I’ve been a wheelchair athlete since I was 10 years old. It is who I am and my passion. I’ve mostly played basketball and softball. I’ve always been the big guy on the team,(weighing in at 300 lbs.), and have had many recommendations for MVP. I’m of Samoan heritage, adopted when I was 3 years old. My Peace Corps parents found me abandoned in a hospital, with a right above the knee amputation, from physical abuse.
Two weeks after my 30th birthday, and 4 months after losing 100 lbs, I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. I was shocked and scared. I laid in a South Carolina hospital bed while a machine took away my out of control white blood cells.
My Mom came from Missouri to take me home for further treatment. It is now nearly 9 months later, 5 failed drugs and my CML is gaining ground again. I will need a bone marrow transplant for a chance to get back to my teammates. The softball season has started and I’m not able to be there for the first time in 6 yrs.
For now, I have lost my previous life, friends, and wheelchair sports. Fatigue, severe physical weakness and the awful unknown are my life now. I pass the time playing video games of superheroes, wishing I could take on cancer the same way. Deadpool adorns the socket of my artificial leg.
I’m counting on a donor to help me out. I remain hopeful. If you are Samona or Pacific Islander please register as a marrow donor at http://join.bethematch.org/Superhero4Aleki