Bay Area prep athlete gives gift of life to sister

Bay Area prep athlete gives gift of life to sister
January 22, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Allie Lundberg (left) donated bone marrow to her sister Heidi (center) while undergoing cancer treatments.

Marissa Lovus

Last week I had the opportunity to meet two sisters who gave each other the biggest gift someone could give -- life. Heidi Lundberg was just a sophomore when she started to experience headaches and pain in the back part of her neck. Heidi immediately notified her parents and after several visits to the doctor, Heidi was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor behind her skull. The idea of having cancer was such a shock to Heidi and her family that they immediately rejected the diagnosis and asked, “Well if it's not cancer, what is it?” The news was heartbreaking to Heidi and the rest of her family but reality set in and Heidi realized she wasn't going to let cancer overcome her. Heidi endured chemotherapy treatments every other week until she was cleared of cancer and heard the golden word: Remission.

Although there were several low points over the course of Heidi's chemotherapy treatments there was one memory that stuck out, her trip to the Grammys with her family. Heidi, her two sisters and parents were all given VIP treatment in Los Angeles through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The experience of getting dressed up and meeting some of the biggest music moguls in the business was a dream come true to Heidi. It was just after Heidi's amazing trip that she started to feel yet another round of headaches, bruising and pain. The Lundbergs endured another long round of doctor visits only to hear the news they never wanted to hear again, Heidi had Leukemia. Immediately Heidi broke down not understanding why she would have to endure the pain of cancer again. The doctors recommended that Heidi either find a family member with the exact same bone marrow for a transplant or endure another year of chemotherapy treatment. The Lundberg family wasted no time going to the doctor to see if they were a match for Heidi. The idea of the Lundbergs having to go through bone marrow surgery did not sit well with Heidi. But after receiving the news that Heidi's 15 year old sister Allie was an exact match, Allie convinced her sister that this was the least she could do to help save her sister's life. In July, Allie went through with the bone marrow surgery and just hours later, Allie's bone marrow was inserted into Heidi's blood stream. Now six months later, Heidi is showing no signs of Leukemia and Allie's bone marrow seems to be working. Allie on the other hand is busy playing basketball and focusing on sports. The Lundbergs will wait another six months to hopefully hear the word “remission” again, but until then they are just happy to have Heidi home and healthy.

 

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