At the age of three, Kambri’s parents began to notice changes in the health of their little girl. She started bruising easily, having nosebleeds and losing weight. Concerned, they sought help from her physician. Lab tests revealed news that they never could have prepared for: Kambri was diagnosed with Fanconi Anema, a blood disease that impacts all systems of the body. After exploring many other options, her medical team in Tulsa, Oklahoma explained that in order to treat this extensive and rare disorder, she would need a life-saving bone marrow transplant. This would require traveling across the country to Cincinnati Children’s, one of the few facilities capable of treating her disease.
Kambri said goodbye to her brother, sister, the rest of her family and friends and traveled almost 1,000 miles to Cincinnati. The road was long and her journey had only just begun. However, after a successful bone marrow transplant, Kambri was able to finish her recovery and stay across the street from the hospital in a room at our House. Although she must stay in isolation, it is a relief for her parents to be around other families who understand what she is going through. For her family, a room at our House is more than just a place to stay.
It has been amazing. We have made lifetime bonds with other families who each have their own story. We’ve laughed and cried so many times together. Since Kambri has to be in isolation, knowing she is safe and germ-free here has been such a blessing. Being far from everyone we know and all of our family was the scariest part, but having the House and the bonds we’ve formed with other guests has truly made this our home away from home.
For Kambri, the activities that our House offers have motivated her to get well. While she was still at the hospital recovering from her transplant, she learned that miniature therapy horses would be visiting our House. A huge horse lover, Kambri made it her goal to be discharged from the hospital so she could meet those horses! Instead of using the dry erase board in her room to list her appointments for the day, Kambri drew a picture of herself in her isolation mask with one of the horses. Kambri made her goal and was able to meet several of these amazing animals.
The bonds Kambri and her parents have formed fill the void of being far from her own family and friends. While she continues to recover, we are thankful that Kambri has a place to call home.