Sweet's is FIVE!! In some ways, it feels like I started this journey just yesterday; in others it feels like forever ago. Oh, how I've loved experiencing it all! (Except for Quickbooks.)
Our beginnings are very much a "lemonade out of lemons" story. My husband Ed was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) just a couple of weeks after we got married.
It's because of Ed that Sweet's exists. I learned about elderberry syrup as a way to help support his immune health, and never in a million years imagined we would be where we are today with our business.
If you're going to get a cancer diagnosis, CML is one of the least horrible because it is very treatable with TKI therapies. All Ed has to do is take a pill (a ridiculously expensive one) every night for the rest of his life, and he can live a normal life span.
Before these treatments were approved about 20 years ago, a bone marrow transplant was the only option for patients with CML. Ed's leukemia has been undetectable for many years, and I often think about how incredibly blessed we are with a fairly easy treatment. He's experienced minimal side effects and still has many available treatment options should this one fail.
For others with leukemia and conditions where your bone marrow stops working properly and fails to produce enough healthy blood cells, a bone marrow transplant is the only treatment option. One example of this is Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
My friend Lauren Palmer's son Jennings was diagnosed with AML when he was two years old. His four year old sister was a match. The transplant was a success, and he was cancer-free for 2.5 years.
Jennings relapsed last year, and will have a second bone marrow transplant this week, with his dad as the donor. I've been praying for this sweet little boy for years now. Will you please join me in praying that this transplant brings complete healing?
Not everyone has a family member who is a bone marrow match. In the rare event that Ed needs a transplant someday, it's likely his brother would be a match. Without a match, patients won't live for very long. That is why joining the Be The Match registry is so important.
I joined when I was 18, and it would be the ultimate bucket list check-off if I were ever to get called that I was a match. Could you even imagine being able to help someone like that - literally giving them the gift of life?! And what's really cool is that it all grows back (unlike donating a kidney where you're left with just one) - your body doesn't even miss it!
Every March, we celebrate Sweet's anniversary with "Sweetsgiving" as a way to give back to our community. This year, it just feels right to hold a bone marrow drive to honor Jennings.
So, if you're between ages 18-44 (which HELLO, is my age!) I BEG YOU TO PLEASE SIGN UP TO BE ON THE REGISTRY.
Simply fill out the online form requesting a swab kit by mail, swab of the inside of your cheek, mail it back, and be committed to follow through if you're ever lucky enough to be contacted that you're a match.
If you're over age 44, you can still sign up, but there is a $100 cost involved. Another fantastic way you can be involved is by spreading the word!
Join us through this link: http://join.bethematch.org/MatchWithSweets
And thank you, thank you, thank you for the support over the last five years. Words can't describe my gratitude!!