Thursday, November 03, 2005

What We Need

November 3, 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for all of the prayers, good thoughts, gifts for Kerstin and McKinsey, gas cards, phone cards, and the occasional meal for Annie and Jeff. The dust is finally settling, and we are getting a clearer picture of the road ahead of us. It is long and difficult, but we know the journey can be made with the help and support from all of you.

One of the questions we get all the time is: “What can we get for you or the girls?”, or “What do you need?, or “What can we do for you?”. Up until now we have been asking for only prayers and good thoughts. However, now that we have a better picture of what lies ahead of us we have come up with a list of things that would lesson the stress of this illness.

With at least three more weeks of living dual lives between Lincoln and Omaha plus many more trips to Omaha in the future, it is clear to see that our fuel usage is going to be high. We can certainly use fuel gift cards. Gift cards to Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart, or other restaurants would be welcome as well. As much as we dislike asking for money, we are finding that we need to accept the generosity of those around us to help us through this ordeal.

One major item that we would like is to have our house professionally cleaned before Kerstin is discharged from the hospital and comes home. Our goal is to provide the cleanest environment we can for her while she is recovering from treatment.

We have also set up a fund in Kerstin’s name at our credit union. The money in this fund will be used for covering medically related expenses. Donations can be mailed or taken in to any of the three Liberty First Credit Union branches. They are located at:

6001 S. 56th St.

Lincoln, NE 68516

501 N. 46th St.

Lincoln, NE 68530

5101 N. 27th St.

Lincoln, NE 68521

Just let them know that the donation is for the “Kerstin Leaf Leukemia Fund”. If you have any questions, you can call them at (402) 465-1000.

Many people have inquired about donating blood or getting tested for matching bone marrow in case a transplant is needed. Fortunately a bone marrow transplant is not needed at this time. This type of leukemia responds primarily to chemotherapy, and bone marrow transplants are needed only if the leukemia returns. As for donating blood specifically to Kerstin, her doctor says that is complicated and costly. Apparently there are extra fees associated with it, and any time blood products have to have extra labeling there is an increased risk of a labeling mistake which might cause the recipient to receive the wrong blood. Instead, Kerstin’s doctor urges people to become regular “anonymous” donors. This is the best way to help those in need of blood.

Asking for things is never easy. However, we can now put ourselves in the place of thousands of other parents who have been faced with this or a similar situation. It truly changes your perspective on life. We are blessed to have such caring friends and family who have already expressed a desire to help us in any way they can. Most of all, we can use your prayers. In the end we know that God will provide us with everything we need.

Thank you and God bless you all,

Jeff and Annie Leaf


Erica said...

Jeff, Anne and the girls -

This listing of what you need is so helpful! I know it is very hard to ask for things but, from a friend's perspective, I am so glad you are reaching out. I think I can speak for most, that as your friends and family, we want to ease this tough time as much as possible. Now we know exactly what we can do and it helps us to feel that we are benefitting you in some small way. If a paid dinner to Panera lets you relax and makes you happy, that is worth a million dollars to us!

You all are in my thoughts and prayers!

Love and hugs -

Anonymous said...

Erica couldn't have said it better. Thanks so much for providing us your "needs list". Your friends and family want to make this difficult time as easy as possible for you. It helps us all feel like we can "do" something for your family. Our prayers will continue. Take care. The Toalsons

Anonymous said...

Annie and Jeff,
we are all remembering running into you all at Cabela's in Kansas City. .Bess, Will, Frannie, Kent and I are praying for you all and Kerstin's swift recovery. Love, the Folsoms

Anonymous said...

Hey Friends!

Glad to hear Kerstin is feeling better, thank heavens for good drugs! :)

Thanks for making us a list...that way, those of us who feel helpless...can help!

Take Care! Stay Strong!

Barb DeFreece