Love nurtures life…even when life is lost.

by Craig on April 27, 2012

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Kristin is a mom of three…
one child here, two in heaven.

Her second baby nearly died at 10 weeks from liver failure.
Later it was discovered that he had an immune disease called HLH.

And so it began.

Her baby underwent three bone marrow transplants within two years.

Before I knew this story I heard the words “bone marrow transplant” and thought “easy cure”. But it’s a long and grueling procedure involving high levels of chemotherapy and radiation…where the odds are long, and infections, internal bleeding and rejection are the norm.

Kristin lived in the hospital during these years…
watching over her baby as he battled every day…

her baby…
in a sanitized room…
attached to machines and medication…
more than he was attached to his mom.

You’d think a hospital would be a peaceful place.
But Kristin heard each time a child “coded”.
She knew when every one on the floor lost their battle…
all the while watching her little one fight.

Her baby’s first two transplants were in St. Louis.
The third was performed in Cincinnati.
So Kristin had to leave behind her husband and other son…

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…to follow her baby.

It was while in Cincinnati that tests revealed the “healthy” older boy, Matthew, also had HLH and needed the same procedure as his little brother. The nature of the disease meant it was only a matter of time before he would contract a virus that would trigger HLH.

In August 2009, the older son underwent his transplant.

Two weeks later his younger brother lost his battle.

Nine months later the older, “healthy” son, was gone as well.

Since then, Kristin and her husband have started the Mathew and Andrew Akin Foundation.

They raise funds for a new Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati…
provide a Toys R Us gift card for each newly diagnosed HLH child at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital…
and regularly educate the public about the disease.

Kristin, though losing her two sons is still a mom.

HLH is a genetically triggered disease…
so she and her husband have adopted a third son.

Kristin continues to love…

because love nurtures life…

even when life…

is lost.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Nacole@sixinthesticks April 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

sad but very sweet story. its so true–mothers will do whatever it takes to love our babies–its a bond you cant break–not with the hottest fires of hell. i have two in heaven, too. but i never held them–they went straight from the womb to Jesus. happy weekend.

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

Nacole, I think that’s something I’ve always known – something I learned from my mother – that moms would walk through the hottest fires of hell for their babies. I knew SHE practically did – I know that YOU would. God bless you my friend.

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Dawn April 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

When you said, at the end, that Kristin had adopted, I was so happy. There are so many children already here who need a parent and she doesn’t need to put herself through another death. She and her husband are parents supreme. Thanks for sharing their story.

Dawn

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 8:18 am

I know you know all about HLH. I know you’ve seen moms suffering is their children suffer in a hospital – and these two are supreme parents. God bless and keep you Dawn!!

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gina reid April 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thank you brothor for honoring my friend. Motherhood is a special club that I am so lucky to be a part of and even more so when I’m surrounded by people like Kristin. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

ツ lms

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Maria April 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

This is so sad but I am glad they have adopted a son. They are obviously a couple with an amazing capacity to love despite adversity.

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm

the adoption, to me, that seems to be the bloom out of the ashes. thank you Maria, and God bless you!

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Cora April 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I felt that knot in my throat as I read this. My sister lost two little boys in infancy and the pain is beyond any other. This couple you wrote about are heros, going through the fire and coming forth as gold. It was, again, the pictures, Craig. Love nurturing life. . . . love has a way of doing that, doesn’t it. And there is just something about seeing life springing up out of the ashes that just amazes me. . .!

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Craig April 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Cora, I’m really thankful for artists and photographers who run around and have the ability to picture magic moments – so that I can squeeze them into my posts. Funny – I think – if I ever GOT a book published – I’m not sure if I’d be able to do it without pictures ツ and yes – Love. Nurturers. Life. God bless!!

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Craig April 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

BTW – I noticed I wrote this as a comment – not a reply – I fixed it – look – you get two replies for ONE comment:) the reply was…

I guess that’s the thing with love, Cora, it just keeps going. Things stand in the way, forces pushed back, hate has so many disguises, some of them even look like love, and yet love always finds a way. We are SO not capable of this kind of love on our, at least I’m not – a work in progress – always, and obviously now for the rest of my life…a work in progress. God bless you my friend!

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Lisa Maria April 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

What an achingly beautiful story…this couple exemplifies what love really is and how it gives us strength beyond our human capabilities. As a wise old priest once said “To love is divine” and they must have an awesome relationship with God to be able to do this! Thanks for sharing their story Craig…its always so inspiring to see others overcome personal tragedy and turn their pain into something that bears so much wonderful fruit.

Hope you and yours are well!
God’s blessings!

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Craig April 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

they ARE an amazingly strong couple – the odds of divorce during trials like this are extremely high – that they survived those odds – that’s a testament to love. Now – for ME to be as strong as they ツ God bless you Lisa Maria!

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Short Poems April 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

“Kristin continues to love…
because love nurtures life…
even when life…
is lost”
So beautiful words Craig, :)
This is really sad story but I am glad they have adopted a son!

Warmly
Marinela

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Craig April 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I think if I were writing a fictional story – I;d put that ending on it. I’m really glad they’ve adopted a third son too. God bless you Marinela!!

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Katie May 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm

***** tears******

Beautiful story of love, fighting for love, and love.

I long to be a part of that motherhood adventure. Adoption is not an option currently for us.

And now losing my job where I loved on little ones… a death of something I loved dearly.

Often I ask, “Who am I without children in my life?”

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Craig May 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Too too much stuff going on for you right now friend. I hate that!!! I get it too – as well as hating it. I want better for you – and sooner rather than later. God bless you Katie!!

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