Brandon (7) & Brianna (5) Williams of Middlesex, NJ
David and Erica Williams live in Middlesex, NJ and have two beautiful and energetic children. Brandon is six and Brianna is three. Their lives were unexpectedly changed when both Brandon and Brianna were diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder called Fanconi anemia. It’s a rare disease that affects only 1 in 160,000 people. Brandon's bone marrow is failing and will undergo a bone marrow transplant this summer. Brianna isn't symptomatic but doctors predict she will experience bone marrow failure within the next few years.
Due to the rareness of this disorder, there are only two centers in the country that specialize in treatment of Fanconi anemia. The Williams’ have chosen The Fanconi Comprehensive Care Center at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital to manage the children’s care. Erica has not been able to seek employment because the kids’ medical appointments, insurance claims, and research consume all of her time. David provides the only source of income. Furthermore, their situation is not short-term. There is no cure for Fanconi anemia, even after transplant, therefore Brandon and Brianna will require proper and specialized healthcare for the rest of their lives. In 2014, David and Erica paid approximately $19,000 in out-of-pocket healthcare costs for the family.
Bow and arrow babies.
Imagine weeks of diagnostic testing, and repeatedly hearing “bone marrow.” What does that sound like to a first grade boy? Bow and arrow. It's the only thing that makes sense in his superhero obsessed world. One day Brandon asked, “Mommy, what’s wrong with my bow and arrow?” Since then, the parents affectionately coined their children bow and arrow babies.
Click here for a recent news coverage of Brandon and Brianna.
UPDATE PROVIDED FOR FASHION SHOW INSERT ON 4/22/16
Last July, Brandon underwent a bone marrow transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Steps Together helped make it possible for the entire family to uproot to Cincinnati. Seven months of treatment was tremendously challenging,but the family recognizes it would have been even harder had they not been able to remain together. Although Brianna isn’t experiencing symptoms, doctors predict her bone marrow will fail within the next few years, which would require the family to go through the transplant process all over again. Brandon’s blood disorder has been cured but there is no cure for Fanconi anemia. Brandon and Brianna will require proper and specialized healthcare for the rest of their lives. In 2014 & 2015, David and Erica paid a total of $52,000 in out-of-pocket healthcare costs for the family. Steps Together has helped alleviate some of these costs but more importantly, they’ve created an incredible support group that rallies, cheers, and inspires which is something that cannot be priced and in David and Erica’s eyes, will never be forgotten.
How can you help Williams Family?
In preparation for the enormous medical, travel and lodging expenses anticipated with each transplant, David and Erica are asking for your help in raising money for their fund. They appreciate whatever you would be able to offer to support their children. Funds will be used only to cover medical expenses, travel/lodging expenses and research.
- Click here to donate directly to the Williams Family. This donation is not tax deductible as it is not processed through our organization but instead goes direct to Williams family.
- Join and share their social media outlets as a show of support.
- Share and support the upcoming fundraisers when detailed below.
- Click here to order your in home kit to join the bone marrow registry.
- Host a fundraiser and contact Steps Together to have it detailed on this page.
- Click here to make a tax deductible donation to Steps Together. Steps Together is a Hillsborough based 501(c)(3) organization that assists families in our community facing a medical crisis. Steps Together assists all the families we detail.
- Should you wish to contact the Williams family directly, click here to email them.