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one of a kind: adam skorka

April 8, 2010

Passion Sunday was the beginning of a bitter passion for the Skorka family.  Unfortunately, their passion did not end on Good Friday, as Christ’s did.   Their youngest son Adam has been diagnosed with a rare, very aggressive form of leukemia.  The situation is complicated due to Adam’s status as a transplant patient, having received a new liver from his mother a year or so ago, on top of his having a mitochondrial disease .

Holy Week and Easter have been a whirlwind for Joe, Katie and their family, as they were whisked away to the Pittsburgh hospital where Adam receives care for his disease and had the transplant surgery.  The Skorkas have been amazing prayer warriors for my family during our darkest hours, and so I am asking you, reader, to join us as we storm heaven for little Adam and his family.  They are in such desperate need for prayers!!!

Below is Adam’s carepage update from Good Friday.  You can continue to follow his journey on carepages, as well as read about his incredible journey thus far: Adam Skorka Carepage

One Of A Kind

We unexpectedly met the the head oncologist this afternoon. He had the results of the bone marrow test and confirmed that the Burkitt cells are there and this is now leukemia.
So PTLD is a rare complication for transplant patients to begin with. PTLD which turns out to be Burkitt’s type is rarer. For the PTLD-Burkitts to be a leukemia has only been reported a handful of times. Actually, the doc says fewer than 5 he thinks. THEN for the rare PTLD Burkitts leukemia to be in a mitochondrial patient is unique. There is no other patient like Adam in the world! This oncologist is one of the best of the best and could not find any cases like this and has consulted other experts and none of them could find one like Adam either. We are in unchartered territory to be sure.
This leukemia is the fastest growing type in humans. It is highly aggressive. The doc says Adam probably did not have this in his body 2 months ago. The cells double daily.
We were bombarded with information this afternoon and I wasn’t going to update tonight to let us process a little longer but we desperately need your prayers.
This cancer will be treated aggressively. However, they cannot treat it as aggressively as they would for a non-transplant patient. Let alone one with mitochondrial disease. This would normally warrant the most aggressive treatment they ever use but they need to tone it down some. It will be a difficult balance. The doc admits he does not know what to expect and can’t give us a survival rate or anything as Adam is alone in this category. Chemo will start in the morning and the regimen will the same for 7 days and then we will reevaluate.
He’s not convinced that there is no brain involvement so Adam will have an MRI on Easter Sunday.
There are no words to explain how we feel and I’m not even going to try. We only ask for your continued prayers and thank you.
Love, Joe and Katie

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