Dear Friends,
We urgently need your help.
My name is April and in April of 2022 at 57 years of age, my husband Dennis was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare life-threatening autoimmune disease.
His bone marrow stopped producing platelets and he has required over 120 platelet transfusions and 80 red cell/hemoglobin transfusions. He underwent four-weeks of ATG treatment, where antibodies from a horse were used to try and kickstart his own antibodies. Unfortunately, that was not successful. He has taken oral chemotherapy for almost a year with no improvement. The only known cure for severe aplastic anemia is a bone marrow transplant. Dennis was put on a list for a stem cell transplant donor and a match was found, however, the donor backed out at the last minute. A second match was found and we are counting our lucky stars; it’s not always possible to find a suitable donor.
My husband has been a union worker: a proud steelworker. He is the primary income earner providing for our household. Dennis hasn’t worked since being diagnosed. He is receiving monthly support from Canada Pension Plan Disability, although that plus my part time income is not enough to cover our expenses. I am trying to get as much work as possible, but with doctor/hospital appointments 3-4 days a week and taking care of Dennis, it is difficult and just not enough.
Following Dennis’s bone marrow transplant, he will need medications on a monthly basis. Some of which are not covered, so we had to get Blue Cross insurance which covers a percentage of those medications. None the less, we cannot afford to pay the for the medications or the premiums.
This is a summary of our timelines:
- June 14, 2023 Dennis was admitted to the hospital for his transplant, which included ATG for 3 days
- Chemotherapy for 5 days
- full body radiation
- stem cell transplant on June 22
- he will remain in the hospital for an additional 3 weeks for recovery
- all going well, he’ll be discharged home and will require a caregiver 24/7 until at least 100 days from his transplant
- a full recovery will take 1–2 years.
I have to stop working and go on Employment Insurance Family Caregiver benefits to look after Dennis for those 100 days or longer if needed. Caregiver benefits are only a percentage of my current income, which is already not enough to cover our monthly expenses.
We urgently need financial assistance to help cover some “essential” expenses such as rent, food, medication, and transportation during Dennis’s recovery.
We want to thank all the amazing doctors, nurses and medical professionals who have been trying to help Dennis overcome this life-threatening disease. Because of their efforts and knowing that a stem cell transplant works more often than it does not, gives us hope, which we are trying our best to maintain.
Honestly, I would be impressed just to know you read this far. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your financial support and generosity. Regardless of the amount, every donation is a miracle, and a beacon of hope for us!
April & Dennis

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