The Natalie & Alice Fish Story

We are the Fishes. In 2011 two of our five children; Natalie and Alice were diagnosed with a rare gene disfunction called Leaky SCID (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency). Their condition is so rare that only two cases are reported in the U.S. each year. Both girls have endured much, and have spent most of their young lives in and out of hospitals due to common illnesess a healthy immune system would overcome. The required treatment for our girls is a bone marrow transplant.
Although the new marrow could mean a normal life for them, it will be a long and arduous road. This blog is to share our experience as parents and the courage of our children.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 16 -- Almost There

Natalie received red blood cells today and her ANC is between 200-300. This is big news. She is feeling significantly better. She did her mouth care with ease.
White blood cells are so interesting. It's like magic...the process of healing can happen so rapidly. There are many things the medical field has been able to synthetically reproduce--white blood cells are not one of them. They are so precious and vital. I wish I would have majored in biology and chemistry; I'm so fascinated by it all. Well anyway it has been so exciting watching the healing begin. I get all emotional when I think about how happy I am to see Natalie feeling better.

The Bone Marrow team provides a calendar for patients on their transplant birthday, in which anyone can place their bet as to when the patient will engraft. You make a guess and place a dollar in the envelope. The person who wins gets to present all the money to Natalie. Right now it looks like Grandpa Schellenberg might win, he chose Sunday. I will let you all know who the winner is. The doctor made sure that we knew it wasn't the hospital sponsoring the betting events. :)

Alice and Evie came in today. Alice's tests for Rhino Virus were positive. This will not postpone the process. She will be carefully watched. Rhino virus is the "common cold". She is on track for Monday.

Alice thinks the hospital is a fun and cool place. Each time I ask her about coming to the hospital she does a silly dance. I tried twice to get it on video--it was so funny, but I failed--so I posted the videos anyway. In one video she acts happy to come and the other she isn't sure.

Thanks to all for your love, support, prayers, and encouraging words. Even though we haven't replied or sent thank you's please know that we are aware of everything and feel so blessed by you all.



  1. I am so glad to hear good news and that you're feeling better! I hope you continue to improve.

  2. Yay for Natalie feeling better!! We're rooting for you and all your white blood cells!

  3. So happy you are feeling better Natalie! You and your mom look great in your picture! I love your hat!

    I love the videos of Alice. What a cutie. She reminds me a lot of my Alison that's the same age(in personality and looks). I hope that Alice is over her cold in time to start her treatments and that things go well for her and continue to go well for Natalie!

  4. I love that Alice wants to see herself in the camera. all our kids did that at that age. We love you. We blessed our little Lily today. We will send natalie and alice an e mail with a picture in it...... so they can see cute lily. <3