A good family friend, Darlene Cody asked that we spread this message. Please take the time to read and share. God Bless.
Natalie Nakatani is 8 years old. Grant & Tammy Nakatani are her parents, and she has a little brother- Sean. Our home town is Pleasant Hill, CA, about 1 hour east of San Francisco. In Fall '08, at age 7, Natalie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She went through 5 rounds of chemotherapy at UCSF Children's Hospital. She went into remission and enjoyed a quiet summer at home after having stayed almost exclusively at the hospital from November to May/June. In September, she re-enrolled in school as a 3rd grader, and her brother started kindergarten. In October, she & her family were sponsored by Make-a-Wish for a beautiful vacation at the Disneyland Resort. Things have been calm and after a holiday season trying to create new memories after such a difficult time in Nov/Dec '08, they rang in the new year with hopes of great things for 2010.
One week ago today (Thursday 1/14), they received results from Natalie's monthly blood draw that concerned the doctors. Her platelets were low. They immediately made a trip to UCSF for further testing, Things weren't cleared up, and by Friday, they determined that Natalie needed an urgent Bone Marrow Biopsy to determine if the Leukemia had really returned. On Tuesday, they went into UCSF. They did another blood draw at 11am and it showed her platelets had dropped further. The biopsy was at 12 noon. By the evening the confirmation came. Natalie had relapsed into leukemia. This has been such a shock to them because Natalie looks great, is full of energy, and there just didn't seem like anything was wrong at all on the surface.
Today, Natalie started intensive chemotherapy. They have determined that she absolutely needs a Bone Marrow transplant to survive. The timing is this:
8 weeks of intensive chemotherapy, and then the Bone Marrow Transplant must happen at 8 weeks. This is my understanding from her parents Grant & Tammy. There is no time to waste. They have made it clear that we cannot wait 5-6 weeks for a drive.
Additionally, Natalie needs to have ASIAN donors, as she is mixed half Japanese, half Chinese. We're in the process of facilitating a bone marrow drive for Natalie.
Please stay tuned for the latest information. Natalie needs us!
Also, please invite anyone into this group that you think can help Natalie. Together we can make a BIG difference in this little girl's life.