In the days following the birth of their first child, Katie, Stacy and Steve Trebing were faced with every parent’s worst nightmare: discovering their child has a devastating disease. Due to Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare bone marrow condition, Katie would need monthly blood transfusions and injections for the rest of her life unless she undergoes a risky bone marrow transplant.
For the transplant to happen, Katie needed an exact match sibling, but her older brother wasn’t an exact match. Her parents did not want Katie to have to go through blood transfusions for her entire life, so they decided to have a third child via in vitro fertilization. After some hard trying, and with the power of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Katie’s younger brother Christopher was born, being an exact match for Katie’s bone marrow transplant.
During this process, Katie’s parents did their best to treat her as normal as possible, despite all the obstacles the family had to face. In preparation for the transplant, Katie had to take a series of chemotherapy drugs that made her lose her hair, which was very tough. But she stayed strong, and when she was three years old, she finally was able to have the transplant procedure, and is lucky to be here today.
Katie’s life has been impacted profoundly by her disease, even though she was lucky enough to live a normal life after the procedure. Her story has reached people around the globe and has helped many. One woman from Singapore who has a child in a similar situation heard about what Katie went through and was able to come to America to see the same doctors that Katie did to save her child.
Katie thanks her parents for doing such a great job at being supportive and helping her when she was young. Countless doctors and tests and transfusions took up all of her time when a young child should never have to go through such a hardship. From such an experience, Katie plans on going into the nursing field in college and is even interested in the pediatric field.