Longtime IAA Summer Program registrar faces health challenge

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GoFundMe campaign started for Diane Dennis

Diane Dennis, Idyllwild Arts Academy Summer Program registrar, is, for all who know her, irrepressibly optimistic and upbeat. Her smile is

Diane Dennis, Idyllwild Arts Summer Program registrar, may require a bone-marrow transplant to combat leukemia. Staff member Megan McIntyre has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for expenses. Idyllwild Arts staff photo

always there to brighten the days of those she meets and greets. She is an effervescent, caring and nurturing presence on campus.

Diane is now facing a major medical challenge that will likely require a complete bone-marrow transplant. Diagnosed in June 2016 with leukemia, Diane began treatment with a small dose of chemotherapy to which her body reacted negatively, causing thrombocytopenia, a dangerously low blood-platelet count.

IAA Assistant Director of Summer Programs Megan McIntyre has started a GoFundMe campaign to help Diane and partner Kenny Fransworth pay for almost daily off-Hill trips to test blood-platelet counts and get blood transfusions to raise those platelet counts.

Next is a bone-marrow transplant at the City of Hope medical campus in Duarte, an expensive and arduous procedure requiring a 30- to 70-day hospitalization and residency at City of Hope.

A stem-cell transplant is used to infuse healthy stem cells into the body to stimulate new bone-marrow growth, suppress the [leukemia] disease, and reduce the possibility of a relapse.

In her GoFundMe campaign entreaty, McIntyre summarized, “Being so far from home will require Kenny to travel back and forth from Idyllwild to Duarte and although Diane has medical insurance the many costs are adding up.” There are travel costs, vehicle wear and tear, and medical bills and copays that continue to accumulate. “This process doesn’t have an end date on the calendar and she will be dealing with treatments, appointments and an unknown timeline of when she may come home,” said McIntyre. “While in the hospital, she will have chemotherapy, radiation and the bone marrow transplant when her body is ready. She will have to be quarantined for at least 10 days at the start.

“Diane is the most caring, kind, positive and giving woman. She will never fail to put another person’s needs before her own.” Having a bone-marrow transplant requires having a stem-cell match. The good news is that a match has been found for Diane so that the process can proceed when her body is ready for the procedure.

“Throughout all of this Diane has never once lost her smile, her optimism, or her faith that she will overcome,” said McIntyre. Please consider donating anything you can to help Diane get healthy and back home to Idyllwild as soon as possible.” Donate at www.gofundme.com/dianes-medical-recovery.

When contacted today, Diane said, “Yes, I’m in good hands with the journey I am on and yes it will be a victory. I feel all of the love and support from Idyllwild and actually from all over. It’s amazing.

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