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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Putting the dent in Presidents Day

Remember when it snowed?

Yesterday started off like your typical day: Ramón and I were evaluating which of our dogs would have the most success on American Ninja Warrior. By the end of the day, however, we were discussing where the dogs should go for the next month or so while we’re in the hospital. You read that correctly.

I know many of you are probably thinking, "Wait, didn’t he just run a half-marathon?" Yes, he did. In fact, after getting off the shocking phone call with the doctor last night, it didn’t take long for him to have an epiphany: "I could have gotten a much better time if I didn’t have cancer."

On February 10, Ramón had a routine bone marrow biopsy as part of the AML monitoring phase. By Friday, the doctors knew that he’d relapsed. Rather than telling us on Valentine’s Day – as we shared a romantic dinner from the Wendy’s drive-thru – the doctor wanted to wait until Monday. Just to think … Ramón was initially diagnosed on his birthday and could have been re-diagnosed on Valentine’s Day. I guess we’ll settle for Presidents Day, even though it doesn’t pack the same punch.

We don’t know specifics yet, but we know it’s time for chemo in hopes of receiving a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible. Thankfully (but not) this isn’t my first rodeo, so I am better positioned to tell you the best ways you can help. Please know that your thoughts and prayers are wholly sufficient, but for those of you who feel helpless and simply want something tangible to do, here goes:

  1. If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, join the Be the Match bone marrow registry. This is ESPECIALLY relevant if you are not white. Please encourage your friends – particularly those of mixed race – to join. It’s as simple as a swab of the cheek. If you have any questions about this, please ask my friend Google.

  2. Our top concern is that we’d like to keep our dogs together, and the best way to do this (without making someone hate us) is through daycare/boarding. If you’d like to contribute to the doggie daycare fund, you can do so via Venmo (@drewdotson) or PayPal ( To give a general idea, the cost per day is about $75, though any amount will lessen the burden. (Any excess funds will be used toward the highway robbery we call parking at Emory).

  3. Lastly, we’re going to be spending a lot of time in the hospital, not only for this stint but also for transplant, so we welcome Uber Eats and Grubhub – same email above. Everyone knows how important food is to Ramón.

We’ll know more information in the days to come, but we appreciate your positive energy and encouragement. We likely won’t be home for quite some time, so please reach out if you’d like a mailing address for us.

P.S. Leukemia: Putting the dent in Presidents Day.

P.P.S. I tried (and am still trying) to take some time off Facebook. I got my password from my trusted password keeper in order to share this news. Please come to this site for future updates, and don't send me messages on Facebook unless you hope I never see them. Instead, email me -- or email and get my number.


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