Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breanna's Story and How You Can Help...

On December 9, 2009, Christine Mercantini took her almost 5 year old daughter Breanna to the doctor's office hoping to find something to help her shake what she thought was a nasty cold. However, instead of leaving and heading to her local pharmacy with a prescription in hand, she left and headed to a hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, with a new sense of fear about her only child's future.

On December 10, 2009, Breanna Mercantini was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia- the worst and most aggressive type a person can have. With no time to waste, they operated the next day and began chemotherapy. Because it is such an aggressive form of Leukemia, Christine agreed for Bre to partake in a clinical trial that allows her to receive treatment approved by the FDA for adults 18 and older. By participating in this trial, Breanna was subject to more extensive blood tests than a “normal” leukemia patient would be. It was in running these tests that the doctors discovered a gene mutation called FLT3 internal tandem duplications in the DNA of her leukemic blood cells. Basically, this mutation causes the leukemic cells to multiply at an increasing rate because they are continually splitting. This discovery has made Bre a high risk AML patient and in addition to chemotherapy, she will now need either a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.

Breanna will stay in Brenner's Children's Hospital until the end of March 2010- enough time to have received 3 rounds of chemotherapy. At that time, she will then be moved to Duke where she will undergo more intensive chemotherapy and receive a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. Obviously her mother, Christine, is very thankful that there are procedures that can be done and treatments that can be given to help Bre fight this disease, but as you know, those things can be financially draining- especially when Christine is, understandably, spending her time in the hospital with her daughter and not at work. That is why I'm asking you to consider making a donation of any size to help with the many expenses this family is now facing. You can make your donation right on this website by clicking the yellow donate button to the left and taking the simple steps that follow. If it is not in your budget at this time (and even if it is!), Christine and Breanna also gladly accept prayers! :) Thank you so much for your consideration and please feel free to spread the word by simply telling others, or by adding one of the below pictures to your webpage! God bless!

*(This post was written on behalf of Christine Mercantini, as she is trying to handle a multitude of other things at this time. You can continue to follow Breanna's progress by joining the Facebook group “Pray for Breanna” or by reading her journal at )*