Good NewsFamilyGrandkids Reunite With Beloved Grandpa After His Stem Cell Transplant

Grandkids Reunite With Beloved Grandpa After His Stem Cell Transplant

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A group of siblings who had not seen their beloved grandpa for nearly a year because of his stem cell transplant sprinted through their garden with delight when they realized he had crossed the country and was in a hammock in their backyard.

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Kevin Finocchiaro, 65, has been living with a rare blood disease for more than a decade – but two years ago, his condition morphed into a dangerous blood cancer called myelofibrosis, which has a median survival rate of six years.

Fortunately for Kevin, his brother was a perfect match for a stem cell transplant, which gave him successful odds.

Having started chemotherapy in 2022 and then undergoing the transplant later that year, Kevin was left in a “brutal” situation as his body tried to adapt to the new cells and his family worried if he would pull through.

Having left the hospital, Kevin, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, was given minimal exposure to others.

This period was challenging for his grandkids – Beckett, 6, and Emily, 4 –based in Nashville, Tennessee, with Kevin’s daughter, Amy, and her husband.

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The family was only given a short period to see Kevin in March 2023, when they traveled to Arizona, he laid eyes on his third grandchild, Ellie.

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But such an interaction was not like old times, and Kevin was left to wait until February 2024 – almost a year and a half since he started his treatment – before he was given the go-ahead to travel again.

Beckett and Emily were born the week of Valentine’s Day, so Amy thought this would be the perfect opportunity to plan a surprise party and reunion with their grandpa.

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On February 14, the siblings thought they were on a regular video call to their grandpa, which Amy sneakily captured on video.

But then, when the pair realized their grandpa was, in fact, in a hammock in their backyard, Beckett and Emily immediately darted outside, running through the grass with excitement beaming across their faces.

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When they finally arrived at their grandpa, the kids shared an emotional hug, more than one year in the making.

Amy said: “It really was such an emotional moment for all of us.

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“There were moments after his transplant where we weren’t sure if he was going to pull through, so seeing him the kids hug him right here in Tennessee in our own backyard, healthier than he’s been in a long time, with so much life ahead, felt surreal and almost too good to be true.

“During this trip, he was able to be at their Lego-Princess birthday parties; take a day trip to the Nashville Zoo; soar on the Flying Eagle ride with Beckett there; and ride on the carousel with the kids.

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“We feel so incredibly grateful for this new lease on life and all the memories we’ll all be able to make together.

“The response has been overwhelming in the best way.

“I’m so grateful that we’re able to share the story of this miracle of God’s faithfulness and humbled to be able to share a story of hope for people walking through their own trials.”

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