By Molly Moser
There are 12 million bone marrow donors in the national registry, but none so far have proved a match for 16-year-old Lukas Larsson, son of Anders and Dena (Boardman) Larsson.
Lukas was diagnosed with pediatric myelofibrosis, a blood disease so rare that only 50 cases have been documented worldwide. “Lukas does not have leukemia or cancer, and that’s the great news,” says mom Dena. A bone marrow transplant will cure her son, but until then, Lukas requires blood transfusions every two weeks – and probably more often as the disease progresses.
Dena, the daughter of Rose Boardman and the late Joe Boardman, graduated from Guttenberg High School in 1978. She and her husband, Anders, met in Colorado. They got married and spent 12 years living in Sweden, where their four sons, Max (22), Axel (18), and twins Lukas and Oliver were born. Since 2002, the family has lived in Colorado.
Before their son’s diagnosis, Dena and Anders remained blissfully uneducated on the topic of bone marrow transplants. “He’s never been sick,” says Dena. “He was born a healthy eight-pound twin, only one week early.” Since discovering Lukas’s illness, the family has accomplished something extraordinary.