“My immediate reaction was complete shock, because you never really think it could happen to you,” said 19 year-old Brooke Patton. “It was as if I was in a horrible dream.”
Patton and her family from Indus, Alberta, will always remember Jan. 16, 2012, for the news Patton would receive, would forever alter her life. Doctors diagnosed Patton with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
AML is a type of cancer that begins inside the bone marrow, the soft tissue inside the bones that helps form blood cells. The cancer grows from the cells that would usually turn into white blood cells. Acute meaning that this type of cancer develops quickly.
Admitted into the hospital Jan.17, Patton, went through two treatments of chemotherapy, each lasting a month per treatment. Patton recently started her third round earlier this week. Hopefully it will be the last and final round of chemo. Unfortunately, chemo will not cure AML, but will put a halt to the spread of the cancer.
“In order for the type of cancer I have to be cured, I am in need of a Bone marrow/Stem cell transplant,” said Patton.
The first to be tested are siblings. The chance of a sibling match is only 35 percent.
“Unfortunately my brother was not a match so with the help of One Match, I am hoping to find an unrelated Bone marrow/Stem cell donor,” said Patton. “Which will provide me with the much needed life saving gift I need to beat this cancer.”
Patton has yet to find a match, but is remaining hopefull with the easy process to test for a match. Signing up takes a total of seven minutes.
“If someone wants to be tested all they need to do is go to OneMatch.ca,” said Patton. “Then sign up, you-will receive a swab kit, which you simply swab your cheeks and send it back. So easy.”
Patton has been involved in rodeo for as long as she can remember. Patton said that her passion for life is her horse and being able to barrel race. Being so active in the rodeo world, Patton is well known and everyone is trying to help find her match.
The rodeo community incorporated events at the Delburne High School Rodeo, 6th Annual Broncs & Honky Tonks in Medicine Hat and the Cardston High School Rodeo, this past month. Trying to get as many parents, kids and others to sign up, because of the importance of finding Patton a match.
“Being diagnosed for one, has really made me realize who my real friends are,” said Patton. “Also what is most important in life. It’s made me realize most importantly how precious life is and how easily it can be taken away from you.”
Patton was accepted into Olds College to start the Veterinary Technical Assistant program this fall. Patton said unfortunately due to the transplant, she will not be able to attend school.
“I just think to myself, this is something I have been faced with and must over come just as everyone else has something they must over come,” said Patton. “I am human though and at times I do have my moments where I am down but not out.”
Let’s help Patton get back where she belongs, out of the hospital and back on her horse and attending college. It does not matter if you live in Canada or the United States; just go to One Match and follow the steps. You could be the match that Patton needs to defeat AML.
“My good friend Quinn Hawk gave me a saying that I often remember when times seem to get a little rough,” said Patton.
“Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – Author Unknown.