GoFundMe set up for Evan Baker, former Moffat County resident, battling HLH in California
A GoFundMe has been set up for former Moffat County High School student and resident Evan Baker – the son of Thom and Sheela Baker, who is currently a patient at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco and is battling Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).
HLH is a severe systemic inflammatory syndrome that can be fatal. This syndrome can sometimes occur in normal people with medical problems that can cause a strong activation of the immune system, such as infection or cancer.
Baker was diagnosed five weeks ago with the disease, according to his mother, Sheela. At first, Baker was diagnosed with strep throat before the strep throat symptoms went away.
However, health issues persisted for Baker, who was then diagnosed with mononucleosis, which later led to the HLH diagnosis. According to Sheela, Evan had a number of tests done to determine if HLH was genetic, but those tests showed Evan caught the disease through the Epstein-Barr virus.
“We got to the hospital just in time,” Sheela said. “It really could have been fatal.”
While battling the disease, Evan, 17, has lost nearly 40 pounds, dropping his weight to just north of 100 pounds.
“He was tall and thin to begin with, but he’s lost some weight; it’s been a battle,” Sheela said.
Despite the weight loss, Evan has taken huge “leaps and bounds” forward, according to his doctors, and should be released from the hospital in a week or so. However, the former Moffat County resident will have to go through continued chemotherapy treatments to try and rebuild his immune system.
“He’s done four cycles of chemo so far, so he’ll have to do four more,” Sheela said. “He’ll have to come back once a week for treatment until he reaches the eight cycles if he’s released.”
Currently, the GoFundMe for Evan has raised nearly $11,000 of a $30,000 goal.
“It is a wild world of how many people are supporting us,” Sheela said. “Since it’s been set up, it’s been phenomenal. People here in California are donating, back in Colorado too… we have family all over; it’s just been pouring in.
“At first it was really overwhelming, but we just really, truly appreciate all the support.”
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