Riley benefits from Hope House sale
PLYMOUTH — “It is payback time,” according to Brian Montgomery, father of John, an acute myeloid leukemia survivor, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal cells, The most difficult of childhood cancers to treat, it usually gets worse quickly if not addressed promptly.
From the beginning, John’s illness, discovered in Sept. of 2004, was a family affair.
John was an 8th grader at Lincoln Junior High School when he started his battle for his life.
Hours within being diagnosed for the cancer, the family headed for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
The boy was rushed into surgery where a central line was put into his chest. Three hours later he was receiving his first transfusion of blood platelets and two days later, he started an intensive 10-day chemotherapy regimen.
“The first round was pretty rough,” John said. “I threw up a lot and I was definitely tired.”
A bone marrow transplant offers the best chance of a cure.
All of the family members were tested, but a fully matched sibling ( histocompatible) is the optimum donor. Both of John’s brothers were perfect matches, but Dan, the older brother had a very common virus and Chad, the younger, did not.
The bone marrow procedure took place on March 3, 2005.
Chad was taken to an operating room at Riley and over a liter of marrow from his back pelvic bone was removed.
Chad said, “ I was glad to do it for John and I would, in fact, donate to anyone who needed it now.”
After cleaning the marrow, doctors put it in a bag, took it to John’s sterile room and transfused it through an IV.
John was an in-patient at Riley for most of five months.
He lost his hair, his eyebrows and eyelashes…but not his sense of humor, his faith or his optimism.
And now it is pay-back time.
Brian said, “We wanted to show our appreciation for Riley. It is one of the top assets Indiana has and we are all so grateful.
“They saved John’s life.”
The Montgomery family’s mission is to support Riley Hospital’s Children’s Foundation for the medical research and treatment of life threatening conditions like that experienced by John, their son and brother.
Through Well-Built and Heckaman Homes, the Montgomery’s, with help from many different sources, constructed the Hope House, on the vacant lot on the corner of Ewing and Michigan St., at 901 South Michigan St.
Ground was broken in October, 2009. The house was sold in April, 2011, to Karl and Adelle Weiss, originally from Sewickley, Pa., who most recently lived in Culver.
The Weiss’s, along with their three Yorkies, Winston, Kezia and Addie moved in on Monday, May 9th.
On Sunday, May 17, Dr. Paul Haut, Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Riley Hospital,accepted a check for $70,376, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the two-story, five bedroom, three bath home, of ante bellum design.
Earlier contributions of $5,550, made a total of $75,926, for the Hope House Project which are dedicated to Riley Hospital for children and their families.
“This is for Hope and Healing,” Brian Montgomery said. “We will always be grateful to Riley.”