and our faith in God, we know that we will get through this part of our life journey.
Take care and may God bless you all,
Jeff and Annie