A Family Overcoming Goodpasture's Disease & Leukemia

Two months after giving birth to her fourth child, Rachel Amato-Van Atta was diagnosed with kidney failure as a result of Goodpasture’s disease. Soon after, one of her children would start his battle with Leukemia.

Rachel, a MedicAlert member, and her family were forced to face a pair of challenges most families cannot begin to imagine.

Potential Kidney Failure and Coping with Dialysis

While nursing her new baby, Rachel had to contend with the fact that her kidneys were failing, and the well-being of her husband and their four children was in the balance. She was placed on a transplant list, and for 18 months underwent dialysis three times each week for five hours a treatment.

After exhaustive testing and preparation, Rachel’s brother, Christopher, was found to be a transplant match. The transplant was delayed until January 2009, so that Christopher and his wife could await the birth of their own child before having to endure the surgery.

Diagnosed with Leukemia: A New Challenge

The transplant was a success! The Amato-Van Atta family had only a brief respite, though, before they were once again challenged to the brink. Their three year old child Andrew, twin to Alexander, was diagnosed with Leukemia Rachel and her family then embarked on the greatest challenge of their lives, while Andrew suffered through chemotherapy treatments for three and a half years.

He underwent nine blood transfusions within the first six months after his diagnosis. He travelled to Lucille Packard Institute to undergo as many as four chemo treatments per week. He wore a chest port for three years, endured lumbar punctures and was hospitalized every three months as a result of his small body’s inability to counter the harsh treatments.

The medical odyssey that Andrew and Rachel experienced culminated on August 29, 2012, when Andrew’s doctor’s declared: Andrew was in full remission from Leukemia.

MedicAlert, More Than a Medical ID

While mom Rachel is now well, both she and Andrew require a level of care and protection in the event of emergency that only MedicAlert can provide, which includes MedicAlert's 24/7 Emergency Response services. Both take medications on an on-going basis, and both have contraindications that must be known for safe and appropriate treatment in the event of emergency.

In Rachel’s own words:

“My heart is filled with such love and gratitude for providing me and my son such a gift. The gift of peace in my heart…It’s been a horrendous few years, but we’ve survived, we’re together and proof that you never give up.”

Consider making a tax-deductible gift today to help others like Rachel and Andrew who truly need the protection and comfort of a MedicAlert membership.

Director of Advancement, MedicAlert Foundation
Mr. Mitre has over 10 years in lead administrative capacities with non-profit, educational and healthcare organizations. Currently he serves in the leadership role managing all philanthropic programs for U.S. operations. Victor connects donors, partners and friends to MedicAlert Foundation through philanthropy.