Isaac and Avery and their brother, Eli, are wonderful, caring, and rambunctious boys. In photos, things appear normal. A mom, a dad and three kids living in a house with plenty of pets and noise. It surprises people to learn that the two youngest kids, (Isaac 7 & Avery 5) both have a genetic disorder, Fanconi Anemia.
Those reading this may know and understand the implications of a diagnosis like this, what it means to be a child suffering from such a terrible affliction. Less understood is the impact of what the diagnosis does to the family dynamic. It’s a situation no one wants to find themselves in but this family has. Isaac was diagnosed around his first birthday. Sultana was pregnant with Avery. The family was preparing to move from Spokane to Seattle to allow Brian and Sultana to further both of their careers. A whirlwind of appointments and decisions to be made filled up the next year. All the while, waiting to see if the pregnancy would result in another diagnosis of Fanconi Anemia. Avery joined the family shortly thereafter and it took a month to learn that he too has Fanconi Anemia.
Isaac is a thoughtful and reserved child with a propensity to understand how everything works. He has a very strong sense of right from wrong. He enjoys dressing up in costumes and mostly wears all black to school. In July 2016, he underwent a bone marrow transplant when his blood counts indicated severe bone marrow failure. His older brother Eli was a perfect match! This was an agonizing process for the entire family but Isaac persevered and is a healthy, happy boy in kindergarten who loves his teacher and learning.
Avery tried going to kindergarten this year, but kept getting sick. Compromised immune systems are a symptom of bone marrow failure. Avery is scheduled to start the process for a bone marrow transplant in June 2018. He is a sweet, intelligent, and fearless child. He is generous and full of love, energy and mischief. He really likes everything but especially enjoys reading, cuddly things, and adventure.
Despite all this, the Graham-Anderson's trudge on. Brian and Sultana work hard to better themselves. Sultana is a mental health therapist and supervisor and Brian currently works as a Business Analyst. They decided early on, the best thing to do for their kids is pressing forward. To show them that perseverance through adversity is a good thing. It can motivate and inspire. Fanconi Anemia will not keep the family from pursuing their accomplishments and dreams.
“Life doesn't give us purpose. We give life purpose” - The Flash