Tina Regier’s son Tyler was an active little fellow, so at first the bruises that kept showing up on his legs didn’t seem too concerning. Little kids bump into things.
But then the number of bruises on his legs kept increasing. To make matters worse, Tyler had an ear infection that he just couldn’t seem to shake.
The Regier’s pediatrician recommended some blood tests. And the results that came back the evening of May 27 were every parent’s nightmare: Tyler had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Tyler started treatment immediately, but, unfortunately, the first of five phases of treatment didn’t yield the results doctors had hoped for. A bone marrow biopsy found that he still has significant amounts of the disease in his body. As a result, doctors tell his parents that he now falls into a very high risk category. Caregivers have now started him on a second phase of treatment meant to eradicate the remaining cancer.
“We are frightened, but we are hopeful,” Tina said. “We are praying every day that this phase of treatment does help Tyler reach remission.”
However, doctors have told the family that there is a very good chance Tyler may need a bone marrow transplant at some point.
In the meantime, friends are organizing a drive to get more people registered in the National Donor Marrow Program. The bone marrow registration drive will be next Wednesday, July 29 at Johnny’s Tavern at Corinth Square. From 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day, anyone can stop by Johnny’s where they’ll have a cotton swab taken of their cheek and register for the marrow donor program. Tyler’s supporters will be on hand for socializing throughout the drive.
Tina, a second grade teacher at Briarwood who returned to the school last year after having spent seven years living in Hawaii, said the family has been overwhelmed by the support the school community has shown.
“The Briarwood community has been amazing. They have been e-mailing, calling, bringing us meals, and offering to help any way they can. We are blessed to be surrounded by so many loving families,” she said. “We are also extremely grateful that our friends have organized a bone marrow drive in Tyler’s name. Finding a match is a difficult thing to do, and the more people we have on the national registry, the greater the chances of finding a match for Tyler and thousands of other little children.”
The Regiers also have a GoFundMe page established to help raise money to pay for special care for Tyler and time away from work this fall, when Tyler’s compromised immune system will prohibit him from being in normal day care. You can make donations to the campaign here.