Veni, Vidi... Eaty

Becca and our HERO!

The day we have been waiting for finally arrived!  Yesterday evening, Becca's bone marrow donor Matt and his mother (JoAnne) came to our home to join us for dinner.  It's difficult to describe the emotions we felt, but the ability to personally thank the amazing individual responsible for saving our daughter's life was priceless.  Those of you that know Ethan well realize that his way of showing his admiration for someone is to cook for them.  Well, cook he did!  He "threw down" an incredible six-course meal, complete with wine pairings, with the assistance of our good friend Stefan (also our girls' God-Chef).  Here's a recap...

Seared beef marrow with confit beef heart and a sour cherry compote;
'12 One-Eyed Brute Sparkling Hard Cider

Crab salad, deviled quail eggs, carrot/bell pepper relish, garlic curry aioli;
'12 Dr. L Riesling

 Miso and sake marinated scallop with saute of shiitake mushrooms, wakame seaweed, edamame, with pickled diakon ;
Tyku Junmai Sake

 Seared breast of wild dove with quinoa, smoked bacon, and lingonberries, drizzled with browned chicken foot glace;
'10 Brophy Clark Pinot Noir

Braised lamb, homemade sweet potato tortellini, crisp sweet potato, rosemary-scented jus; 
'09 Passimento Veneto

Pate choux beignets with orange blossom sugar and bitter chocolate cream; 
Gruet Blanc de Noir 

And NO... we don't eat like this every night!  It was a great evening with very special guests, and we were so grateful to be able to celebrate this way.

Though Becca was shy at first, she quickly warmed up when Matt produced a gift of a stuffed zebra ("Stripes," with the nickname "Zeebree") and book.  Later in the evening, it was quite touching to watch Matt and Becca sitting down together on the couch to read the book (see pic at top).  We enjoyed getting to know each other, and Matt and JoAnne seemed to be entertained by the girls as their personalities came out more throughout the evening.

So, some information about Matt... he is a 22-year-old young man finishing up his Masters in biomedical engineering at the University of Louisville.  His family lives in Villa Hills, Kentucky, and Matt was doing a co-op at Cincinnati Children's Hospital (on the 4th floor, actually) during the time that he donated his marrow to Becca last summer.  While we knew by the timing of when we received his marrow that he was pretty close, we had no idea that he was THAT close!  Matt and two of his roommates/fraternity brothers were interviewed about being donors in this video (Matt is the one on the right in the pink shirt) -http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130707/FEATURES/307070007/Three-University-Louisville-fraternity-brothers-perfect-stem-cell-matches .

All in all, it was a great night, and we were pleased to begin a relationship with this wonderful family.

An update on Becca... she had surgery last Tuesday to have her port removed!  It went well, with very little pain afterward, and now she doesn't need to have a "pokey" in the chest once a month to get labs drawn and the port flushed.  We will now move to once every-other-month visits to the clinic, and they will be able to draw labs through her arm.  Becca is now on NO MEDICATIONS!!!  This is amazing to us, as some kids are on maintenance medications (for varying reasons) long after the bone marrow transplant process.  She is attending first grade (and loves it!), is making friends, and she is starting to do some extracurricular activities.

We will leave you with a photo of the girls that Trisha took this week at Symmes Park...

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