Home again and blessed

Choua Vang


The past year has been rocky for Choua Vang and Tou Chanh’s family. In June 2009, their 3-year-old son, Brandon, was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia and was sent to multiple hospitals, including an eight-month stint at the University of California San Francisco Children’s Hospital. With a one-out-of-200 chance of being a potential bone-marrow donor, Vang turned out to be a match for her son. She was also pregnant at the time and gave birth to a baby boy, Dylan, in September. A month later, she underwent bone-marrow extraction. Embraced by a tremendous amount of love and prayer, Brandon’s body didn’t reject the bone marrow and he was recently released to the care of his parents. Vang kept a blog while she, Chanh and Dylan stayed in San Francisco. In a recent interview she expressed the joy of knowing her son is getting better and that her family is back together in their Oroville home.

What was the hardest thing about being away from your family and friends?

It was hard and lonely because I had to do everything by myself. I missed the family times that Tou’s family and we always had.

Where did you stay while Brandon was in the hospital?

We had a room at the Ronald McDonald House, but most of the nights Tou and I stayed with Brandon. We had all our clothes and everything at the Ronald McDonald House. It’s just basically a house that we shared with other families who were going through the same situation as us.

How did you feel when you found out Brandon was getting better?

I was happy, and I felt like God gave us another miracle because I was his match—that’s why he was getting better. Tou and I both were very happy and excited about coming home.

How was the transition?

To me it was kind of weird because I felt like I never left, but then at the same time I know that we [were gone] for eight months. I had a lot of stuff to unpack. So moving back, we just had to unpack everything, and it was really crazy. And now there are two kids that I have to take care of.

What was Brandon’s reaction to coming home?

He was amazed and looked around inside the house. He kind of remembers it, but in a way he didn’t remember it, too. He was happy to see everybody and play with them.