When Naomi Knighton was only a teenager, she began to get frequent sore throats and colds. Her mother was concerned about the problems she was having, and took her to the doctor.
Then they got devastating news: Naomi had a rare type of leukemia.
Naomi did everything she could to stay alive, including two bone marrow transplants. The 26-year-old has lived with the disease for several years now. She even has a six-year-old son, named J’varn.
However, on January 11, 2019, she was given the news she’s been dreading: she didn’t have much time left. In fact, she would die within weeks unless she took powerful doses of chemo and steroids.
Her sister Kirsty was there with Naomi when she received the news. “They said she had two choices,” Kirsty said. “She could stop everything that day and let it be. But the doctor said it would be quick as it was very aggressive. He said we would be talking weeks, not months. The option Naomi chose was to buy some more time.”
Naomi made the decision to undergo treatment in order to give her more time with her son. She wanted to stay around for just a little longer.
Naomi needed to talk to her little boy seriously, and prepare him to live his life without her.
“J’varn took it really well on the day she told him,” Kirsty said. “He accepted it. I think, in a way, because she’s always been poorly he’s used to her being in and out of hospital. That has sort of helped him.
“It’s heartbreaking. We have watched her go through so much and we always assumed she would get through it because she always has managed to get through – and she’s so strong. There have been times that the doctors have been surprised when she’s got through it. She always pulls through against the odds.”
The family is raising funds for Naomi’s funeral, per her wishes. She wants to be buried in a white coffin, and has requested that her grave be marked by a beautiful headstone, so that J’varn feels comfortable when he visits.
She also hopes her story will raise awareness about stem cell donations. Naomi had a donor, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save her.
The following is from her GoFundMe page:
“My sister Naomi is 26 years old. She was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia as a teenager and she has battled against this for years. Naomi has already undergone two bone marrow transplants. Unfortunately, we have been told there is nothing more that can be done for Naomi. Her leukemia is back five months after her last transplant. We have been told its very aggressive and resistant to all treatments given. We have been told to prepare for the worst. Naomi has a six-year-old son too. As a family, we are heartbroken for our beautiful Naomi, who has battled for so long and remained so strong throughout it all. Our aim is to raise money to carry out her final wishes and give her the send of she deserves. Also as a family, we would like to raise awareness on becoming a stem cell donor. It’s hard to get cell donors in the UK, as there are not enough people prepared to donate their cells. Naomi has had a donor from Germany previously. So we’re urging people to look into the Antony Nolan project and become a stem cell donor. It really can save somebody’s life.”
Our hearts go out to Naomi and J’varn during this terribly difficult time.
This story originally appeared at Goodfullness.