LockNet Personal Cancer Story: Andrew Rajchel

andrewWe’ve recently focused on the upcoming Relay for Life event in which LockNet is participating, which will continue until the event. Last week, I was able to share the experience of Katie Willie, LockNet strategic director of HR, and her family. This week, we’re featuring another LockNet employee.

Andrew Rajchel works in our national repair and support department and he has  a very personal experience with cancer. When asked if he minded if I published his story on the blog, he was more than happy to oblige.

LockNet Service Team Member Andrew Rajchel and His Personal Cancer Story

“In 2007, my dad, said he had the flu. After about five days, he wasn’t any better and was passing out randomly. We rushed him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). This cancer is aggressive and fast moving. It attacks bone marrow and decreases your platelets (the stuff that thickens your blood) until blood literally oozes from your skin.

Within two days of his diagnosis, they found a brain bleed due to his blood being so thin, was diagnosed with ARDS (hardening of your lungs), and was barely breathing. After cutting his skull from ear-to-ear and successfully fixing the bleed, they were ready to attack the cancer. He was put into a coma for 46 days and was kept alive with ventilators.

He eventually woke up! He wanted a clipboard so he could write things to us because he couldn’t speak with his ventilator in. He would write things such as, “I saw Jesus” or “Am I fighting a losing battle?” in which we would answer “No, you’re doing great!” even though the doctors were giving a prognosis of less than two months. This became harder over time because the brain surgery affected his memory. At times, he didn’t know who I was or would tell me my name was something that it’s not.

As time went by, he got better and better before starting chemotherapy. He went sepsis. This was extremely dangerous. He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance for another stint in the ICU.  After a few days, the chief oncologist of the Markey Cancer Center came down to speak to us.  Telling us that my dad is blessed with a rare chromosome that he has only read about in medical books and never experienced in his 26 years as a doctor. This chromosome physically eats cancer cells. We still believe this miracle saved his life.

Dad still has memory issues. He’ll forget where he is or how to get somewhere. This makes it tough for him to hold a job down as a robotics engineer. He sometimes forgets how to program a robot even though he’s done it a billion times for 30+ years. This has been hard! My dad was the genius of the family. He built software for homing rockets for Texas Instruments whom had a contract with the United States Military, traveled to Japan to teach their engineers how to program new age robots, and much more.

Over time we hope he will completely heal even though I couldn’t ask God for more of a miracle than he already provided my family by saving his life.”

How You Can Help

I’ve said it many times that LockNet treats its employees like family and this event has really been able to shine a bright light on that aspect of the company as more people step forward to share their personal experiences. It has been so uplifting!

If you would like to get involved with our current fundraising for the local Relay for LIfe event, you can! You can donate to our team as we work toward our goal of $4,000. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment in the comment boxes down below. We love hearing from our audience and it’s nice to know how much support is really out there.

About Whitney Danhauer

Whitney Fay is the Content Manager at LockNet, handling content creation, presentation development and manages all of the social media for LockNet. She has a ridiculous amount of pop culture knowledge that has yet to make her rich and famous. You want to know that one actress in that one movie? Ask Whitney.

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