Westfield Dad Could Truly Use Your Support

Darren Lederman 2Last January, Darren Lederman, 40, father to two beautiful children, Emma and Noah, and husband to Stacey (Katcher), was diagnosed with AML, acute myeloid leukemia, a rare bone cancer.  His heart was still recovering from the heart attack he had the year before but he still had to endure intensive chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant. But he was optimistic and ready for the fight. Finding a donor for the bone marrow was difficult since Darren’s mother, father, and only brother are all deceased. Then in May, he received a bone marrow transplant…from a total stranger. The family felt like a miracle had taken place. Darren had to be separated from his children for a month to prevent any possibility of infection and was out of work for long time which  added stress to an already stressful situation. The Ledermans biggest worry after the transplant was that Darren would contract GVHD (graft versus host disease, where the immune system of donor recognizes your organs. The complications and side effects from GVHD may be permanent and can sometimes lead to death. Sadly, their biggest fear came true: Darren had GVHD.

Darren LedermanThe Lederman family had a rough fall as Darren tried to gain back his strength and spent time away from his family, in and out of the hospital. By December, Darren was frail and only 84 pounds, unable to walk and unable to hold food down. He is now suffering from a life-threatening infection in his blood. He is being closely monitored as medicines for one infection can increase the other infections. Then Darren fell this week and broke a rib. The only way for him to heal is to rest, but the steroids he is on causes major muscle deterioration so he’s supposed to walk as much as he can possibly can. He truly is in a fight for his life.

Throughout this ordeal, Darren and his wife, Stacey, try to be positive and hopeful and have been appreciative for any help that they have received from the family, friends and generous surrounding community. Darren’s illness has brought on serious financial worries since he has been out of work so long so friends of the Ledermans have set up a fund on YouCaring.com to help them with their bills. You can learn more about the Ledermans story and stay updated on Darren’s health through their Facebook page.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."

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