On November 28, 2018 the Bender family, of Benson, received news that turned their lives upside down: Dave, husband to Loni, and father to Abby (14), Brooklyn (11), and Samantha (10), was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a rare form of cancer that starts in one’s bone marrow.
Very soon after diagnosis, Dave underwent four rounds of aggressive chemotherapy. Biopsy results then showed low leukemia cells in his blood. With high hope, Dave’s care team followed up with two rounds of low-dose chemotherapy and the Benders began looking forward to life returning to “normal.” In June, Dave went back to work part time at Schreiber’s, where he has been employed for many years.
Sadly, on August 20, doctors told Dave that the low-dose chemotherapy had been ineffective because the mutated gene causing the leukemia had doubled. They immediately began preparing for a stem cell transplant, which must be proceeded by a high-dose, in-patient chemotherapy treatment to wipe out his system and hopefully allow his body to accept the transplant.
Following the transplant this month, Dave will spend several weeks in the hospital in Salt Lake City and then need to stay under 24-hour outpatient care within 20 minutes of the hospital for 100 days, in case of complication.
Friends and neighbors have organized efforts to help ease financial burdens for the Bender family, so they can focus on Dave’s return to health and keeping their family strong. Check out the inset box on this page to find out how you can help.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and love from our friends and community,” Loni said. “We are humbled and grateful. Thank you, everyone, for everything.”
Donations to support the Bender Family can be made at America First Credit Union: Account Number 9112152 or by Venmo @doitfordave_bender
A benefit dinner, silent auction, and concert will be held on Monday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Green Canyon High School.
Follow @doitfordave_bender on Instagram for ticket information and to follow Dave’s progress.