Paul (Pauly) Pavlou was only 15 years old when he passed away from Leukemia. Pauly's Sister, Elena, shares his story with us.
“Paul was a wonderful, vibrant, caring young boy who wanted to get as much done as he possibly could every day of his short life.” It all started early 2001.
So many different symptoms, but nothing pointed to leukemia. Paul went to his Pediatrician two times for a cold that just would not go away. She simply prescribed him antibiotics. He was losing weight. He was getting bruises all over his legs and arms. We (My parents and I) all thought this was because he was a little bit clumsy and always banging into things or maybe he was playing rough with his friends. Walking up and down the stairs was a struggle for him. He always complained about his knees hurting. We thought , "Oh it's just growing-pains." Never once did it cross our minds that it was anything life-threatening.
After his 2nd last dose of antibiotics, my mother took him again to the Doctor because his cold did not go away again. The Doctor sent my brother to go get an x-ray because she thought it could be a sinus infection. The results came back and it was not a sinus infection. So my mom took my brother back to the Doctor. It was at this appointment that my mother insisted for a blood test, right then and now. The doctor said, “We don't do blood work here, but I will send you to a lab to go get it done.” My mom immediately took my brother to get his blood work done and they just made it because they closed at 5pm. They finished taking his blood and they went home. The next morning my mother gets a phone call from the Doctor telling my mom to bring Paul immediately to the hospital. She told my mom that it could be anemia. My mom did not worry about this because she knew that anemia ran in the family on my father's side.
At last the blood test told the terrible truth. On Thursday 13th January 2001 Paul was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). We were all devastated and in total shock.
Paul was on a very strong course of chemotherapy. During 2001 he was in and out of the hospital for fevers and infections.
The beginning of 2002 started off with Paul spending his 15th Birthday in the hospital for low blood count. All seemed to be going Great. He was at his final course of chemotherapy and was planning to go back to school. But, January 13th "SMACKS" us right in the face again and the Doctors come and tell us that Paul has relapsed, but this time with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) was killed off but another type of Leukemia, AML was hiding and they did not see it. It was then stated by the doctors that Paul had a very rare type of Leukemia. It was called Translocation 4:11. The only way for a cure was a Bone Marrow Transplant. That's where I come in. I was Paul's 100% Match Donor. Doctor's said that we were such a Perfect Match that the only difference was that I am a girl and Paul is a boy.
Paul stayed in the hospital were once again he received the most strongest chemotherapy to kill the Leukemia. It was the only way in order to get to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
Paul was a fighter. Doctors were surprised that he even made it into the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. We could of lost him during the intense chemotherapy. He was one tough cookie.
March came around and Paul was released from the hospital only for a day before he would go to the Bone Marrow Unit. Who would of known that would have been the last time he got to leave that hospital and go home and sleep in his own bed?
We spent that day going to the movies. Paul really wanted to see “Showtime” with Eddie Murphy and Robert DeNiro. We had a blast. Paul laughed during the whole movie. I will never forget his laugh.
During his stay in the Bone Marrow Unit, Paul's bowling coach Alex Exarchou was arranging a Bowl-A-Thon for Paul. Paul got to pick the the color and design for the T-shirts that everyone would wear.
On April 12, 2002, Paul had his Bone Marrow transplant.
On April 13, 2002 was the first Pins for Pauly Bowl-A-Thon. Two Hundred children turned up to the event and sent so many wishes for Paul to get better. The event was a success. Later that evening we showed Paul the video of the event. He had this huge smile on his face and was so happy to see his friends and family participate at this event. After he saw the video Paul said, “When I get better, we have to do this every year to help other children with Leukemia.”
The beginning of May 2002 came around and everything seemed to be going Great. Paul was feeling good and Doctor said that Paul was accepting the Bone Marrow Transplant. It was such a great feeling. It meant that Paul was getting better and soon maybe going home.
On May 15th 2002, Paul started to have these red bumps on his skin, almost like pimples all over his body. Doctors took a biopsy to find out what it was.
The evening of May 16th 2002, the Doctors tell us that the bumps on his skin was Leukemia and there was nothing more they can do. Paul had relapsed again, but this time with Leukemia on his skin.
Paul died on May 18th 2002 from three different types of Leukemia.
It was Paul's dying wish to help other children with Leukemia. He did not want any other child to go through what he went through.
We keep his memory and wish alive by holding a Bowl-A-Thon every year to Help Fight Against Children's Leukemia.