Blood disorder leads to unique bond between siblings

CREATED Dec 27, 2013

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Five-year-old Bryce Schueller was like any other kid his age--full of endless energy. He's into Legos, and anything Brewers or Packers. However, last year his parents started noticing some strange bruises.

The diagnosis came as a shock - aplastic anemia. It's a rare condition that prevents Bryce from producing enough blood cells.

Bryce needed a bone marrow match, and found that in both his little sisters. The best possible outcome--but nerve wracking for parents Charleen and Steve. The bone marrow transplant would mean two of their children in the hospital--Bryce and his sister Bell. Charleen recalls, "The whole process for us, we just always kind of said, 'OK this is a journey. Let's experience the journey and it's going to lead us somewhere.' "

Unfortunately that journey had a few more bumps in store. 10 months after his transplant Bryce wasn't doing well. He needed a second procedure, and again, Bell was the donor.

"That was kind of a special thing for me," Bryce says.

Now Bryce and Bell are closer than ever. Bryce is doing well, but is still severly immune compromised, which means a big lifestyle change for the family.

Bryce and Bell are now home schooled. "A simple cold or flu could send him to the hospital," his parents explain.

This holiday season does not include relatives, since the kids can't go in large crowds.

But the family is thankful for a lot of things. One of those being the MACC Fund.

"is the macc fund just research? No the macc fun

Now the Schueller's celebrate milestones every day, and being together as a family.

So far Bryce is responding well to his second transplant. It's been eight months, but his parents will feel better when he hits the 1 year mark, next April.