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9/6/2010 Update

We got Jamie's labs for this month and it looks like those platelets like hanging around at 21. Crazy enough that was his baseball number this year. All of his other counts are in normal range except for his Hemoglobin dipped to 10.0 (11-14) . Our nurse practioner says that it is not too uncommon and it may jump back next month. We are still in the waiting game and watching for headaches and nosebleeds that are lasting longer than 15 min. Dr. also says this a strange case and has not seen this before so we are just going to see what happens as long as Jamie is looking and feeling good.

School has started and all three boys are in school now. Jamie would love to play football but was advised not to by Dr. Margolis. He has been watching a lot of football and baseball lately and hopes to attend his first Viking game this year. Go Brett Farve!!!

I will continue you to keep you all posted. Have a great month.

NOTE FROM BRAD: Teri - maybe his coach can assign Jamie number 450 next year?? Good seeing everyone last week!

7/31/10 Update

Hello everyone. Summer is flying by and realized we have not done an update in awhile and we are starting to get some inquires. All three boys played baseball this year and all three were in different age groups, so we watched A LOT of baseball this summer. All three teams did well and the boys had fun.

We continue to get labs done on Jamie once a month and he continues to hold steady. Last lab showed platelets at 21; Hemoglobin at 11.2; and white cells at 5.1. Platelets still very low, but not dropping, and Jamie continues to feel and act good, so no plans to initiate the bone marrow transplant. Still cannot figure out why his platelets are so low and why we can't get them up, but we continue to enjoy every healthy day and pray they will go up on their own, just like they dropped.

Hope everyone is having a great summer and thanks for your continued support!

4/23/2010 Update

The months are going by so fast. We got Jamie's lab on the 20th again and they are pretty much the same. Everything is in the normal range except for those platelets which are at 23. Milwaukee continues to say that we need to wait it out and see what happens. Dr. Margolis is very cautious and says that going to transplant has many risks and since Jamie is living a normal life at this point, we need to do the waiting game from month to month. Most important is to watch Jamie to see if he has any bruising over the next month while he starts baseball.

Wbc 4.2
Hemo 11.2
plat 21
ANc 3087

Jamie has not really missed any school this year until this week. He seems to have flu like symptons and is home again today sleeping. Hopefully it will go away soon and the rest of the family will not get it since Uncle Brad and Grandma Karen are here from Florida.

Jesse and Jamie have already started practicing for baseball while Drew is busy playing outside with all his neighbor buddies. We welcome the nice weather and can not wait until school is out.

Please pray for fast healing for Will O'Brien who is a classmate of Jamie's.

3/31/2010 Update

We finally got Jamie's labs for the month of March. Again they stayed mostly the same with everything in the normal range except the platelets.

Tom and I touched base with Dr. Margolis to see what he thought. He still believes that we should stay in the "watchful waiting game". He feels since Jamie is acting healthy and his life is not being hampered by his platelets yet that we should just continue to get the monthly labs and see what happens. Dr. also suggested that we get an annual bone marrow examination for Jamie to see if anything is going on in there. We will be heading to Milwaukee as soon as that is set up.

The weather is finally getting nice out and Jamie has started baseball practice already. All the boys are so excited to be outside playing and ridng their bikes.

We hope everyone has a great Easter. Thanks for all your thoughts and wishes. Special prayers to Jamie's friend Will who is going on to the next part of his treatment for Melanoma. Hang in there!

The Strakas

2-26-10 Update

We got Jamie's monthly lab on Saturday morning and once again they have stayed pretty much the same. It is a good thing because it is actually a very bad time to do a transplant with all the sickness that is going around. I did talk to our nurse practitioner and she is trying to schedule a time for our family to go back to Milwaukee to discuss Jamie's situation.

We have also started the process of entering the research study at the National Institute of Health. It will require a lot of paperwork and maybe even a visit to Bethseda, Maryland to help us find out what is going on with Jesse's and Drew's cells. This process will take time and will be ongoing. Until next month...........

Thanks for all the prayers

The Strakas

1-20-10 Update

Jamie had a lab yesterday with the following results:

White cells 5.2 (normal 4.0-10.0)
Platelets 22 (normal 150-450)
Hemoglobin 10.2 (normal 11.0-14.0)

Since a donor match was found, many have asked when the transplant will take place. At this point we do not have a specific date. Dr. Margolis has advised us that we will begin the transplant process when one of two things happen:
(1.) Jamie's platelets fall to around 10, or
(2.) Jamie begins showing symptoms (spontaneous bleeding, feeling sick, petechiae etc..) which would require a platelet transfusion.

As you can see from his lab yesterday, his platelets are still extremely low. However, they have been in this same range for the last several months. It is our hope that he can at least maintain in this range for the next 6-8 weeks in order to get through the flu season. Bottom line is that Jamie's platelet count and/or how he is feeling will dictate when the transplant occurs. Once we get to that point, the donor match will have to go through several consultations and pass a physical to ensure they are still able to donate.

We have no identifying information regarding the donor match, but one year after the transplant the donor will be able to decide whether or not they wish to disclose who they are. For now, we continue to watch Jamie closely and get his labs every three to four weeks. It is a stressful waiting game, but having found a donor has been quite a relief.

As always, thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.


Well we have some GOOD NEWS. Dr. Margolis called and told us that there is a MATCH in the registry for Jamie. We are very relieved and thankful to hear this. Jamie has been having nosebleeds daily but is still feeling great. We will keep monitoring his counts and watch him for bruising. His platelets are getting lower so it is important that he not fall or wrestle around a lot. We will get his labs checked around the 20th again. He is back in school after 2 snow days last week.

We finally received information on Jesse and Drew this past Friday too. Jesse and Drew's genetic testing has finally come back and they are all NORMAL! That is good news but we still do not know why some of their cells are abnormal. Dr. Margolis would like us to speak with The National Institute of Health which is in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr M. talked to the NIH doctor and they still feel if Jamie needs the transplant that we should still use the Unrelated donor and not Jesse or Drew. We will be in contact with them this week.

I would also like to thank The Seton 8th Graders for all their hard work on the bone marrow drive. We will not know where the donor (match) is from or if it is from the Dubuque drive. There are no names given out and you can only meet them after 1 year if they become the donor.

We will update soon when we talk to NIH on what we will have to do there.

Thanks for all you prayers!!!!!!!!!

--Teri Straka

Link to 1/12/2010 Telegraph Herald Article Follow Up Today on Straka's

Link to 1/11/2010 Telegraph Herald Article Follow Up Today on Jamie

Bone Marrow Drive a Success!

The "My Three Sons Bone Marrow Drive" organized by the Seton 8th graders was a resounding success! The event was covered by numerous media outlets and received wonderful coverage on both tv and newspaper, which has already done wonders to raise awareness to the Registry.

Representative from the Bone Marrow Registry indicated that an average drive will draw 150-200 people. The largest drive they ever had drew over 700 people and was held at the University of Iowa. Representatives are estimating that the My Three Sons drive brought in over 900 people!!

The record breaking turn out is a well deserved tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Seton 8th graders to this event.

KWWL Channel 7 Coverage of Bone Marrow Drive

KCRG Channel 9 Coverage of Bone Marrow Drive

Link to Telegraph Herald Article Record Number Attend Bone Marrow Drive


Thanks to all who braved the elements to donate and all those who helped organize the event! Because it costs money to put all the samples into the registry, it may take some time to process the samples. When you are thinking about making any year end charitable donations, I hope you will put Be The Match on your list. Thank you and GOD BLESS! -- Brad

Song Artist: Bethany Dillon
Song: You Could Be The One
Video Composer: Courtney Weydert

For those who may have missed the Telegraph Herald article:

Link to Telegraph Herald Article Bone Marrow Drive



Hello all! We've had a lot of questions on this site regarding getting tested to be a match. Many people believe that donating blood or plasma is the same as a test. It is not. The only way to be a match is by registering. Thanks for all of the questions and help! All it takes is a simple cheek swab. You can register Friday 12/11 at HyVee or at:


Happy Thanksgiving!


Bone Marrow Donor Drive

Please copy and paste this link in your browser for details!


The bone marrow drive will be held Friday, December 11, 2009 at the Asbury location of Hy-Vee in the conference room/community center from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm


11/25/09 Thanksgiving Update

Jamie had another lab today and the results were pretty consistent with prior results: two cells fairly stable and one still slowly dropping. The results were as follows:

WBC: 5.3
Hemo: 10.5
Platelets 23

Jamie continues to feel and act fine, but he is starting to have the dreaded bloody noses, so we need to watch him a little more carefully. No new plan of action yet. Just continue to get labs every couple of weeks and continue to search the bone marrow registry for a match.

We also received the first round of test results on Jesse and Drew. The tests are done in "tiers" and the first tier did not show any abnormalities, which was good news. The second tier results should be received in another week or two. Until then, we continue to appreciate the healthy days and look forward to a great Thanksgiving with family.

10/22/09 Update: Results Not as Hoped

Since our last post, there have been some unexpected and unfortunate developments. A brief recap may be necessary to fully understand what has been happening. Jamie's platelets have been slowly dropping over the last several months. His other counts have remained fairly steady and safe. Even after consulting many other experts throughout the country, Dr. Margolis could not determine why Jamie's platelets were continuing to drop. The consensus of all the experts was that if his platelets continued to drop, another bone marrow transplant would be necessary.

In preparation for another transplant, Dr. Margolis wanted to conduct additional testing on Jesse and Drew. Because both were previously determined to be a donor match for Jamie, Dr. M wanted to determine which of the two most closely matched Jamie (we have always felt it a blessing to have two possible donor sources for Jamie). In order to accomplish this, samples were sent to a lab in Canada that could more closely analyze their DNA. Those test results initially came back with some strange results and Dr. M felt the samples could have become compromised during the testing procedures and wanted to do them over, which we did.

The second round of results have now come back and they confirmed the first results were in fact correct. The results indicate that both Jesse and Drew (Drew more so than Jesse) have some genetic abnormalities in their DNA which indicate a potential for their own bone marrow issues. So, instead of getting test results to determine who is the closest match to Jamie, we received results which now prevent either Drew or Jesse from being a donor for Jamie. Dr. M is now looking to the national bone marrow donor registry in an effort to locate a suitable match for Jamie.

At this point, we still have many more questions than answers. Teri took all three boys to Milwaukee today (10/22). Jamie provided additional samples in order to assist in the search to find a suitable match on the national registry. He also had a routine lab done which indicated Platelets at 28; WBC at 4.0; Hemo at 11.9.

Jesse and Drew provided samples for further testing in an attempt to more specifically diagnose their own conditions. We were told it could be three weeks before any results are received. Needless to say, it has been a tough week for the parents and family of the Straka boys! However, never wanting to end an update on a negative note, it is important to keep in mind that, at this point, all three boys are feeling fine and doing great. The trip to Milwaukee today for tests was the first day of school the boys have missed. Jamie just finished his basketball season and improved dramatically. Jesse has started Cub Scouts and is meeting new friends, and Drew continues find new ways to torment us and then make us all laugh on a daily basis. We cannot fixate on what the future may or may not bring, just take every healthy day for what it is.

We will update as soon as any new information is received.

NOTE FROM UNCLE BRAD: Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, and wishes sent on this website. If you want to do more, register at:


It’s a simple cheek swab with a Q-Tip. And it can help save lives. Thank you for your support and please spread the word.

Get on the List!

Did you get an email telling you of an update? If you didn't - you're not on the list! If you want to be on the update list email Brad@Straka.com (or use email link at left). We'll get you on the "J" list (all the cool people are doing it). --Brad

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