We first met Sandra Gantt during the 2012 holiday season, shortly after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Sandra was in the last trimester of her pregnancy. Doctors at UC Davis Medical Center carefully coordinated her cancer and prenatal care. A healthy daughter, Karissa, was born on December 27, 2012. The family remained at Kiwanis Family House through the end of January 2013. After two years in remission, Sandra’s leukemia returned. Calendar year 2015 has seen her in and out of UC Davis Medical Center for blood transfusions and chemotherapy. On October 10 – Sandra and Anthony’s fifth wedding anniversary – Anthony once again checked into Kiwanis Family House with his two children.
As we approach another holiday season, Sandra and her doctors at UC Davis are scheduling a bone marrow biopsy. If she is approved for a transplant, she will remain hospitalized for a month afterward. “Every time I talk about it or think about it, it is a lot to deal with,” Sandra says of their challenges. “But to finally have my family here and able to stay at Kiwanis while I am at the hospital, it is a huge weight off my shoulders. It all seems easier with them here. Just the fact that Kiwanis is here is a lifesaver,” concludes Sandra. Her comment reinforces a message we often share to our supporters: The hospitals save lives. Kiwanis Family House saves families.