It is pumpkin season. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts. You need a little pumpkin spice bread in your life too. It has chocolate chips. Need I say more?
Try it. Wrap yourself in a little Fall. As you pour the spices into the flour, soak up the scents of the season. When this bread is in the oven baking it smells like a little bit of heaven. Taste the best part of October slipping into November.
Rachel here (Chris gets the week off from typing). I wanted to find a seasonal recipe you’d want to pin (and this one has been all over Pinterest!). I added chocolate chips, because I thought you’d like chocolate chips. You see, I really want you to like this recipe. Like it so much that you will email it to your mom, share it on Facebook with your friends, tweet it to your tweeps. Because this post isn’t really about a delicious pumpkin spice bread with chocolate chips. It’s about Owen.
Owen Hogan is 2 and a half years old. He was born a short 10 weeks after our oldest boy, and they are buddies. When they last had a play date in April, Owen delighted in sharing his Thomas the Train set (showing how to hook Thomas up with a magnet so you could crank him up the hill on the pulley) and the boys took a wagon ride to the playground (where Owen decided to hang out on the swings, his favorite spot). His parents, Kathleen and Tim, were getting anxious about their new baby due within the next month and wondering how Owen would adapt to having a new brother in the house. We enjoyed our time together, the boys hugged good-bye, and we headed home thinking we’d be getting together again soon to enjoy the warming weather.
Two weeks after that play date, Owen was in the hospital.
Owen was diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder called severe Aplastic Anemia; a disorder in which the bone marrow stops producing enough blood cells. The disorder causes fatigue, easy bleeding, poor clotting, and makes it impossible for Owen’s body to fight infection on it’s own. Owen has been through multiple platelet and blood transfusions, treatment that required an intense in-patient hospital stay followed by three out-patient visits a week, a PICU stay, and numerous admissions to the emergency room for infections, fever, and bleeding. His brother, Ethan, was born during Owen’s first hospital stay. Owen is an awesome big brother.
The initial treatment for Owen’s Aplastic Anemia was an intense immunosupressive therapy. This meant that Owen was given drugs to further reduce his immune system, so that it would stop attacking his bone marrow and allow his body to start to make healthy blood cells again. After 6 long months it was determined that Owen’s body was not responding to therapy.
Now Owen’s best chance at beating Aplastic Anemia is a bone marrow transplant. A transplant from a perfectly matched donor would mean Owen has a 80 %-90% chance of survival.
As of today, Owen does not have a perfectly matched donor.
If Owen’s system becomes too weak to wait for a perfectly matched donor, his doctors will proceed with a bone marrow transplant from an unmatched donor. The success rate of an unmatched bone marrow transplant plummets to 40%.
Consider joining the National Bone Marrow Registry. Chris and I both joined via bethematch.org. You can also join through deletebloodcancer.org . All it takes is a gentle cheek swab with a giant Q-tip in the privacy of your own home.
Every person who joins the registry gives hope to Owen and to many others like him who desperately need a bone marrow transplant. Every person who shares Owen’s story with their friends, co-workers, blog readers, increases the chance that a perfect bone marrow match for Owen will join the registry and save his life.
Please help spread the word. Spread hope. And when you make this delicious bread, play some of the Eagles “Hotel California” in the background. Owen rocks a mean air guitar.
See more of Owen’s story here: www.aHeroForOwen.com
Recipe adapted from: The Recipe Girl