September 23, 2016 | by By Letisia Marquez
The story of City of Hope psychologist Jeanelle Folbrecht and her husband Eric welcoming a teenager fighting a second bout of leukemia into their family’s home continues to touch hearts.
In the Sept. 26 print edition of People magazine, the Folbrecht family and Dominick, who is now 15, are featured in a two-page story. (Jeanelle Folbrecht, Ph.D., is an associate clinical professor and chief of the Division of Psychology in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine with City of Hope.)
In the fall of 2014, Folbrecht knew that Dominick was alone in a City of Hope hospital fighting a return of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She had received a referral to see him. She spoke to those at the hospital who were caring for Dominick before she met him.
Nobody could tell me he was having symptoms of depression or anxiety," Folbrecht told People, "and I thought, 'Wow. This kid doesn't need a psychologist; this kid needs a mom.' "
There was also another motivation: “Doctors wanted to do a bone marrow transplant, but because Dominick's family wasn't in the picture, the procedure couldn't happen because there was nobody to provide aftercare for him,” People wrote.
The family decided to take him into their home and a few months later, he received a bone marrow transplant from Vanessa Brobbey, an unrelated donor. Because of the transplant, his cancer is now in remission.
Dominick met his donor during an emotional meeting at City of Hope’s Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion recently. The Folbrechts are now in the process of adopting him.