“We are the Baidoo family, Mom, Dad, and three boys, Ethan 11, Ryan 9, and Zane 6. We want to share our story and hope that it inspires you to find it in your heart to help. This is how it began, my wife and I are carriers of the sickle cell trait, a trait that causes sickle cell disease. Carriers of the trait live a perfectly healthy life with no issues but with both parents as carriers, there is a 25% chance their children could be born with sickle cell disease; a blood disease that deprives the body of oxygen. This causes extreme pain, makes patients vulnerable to infections, and eventually destroys various organs.
Fortunately, our first child was not born with this disease, but in 2012 our second child was not so lucky. As a family we spent most of our time in emergency rooms, driving down to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and Hurley Medical Center in Flint, since there were no hospitals close to our Northern Michigan home that had the facilities to help him. It was a dark and difficult period of our life. Our baby would be having a pain crisis two to three times a week and there was nothing we could do to help but to drive a minimum of one and half hours to seek medical care. Treatment for him usually required blood transfusion and administration of pain medication through IV.
In 2013, when Ryan was one and a half, he qualified for a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully, Ethan was a perfect match! Now, after his brother’s selfless donation, Ryan is free of the disease and has enjoyed a normal childhood. This journey would have been impossible without the Ronald McDonald House. The transplant meant we had to stay close to the hospital for four months and, since we live in Mount Pleasant, it was impossible to commute to the hospital from home. Due to the strict requirement of the hospital, only one parent was allowed in the Ryan’s room. The Ronald McDonald House and the selfless workers, many of whom still work there today like Miss Jackie, Miss Irma, Mike, Linda, and the volunteers that came to cook and serve the families that live there, gave us all the comforts of home. Mike would even engage our oldest Ethan with books and toys! This made us forget our pain and eased our experience during the transplant.
We are so proud and happy to report that all three of our sons are doing well today! They are growing up to be strong, generous young men.”