As you may have already read in my previous post, Mary and Grant, I met Grant Hebert when he was dating my cousin, Mary. He sadly passed away shortly after from leukemia. His story inspired me to become a regular blood donor and I had just signed up to receive my bone marrow registry kit when I found out I had blood cancer myself. Although I didn’t know him well, Grant made a huge impact on my family and he is one of the people I am training and fundraising in honor of for my team-in-training program to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Not only was yesterday St. Patrick’s Day, but it would have been Grant’s 24th birthday. If everyone who reads this could just take a few minutes to think about Grant and his family and keep them in their prayers, I would appreciate it!
Also, if you are interested in becoming a bone marrow donor to help people like Grant, please visit www.marrow.org.
Most of all, I want to say, “Happy Birthday, Grant!”
His mother Missy, was kind enough to write this message about Grant for my blog.
Grant Thomas Hebert was diagnosed at the age of 14 with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He experienced flu like symptoms and began to run a fever. He bravely endured 2 and a half years of chemotherapy. He achieved remission and went on to graduate from Berwick High School in 2007. He went on to attend Nicholls State University. He was enjoying life as always and met the girl of his dreams, Mary. He was busy making plans for a bright future when symptoms returned and he relapsed in 2009. He began chemo again with his usual unsinkable attitude. After two different evaluations, it was determined that a stem cell transplant was his last, best hope. Though he had a twin brother, Adam, his younger sister Morgan was a perfect donor match. He underwent painful radiation treatment and heavy chemo in preparation for the transplant. Sadly, he lost his noble battle in November of 2009 at the age of 20.
Grant lived with joy and loved with all of his heart. He sang at the top of his lungs to his favorite songs and laughed and smiled through the very worst of times. He never stopped believing he would beat the cancer until the moment he entered the ICU at Children’s Hospital for the last time. He took my hand and his dad’s and brought our hands to his lips. He kissed us goodbye that night. Three years later we are still trying to learn how to live without him.
The importance of donation and bone marrow registry cannot be underestimated. Someone’s life, a child’s life, can depend on your generosity. Grant lived with cancer for over 5 years. Without treatment and most importantly donations of blood products we would not have had that precious time with our beautiful baby boy.