Meet Christopher, a gregarious friend, a supportive brother and loving son. His smile is contagious that lights up a room and is one of the most positive people we know. He enjoys the outdoors, yoga, walking, swimming and laughing every chance he gets.
Christopher's journey began one and a half months before his diagnosis when he started experiencing strange symptoms: flu's, fever's, night sweat's, neuropathy (tingly feeling in his hands and feet), numbness in his jaw, joint pain in his arm and knees, molar pain and moving chest pain that started on the right side of his chest to the left side over the course of 1 week. He had seen a couple of doctors where each and every one of them offered the same diagnosis, that it was just the flu.
Weeks after receiving his blood test results he was urged by a close friend to see a doctor do to a result that was overlooked (an elevated white blood count level of 47,000). Three hours after checking into the Emergency Room he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia also known as (ALL) Philadelphia Chromosome Positive on February 19, 2016 at the age of 32. February 19 was exactly one month before he and his partner were going to exchange their vows in Puerto Rico. After eight long rounds of aggressive Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy, he was in complete medical remission. Soon after getting the news he was in full medical remission he thought his cancer journey had ended, until he was urged to get a bone marrow consultation by a handful of doctors.
It was until the bone marrow consultation, where he was told he needed a transplant because it would be tricky to treat the Philadelphia Chromosome Positive while on chemotherapy maintenance for the next few years. Three months after the bone marrow consultation he was told he matched with 1 person out of 25 Million bone marrow volunteers in the international marrow donor registry. The volunteer matched him 10/10, which is rare for a minority/Hispanic in the registry. The news was life changing. Two months after receiving the news, he was given a transplant date: Friday, March 17, which begins a new chapter in his journey.
Please join us on Sunday, April 2 from 10am - 4pm at House Of Cabelo for a Cut-A-Thon! House Of Cabelo will be offering dry cuts, beard trims and braids for a suggested donation of $35. The event is benefiting the RiosStrongFoundation and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. House Of Cabelo will also be hosting a bone marrow drive to save others who are trying to survive this terrible disease. Hope you all can make it!