Melina’s Story

Hi! My name is Melina Elizabeth Wachter and I was born on October 28, 2003 at 5:46 am. I came so fast that Mommy didn't think that we were going to make it to the hospital. But, with my daddy driving, we made it with about 30 minutes to spare. I was welcomed into the world by my mommy, daddy and my big sister, Olivia, who was 2 1/2 at the time.

I was a very happy baby and enjoying life ever so much until Saturday, February 7, 2004. I was 3 months old. That is the day that everything changed for me and my family. Mommy and Daddy were told that I had Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ~ CANCER! My white blood cell count broke a record at Children's Hospital Colorado, it was 1.3 million. Along with my leukemia, 2 of my chromosomes traded places and I would need a Bone Marrow Transplant to survive. Lots of information to absorb and the trickiest thing of all was to keep me alive long enough to get the transplant. I was a very sick little girl and almost died that night. Mommy and Daddy called all of our family and told them to pray hard and a priest came and gave me last rights. With lots of love and prayers, I pulled through. I spent four days in the PICU and was then moved to the Oncology floor where I immediately started Chemo treatment to get me into remission. Daddy, Mommy and Olivia were tested to see if they were a bone marrow match, but they weren't. I was put on the national and international list to hopefully find a match that would save my life. After a while, a match was found ~ a cord blood from Milan, Italy.


After lots of hospital stays, chemo, RSV, 2 bouts of paraflu and full body radiation I was ready for my transplant. Mommy and I headed into the hospital on June 18, 2004, my mommy's 26th birthday. And, on June 23, 2004, at 7 months old, I received my life-saving Bone Marrow Transplant.

Things were going really great and after 3 weeks in the Bone Marrow unit, the docs were thinking of letting me go home. Then, just that fast, I started having respiratory problems and ended up in the PICU again. We were there for a few days, then back to the Bone Marrow Unit. But, not for long. I was not getting any better, actually getting worse, so back down to the PICU we went. Eventually, I was put on a ventilator and placed into a drug induced coma so that my lungs could start to heal. Although it became evident that I wasn't going to get better. On September 7, 2004, exactly 7 months from diagnosis, with my family around me, I became an angel. I was 10 months old.