Aug
0

365 Days

Lea Ann Stiller, Matt Farrow and Emily Curry

365 Days

I can’t believe it has been a year ago that we had to say goodbye to “OUR” Natalie.

This past year has been one of change, acceptance, faith, and hope. During this journey, that I thought would be unbearable, I have learned so much. One of the most amazing things was that Natalie had touched so many peoples’ lives in such a short time period. I have been blessed by having the opportunity to meet some of those people in person.

This blog is dedicated to one of those individuals, Matt Farrow. For many of you that will read this, you already know who he is. For those who don’t,  I will attempt to give you a brief glimpse into his life. Matt has Fanconi Anemia, like Natalie did. Matt had a perfect matched sibling, born just a couple of months after Natalie’s match, Emily,  in 1988. Matt had the first umbilical cord blood transplant 11 months prior to Natalie’s in the same hospital in Paris by the same doctor. Matt and Natalie never had the opportunity to meet. She often spoke of Matt and always wanted to meet him. Fortunately, this past year has given me the opportunity to meet Matt. He is as wonderful as I had always envisioned him to be.  Full of love, optimism, and promise!

Prior to Natalie’s death, I made her a promise to never leave the field of umbilical cord blood. I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work for the world’s best cord blood company, CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank. Here, I was reunited with all of the pioneers of the cord blood industry, including the founder, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer,  and also Matt Farrow. The entire team is fabulous and I feel very blessed to be working with them everyday to change, save, and improve lives.

I know there is a very happy Angel watching and smiling from Heaven.

Natalie,

Thank you for showing all of us how to live, love, and laugh… even during the most difficult times.

Love and miss you everyday!

MOM

 

 

 

Jan
0

Letter to God

Hello,

For many of you that will receive this blog, this will not be a shock or surprise. Natalie passed away peacefully on August 30, 2012. She was surrounded by her very loving and devoted family. We had the opportunity to hold her hands while she entered into eternal life and became an official Angel. Her battle with cancer that she was blogging about turned into non-specific interstitial lung disease. To the best of our knowledge, cancer did not play any part of this dreaded condition, but was possibly caused by the side effects of her procedure to remove the esophageal cancer. During her lifetime there were many medical battles, all of which she won….with the exception of this. Natalie endured so much pain, heart-break, and suffering but managed to see the beauty in life. She was a very gifted writer and loved poetry. Days prior to her onset of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), she drafted this poem;

Letter to God

I said my prayers today

I’ll say them tomorrow too

I say them all the time

You have many to sort through.

 

Where do I start and when do I stop.

Just point the direction to go

Please help to guide me through.

If I don’t ask, how will you ever know?

 

You calm my fears, you control my heart…

Natalie’s spirit and soul will live on in the ones that love her beyond words. One of the promises we made Natalie, if anything ever happened to her, we would continue to spread the word on the importance of umbilical cord blood and the promise of stem cells. With that being said, more blogs will be posted in her memory.

We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year!

The family of Natalie Curry

Jun
4

Be A Hero- Become A Donor Foundation

Me, Gina and Carolyn

Me, Gina and Carolyn

After I read about families who are suffering through devastating diseases I can be found sobbing for hours in the darkness of my room. I feel the pain right through to my bones as my heart seems to sink to the pit of my stomach. It is in these times that I really understand that my family has been one of the lucky ones, I realize why I’m still here and I vow to myself to never give up and to keep on fighting.

To keep fighting for all the pain they have or will have to endure. I truly believe that everyone deserves to have the same chances I have received. And I will not stop until Cord Blood becomes a household name and is known in every country, hospital, and physicians office.

Earlier this month I had the honor of traveling to southern California and Las Vegas to promote cord blood awareness along side of Cord Blood America. In this journey I met some wonderful people and learned more then I even imagined possible.

I would like to share with you an extremely brave and passionate person I met on this trip. I sympathize with her and her beautiful family as they lost a dear loved one, a son, a brother and a sparkling spirit in Evan Cousineau. Evan lost his battle one day short of his 10th birthday and when I met his mother Gina it was clear he is still very much alive in her. Learn about Evans story- http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/evancousineau/mystory

It is stories like Evans that keep me fighting, it is mothers like Gina that I cry for and wish I could take away the pain. In honor of Evan, Gina has started a wonderful foundation- Be A Hero-Become A Donor Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to encourage people to donate blood on a regular basis. Gina is in hopes that the foundation will help provide a since of hope for other families struggling with a medical crisis. Please help support Gina and her family on their incredible life saving mission visit: http://bahbad.org/home/

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Apr
4

Where Passion Comes From

Right now I am staring out the window at the beautiful skyline of New York City. With tears in my eyes, I think about all of the things I have accomplished in my life and recall everything I’ve over come. I think about the hard times life has taken me through and all of the things that have made and will make me smile! What I sometimes forget is how suddenly it can all change.  After spending the last week in the hospital due to complications from a routine surgery,  I realize all over again how lucky I am.

All I can think about is, how can I help? How can I use everything I’ve experienced to help others? Luckily for me I know the answer; help raise awareness for cord blood preservation.  It breaks my heart to think.  had things not gone as well as they did last week I may not have been able to keep helping!  This is where it comes from, my passion that is. It comes from knowing the pain of the suffering from seeing first hand the effect it has on the family’s and from knowing that any second could be the last.

PLEASE help me in my mission to raise awareness! Cherish every second with your loved ones, relish in every minute spent doing what you love and NEVER take for granted your life!

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Nov
0

Finding YOUR Inspiration

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

“Each person’s  life is like the pattern of a mosaic. Each thing that happened to you is like one tiny stone in the mosaic and each tiny stone fits into the perfected pattern of the mosaic of your life which has been designed by God. I pray that I may trust the designer.”- Hazelden’s Classic

Today at work I had an incredibly stimulating conversation with a co-worker. We talked about the ups and downs of life, living with the fear of the unknown and how everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes life throws you curve balls and often times when you are least expecting it. In the end we came to the conclusion that life is about taking risks, don’t be afraid to jump right in!  

I found extreme inspiration and comfort today in the most unexpected  of  places. For me life is about taking that inspiration and sharing it with others. When you are having a rough day and you feel like giving up just remember, NOTHING ever stays the same! Inspiration is all around you, if you look you will see it!

Natalie Curry

Sep
5

The Ride to far Away

Justin and I on the Caribbean Cruise

Justin and I on the Caribbean Cruise

I want to share with you a story that will be found in my upcoming book.

“The Ride To Far Away”

The year was 1989 and one family traveled to the distant place of Paris, France. One dad, one mom, one grandma and two sisters embarked upon what would be the trip of a lifetime.  When I was four years old we went to Paris for my cord blood transplant. “Why Paris” you ask? Paris had more experience with transplants of this kind and had much higher success rates. I don’t recall much of my families trip to Paris but there is one event that has never escaped my mind. In the US my mom was always with me, she was at every test, and every doctors visit. Of course I was only an infant and in the US it was very common for parents to be with their children 100% of the time.

I’ll never forget when the day had come for me to receive my radiation. This was the day that would determine weather I would be traveling home in a coffin or in the comfort of my moms arms. The radiation treatment was going to take place in a different hospital across town. Mom had made preparations to go with me to receive my treatment. When the morning arrived for us to leave the doctors informed her she would NOT be going with me,and that it was against there protocol.

With this news mom became very upset.  She knew that this could be the last time she got to give me a hug and a kiss and tell me she loved me. She knew that this could be the last time she ever saw me alive. With this huge reality sinking in the once invincible woman sat down on the edge of my hospital bed and began to cry. Up to this point in my life I had never seen her cry.

Very early in my life, practically as soon as I could talk, my Grandma J taught me how to pray. She would say “lets talk to Jesus.” We’d get down on our knees, fold our hands and close our eyes. We would pray of happy things,  to make every body safe and we would pray for my sisters at home, whom I missed so much.

When mom sat down and began to cry, I didn’t cry and I wasn’t scared. I simply said “Mommy they can keep you from going, but they can never keep Jesus from going and holding my hand.”

Mom didn’t get to go with me that day. And as you already know the radiation was a success. Now I am sitting here today very much enjoying my life! None of this would have been possible without my family and the miracle found inside of Emily’s Cord Blood.

When I was 12 I wrote a poem about this experience.

“The Ride To far Away”

It’s only ten hour away
when the men with the white coats
will come to take me away from my Mommy.
As I watch her cry I try to be a big girl.
I feel sad and I wonder is she trying to tell me goodbye ?
She tells me she can’t go with me
and hold me hand tomorrow when they take me to get that thing
they call radiation.
I listen to her words but all I notice is that sad look on her face.
She tells me they won’t let her go with me
on the ride to far away. She says it will be hard
because the men in the white coats all speak a different way
she says I won’t understand but then I stop her I guess she forgot
“Mommy they can keep you from coming but they can never keep
Jesus from going and holding my hand”
as they rolled me away I felt a big hug
then I heard Mommy say “Jesus take care of my baby”

There is more of this story and many others that can be found in my new upcoming book.

PLEASE let me know what you think!!

You can help raise awareness of cord blood preservation by tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and spreading the word to everyone you know.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Sep
0

Meet Chassy……Stem Cell Therapy For Dogs!!!

Meet Chassy from Natalie Curry on Vimeo.

Meet my little baby, Chassy, and learn how stem cell therapy is being used to treat animals!!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Aug
1

“Health Insurance should be a RIGHT not a FIGHT”-Senator Kennedy

Senator Kennedy

Senator Kennedy

Sadly our country lost a great man yesterday and the Kennedy family has suffered yet another tragic loss. Senator Kennedy was a good man and a great politician. He stood for so many important things but most importantly he stood for the equality of the American people. He believed that every American was entitled to health insurance. He felt that there should be no discriminating factors that could determine ones right to receiving health insurance.

Anyone who has ever been to a see a doctor or just had simple blood work done knows how tough health insurance companies can be. For me I can especially relate since it has been a constant battle my entire life. When Mom and Dad were making preparations for my cord blood transplant in the late 80′s my insurance claim was denied OVER and OVER again. The insurance companies stated that since “I wasn’t on my death bed”, yet, it wasn’t necessary for me to have a transplant so they kept denying to pay.  Without a transplant I was going to die, it was only a matter of time. My parents refused to take “no” for an answer, so they hired an attorney to fight a legal battle with the insurance company. The insurance company ended up paying for a portion of my transplant. With the help of close family and friends mom and dad got the funding they needed to make my transplant successful.

Unfortunately many people are not as lucky as I was. Many of them die fighting the battle against their insurance companies because they run out of time and succumb to their illness. 

Cord Blood banking is not yet being covered by insurance companies. However the good news is that now some insurance companies are beginning to consider covering cord blood banking. Hopefully in the near future many insurance companies will be able to provide families with assistance in banking their child’s cord blood.

As the late great senator Kennedy said “Insurance should be a
right NOT a Fight!”

You opinions are VERY important to me, please let me know your thoughts.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Aug
1

Can you hear me? Cord blood treats hearing loss!

Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

 Today when you walk outside you will likely hear the sound of cars or the sound of people passing by or the sound of the door closing behind you. These are all sounds that you hear and don’t even realize it. But sadly for many people if they heard these sounds they wouldn’t recognize them.  To them these sounds are not real.

My entire life I suffered from hearing loss in both of my ears.  I tried for years to wear hearing aids, but  never had much luck with them.  When  they weren’t falling out they were causing a distracting beeping noise that you could hear across the room. School was difficult because I heard about 50% of what teachers said and understood about 20% of that.  Hearing became a struggle in many aspects of my life. By the time I was three years old I learned how to read peoples lips.  This is a skill that I relied heavily on for the majority of my life.

I had surgery on my right ear when I was 10 years old in hopes of improving my hearing. Sadly the surgery was unsuccessful and the recovery was anything but smooth. Imgaine having a tooth ache and an ear infection that won’t go away and that it is what it felt like.  I was extremely disappointed but did not given up hope that someday something would work.

In 2004 when I was 19 years old, the time had finally arrived.  My doctor surgically placed a tiny screw into my skull behind my right ear.  Three months later I attached a small device called a BAHA to the screw. The BAHA can be easily removed and works for both ears. With the BAHA I have near perfect hearing.

Dad went with me to the Doctors office and he nearly cried when we both realized that the new procedure had worked.  It was one of the most amazing days of my life. I will never forget the feeling I had the first time I actually heard what running water sounded like, or the sound of footsteps and the sound of birds chirping.  I didn’t realize how bad my hearing loss was until I could hear everything.

There are nearly 250 million people world wide who suffer from some form of deafness. Unfortunately there is no cure for deafness. The EXCITING NEWS is that recently scientist have begun research using stem cells to cure deafness.  This research is in the very early stages but has been showing very promising signs!

Just thinking about all of the miracles stem cells can provide gives me chills.  The richest form of stem cells can be found in a babies umbilical cord blood.  There is no reason why people shouldn’t save the cord blood. It is discarded as medical waste and is NOT in any way harmful to the mother or child. By saving it you could be saving a life or giving someone a chance to see or hear.

Next time you hear the sound of a loved ones voice saying “I love you” or you hear your favorite song on the radio, imagine what it would feel like to not hear it.

PLEASE HELP ME spread the word about the importance of cord blood preservation!! You CAN HELP by tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and telling everyone you know!

Together We CAN Help save lives,

Natalie Curry

Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterbri/367973928/

Aug
0

Is Cord Blood Banking Expensive?

Image courtesy of D.O.A http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_o_a/

Image courtesy of D.O.A http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_o_a/

While raising awareness for cord blood preservation I have spoken to many different people. I often times encounter the same question. ” Isn’t it really expensive?” The answer is NO.  But then again, can you put a price on a life?

The cost of private cord blood banking can rang anywhere from $800 to $3,000 depending on the cord blood bank.  However most banks offer very reasonable payment plans.  It is a small price to pay to ensure that your babies cord blood will be used at your decression. 

Let me ask you this: “Do you have a cell phone?” “Do you watch cable?” ”Do you go on vacations?” These are all things you CAN live without! Now let me tell you what you would find unbearable to live without: YOUR FAMILY! Currently the stem cells found in cord blood can treat 75 different diseases.  This doesn’t  include the revolutionary research being conducted every day which is increasing this number!

  If you cannot afford to privatly bank the cord blood then you have  the option of public cord blood banking.   With this option you can donate the blood to research or choose to have it stored in hopes of it being a match for someone.

I cannot express to you how lucky I am to have parents who loved me enough to know the value of this life saving resource!  Everyday I make it my mission to educate people about cord blood. Without it I wouldn’t be living…..and I don’t mean just living I am living, and pursuing all of my dreams.  When I count all my blessings I get a smile on my face.

DON’T throw life away, SAVE a life, SAVE the Cord!

Please help me spread awareness of this incredible miracle! You can help by updating your status on facebook and twitter!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

WordPress SEO