I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend, Jennifer Mahr, who passed away on March 24, 2011 due to a short battle with leukemia (AML), a progressive cancer of the blood.
“She was diagnosed with leukemia on February 14, 2011 and hospitalized since February 17th. She received two initial chemo treatments and seemed to be doing well in spite of the pain associated with the treatment. On March 13th, she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) due to trouble breathing and was intubated. She remained in the ICU and was treated for two bacterial infections and pneumonia. Because of the disease and chemo, she was extremely immunocompromised. By March 21st, she began bleeding in her right lung which resulted in lung damage and a ventilator was doing 100% of her breathing. While the doctors were able to stop the bleeding with a platelet infusion, she then had major cerebral hemorrhage. Tests showed no brain activity and after consultations with neurologists and various doctors, her family had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off the ventilator, so she would not continue to suffer.”
Jennifer and I met freshmen year in college while working in the admissions office. We hit it off right away and remain good friends ever since. Jennifer is one of the sweetest and kindest person I know and whenever we saw each other, it was like no time had passed between us and we were freshmen again.
As I was away and her illness came suddenly, I was not aware of the suffering Jennifer was going through. I am so sorry I could not be there for my friend, but I am very grateful she was surrounded by friends and family as she went away peacefully. There is nothing more devastating than loosing a daughter, a sister, or a close friend at such a young age.
Jennifer, I love you always and will always remember our good times together. May you rest in peace.
Every day, 118 people are diagnosed with leukemia and 60 lose the fight. It strikes both males and females of all ages and races.