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Christophe

Hi Folks ![[Well, that’s it… This is the page which Christophe wrote almost eight years ago. He was not able to update it regularly, because the health degraded quickly, and his days were mainly occupied by his meals, his rest, his sessions of respiratory physical therapist.

Christophe died on the 15th of October 98 in his mom’s arms. He went down quite slowly, in his room, without any suffering, in a few minutes. For some days, the morale was not so high, but maybe it was more than that…

After a ten year disease and a relentless fight, Christophe doubtless left us because he “didn’t want any more”, and also because he was at the end… This doggedness in the life can and this courage be all an example for us.

Please feel free to send a mail to his family and to his close relations (I forward them all the mails which are addressed to Christophe by my intermediary).

Cyril, April, 24th,2005

 Visit Fédération Leucémie Espoir web site

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I’m 25, and I was diagnosed with ALL in 88, BMT’ed in 89. I’ve been suffering from chronic GVHD, with many of its complications. That’s the reason why Cyril and I decided to create a bilingual Web site, dedicated to the Graft-versus-Host-Disease

I was born on the May 27, 1972 in Quimper, Brittany (Western France). My sister Caroline was born three years later, and my brother Antoine in 78.

After several moves, we stopped in Brest (in Plougastel-Daoulas more precisely), where I grew up. As a musician, I could go to a school specialized for young musicians: we would go to class in the morning, and in the afternoon we would study music. That is where I met Cyril (and his violin). We used to sit one next to the other, so we have a lot of memories in common.

We then went to different Highschools (Cyril took latin, and I took greek), but we would still meet at the music school…

At the music school, I learned to play the flute. I took horse riding for several years too, but I had to give that up when I went to high school, because I didn’t have enough time.

One year later (1988), November 17 to be precise, just as I was starting off on my grade 11, I fell ill. I was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia). After one month in a sterile isolated room with strong induction chemotherapy followed by several consolidation CT in day hospital, I went back to school to study for the first part of my “Baccalauréat” (French Litterature). My remission was kind of short, and 8 months later, I had to go to hospital again. After a second chemotherapy, my hem-onc doctors decided on a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplantation); my sister Caroline was HLA compatible.

I was BMT’ed November 9, 1989 at the “Hôpital Saint-Louis” in Paris (a memorable day in History, isn’t it? That was the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall…). I spent my convalescence (100 days) in Paris, where I started studying for the bigger part of my “Baccalauréat”, thanks to the precious help of the teachers of “Votre École Chez Vous”. But in june, just when I was going to take my exam, I had to be hospitalized, so I had to sit for the exam in September 90, and I made it !

Then I decided to take a year off, to recover in good conditions. I would go to medical school for just a few hours. During that year, I had to be once more hospitalized in the nephrology department for a uremic-hemolytic syndrom.

The year after, I was doing much better ! I decided to go to medical school and to work seriously; there I found Cyril, still sitting next to me ! (He too had taken a sabbatical year to work his violin).

But Cyril was having a lodging problem; his mother – an English teacher – had gone off to the States on a teacher exchange in Colorado Springs (USA), and legally, Cyril wasn’t allowed to lodge in the same house as the American exchangers. My parents offered him to come live with us in our home for the year. Another thing was that he had a driving license but no car. I had a car, but no license. It was perfect !

We worked together, supervised by my father (he is a biologist); he used to have us work every night. The duet was going perfectly : Cyril would write down all the schemes and diagrams on the board while I was writing what the teacher said. This way, we could have whole lessons. In addition, my father used to listen to the tapes I would record during the university lectures.

Both of us made it at the exam, but the day after the last test (anatomy: the most important), I woke up dumb and with my whole right side paralyzed. The big problems were going on…

When I got out of the Hospital, I spent six weeks in a rehabilitation center in Roscoff – a small town on the seaside near Brest. I learned to talk again, and to walk somehow or other. But my right arm remained motionless (I although was right handed before).

I went on with my medical studies, using only my left hand, even for the anatomy dissection sessions !

Everything was going on fine, except for a couple of superinfected bronchitis (so I had to have many fibroscopies to aspire mucus) and a few hospitalizations for high fever episodes. I was on the recovery track when a pneumothorax occured, with one more surgical operation ahead of me…

During my new reeducation, someone told me about a driving-school for disabled people. I passed my driving license 1,5 year ago (spring 96) and was able to drive my father’s car (a Peugeot 205), which was a little bit altered for me. This car allowed me to be more independant 🙂

At that time, I was sure everything would be all right now; I was regularly working at the emergency department in the Brest Hospital just like the other students, but once more, destiny hit. One night, I had an epileptic seizure, and the day after, a status epilepticus, probably as a consequence of my hemiplegia in 93.

Back to starting point : dumb and unable to walk. Speach came back quickly but walk without somebody’s help is much more difficult. Another point is that I’m now a chronic respiratory insufficient – probably because of my GVHD complications – and need to be under oxygen 24 hours a day.

I stopped my studies temporarily; I’m gonna stay a while in Southern France, away from the “invigorating” breton climate ];-)

Last modification : Cambo-les-Bains, 11/10/97 at 7:37 PM, and I’m hungry.

Christophe