Darren-The warrior. He’s a nice american guy, who lives in Virginia, but he is originally from Littleton, Colorado. Darren is a wonderful human being, with a lot of love and support to provide to people like you and us.
I met Darren in one of our medical appointments. My friend Emeterio was there too. We coordinate to visit a girl who was already in the process of bone morrow transplant and we offered her our kindness and support that day. Although we just spent a short time, we really enjoyed it very much. Sharing our experiences and giving each other encouragement and I think this is the most beautiful thing that can exist among human beings.
Thank you Darren!!!! for your interest in being part of our community.
Name: Darren Foster
Age: 27 years old
Interest or Hobbies: Music, guitar, weightlifting, bicycling, kayaking, snow sports.
1-What were the first symptoms that you experienced that sounded off the alarm that something was not right in your body? Fatigue, malaise, very low white-blood cell counts, and infections.
2. Darren, How long did you present with the symptoms without a diagnosis? A year or so.
3. When were you diagnosed with GATA2 Deﬁciency? How did you react when you found out? Dr. Hickstein and Dr. Holland first believed that I had the Gata2 mutation in 2012. Technically, they still have not pinned down my specific mutation. They believe the Gata2 mutation is “upstream” or “downstream” of where the mutation typically presents itself.
4-Prior to being diagnosed with GATA2 Deﬁciency, had you been diagnosed with another disease/diseases? Yes. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplasia and Aplastic Anemia in January of 2010.
5. What has been the greatest challenge that you have faced due to this disease? The two rounds of treatment that I have had to overcome (Anti-Thymocyte Globulin (ATG) and the bone marrow transplant), followed by the heavy burden of carrying a terminal illness for many years.
6. How were you able to overcome it? Strength- and the belief that God purposefully designed my life this way, and orchestrated it in a way to positively impact.
7. Darren, someone else in your family was also diagnosed with the disease? No one else on my family has been confirmed with Gata2.
11. Darren, when was your bone marrow transplant? How do you feel now, after overcoming the 100 days post-transplant? Do you think that all the efforts made were worth it? My transplant was on February 3, 2016. I feel great now overall. Even after a full year, I still feel the effects of an immature immune system (i.e. stamina isn’t at its full potential). I hope to make great gains over time.