Leo was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive form of leukemia, in 2017. Monica said that, because of an organization called Be the Match, Leo was able to receive a much-needed bone marrow transplant.
Be the Match is an organization that matches bone marrow donors with recipients of the same type. Matching bone marrow types are often not found in patients’ family members, which means they commonly need an outside donor to survive.
Monica said Be the Match bought them something precious: time.
“So in November, he received a stem cell transplant, and although it didn’t cure his leukemia, it gifted him another year of life,” said Monica. “So that’s another birthday for my children, another wedding anniversary for me, so we were just so grateful.” Leo died the following year.
Monica said that when Leo received the transplant, he promised her that when he beat AML they would pay it forward to Be the Match by bringing awareness and sharing their story. Although Leo was unable to beat AML, Monica has continued to make good on his promise.