Donovan Doroski Updates…

August 4th, 2014

4 ½ months post transplant

Donovan is regaining his strength and feeling pretty good overall. His hair is growing back, not fast enough to his opinion but he has learned the meaning of the word “PATIENCE”……

Here is a pic of him and his dad at the Relay for life.

This week Donovan is helping with bible school at his church.  He is keeping busy and living life in the NOW.  He loves playing frisbee and catch with his nephews (5 and 8) and his dad, he loves riding his motorcycle or driving his jeep, going to church, reconnecting with friends, taking the dogs for hikes and planning his move to La Grande to attend Eastern Oregon University.

Donovan will celebrate his 21st birthday on Aug 29th and we pray daily for him to live a long healthy and happy life here on earth with all of us!

We are looking forward to the 2014 pig bowl!  We will be there to support!!


Good morning!  June 24th, 2014…

Michael sent us a text and that made us realize that it had been a few months since we gave you an update, our apologies!

Well today is day +97….what a long journey it has been!

The first few days in Seattle back in Feb started badly as Donovan’s jeep got stolen from the parking garage at La Quinta where we were blessed with one week of free stay, so it was a very awkward position as we were very grateful for the amazing gift but yet we had to call in the police and start an investigation.  The media helped us right the way and with their help, the news of the theft was broadcasted everywhere, we think the thieves felt a lot of pressure and after taking tires, stereo, tools, and all that you can imagine of the jeep, the vehicle was abandoned in a field.  People we don’t even know offered their vehicles, they offered to take Don to his appointments, they offered a place to stay…it was just so stressful but also so incredibly amazing to see the good in people!  Local businesses stepped up right the way and offered wheels and tires, we even had to turn down our local Les Schwab’s and Nelson Tires and Urness.  Once the wheels and tires were on, another business asked to get the jeep and installed an amazing sound system and alarm system and after they were done with the jeep, another business took it to add a bumper and winch..  You may say it is just a car but for Donovan, it was his only pride and joy… the only thing that made him feel like a normal teenager!  It took about one month for his jeep to be put back together but he is so thrilled to have it back!  We have not heard anything from the police to this day so we do not know if the thieves were found.

After the week at La Quinta, we moved into a basement apartment about 20 min away from the hospital.  We got very fortunate as the owners living above us are very kind and caring, the apartment is very simple and very homey, there is a beautiful garden with fresh veggies and also tons of plants and flowers.  It is very simple and basic but we have all that we need!

Donovan’s transplant on March 19th went very well.  They were able to collect 3.5 liters of bone marrow from Keith (his father).  It was a very scary and emotional time, words can’t describe the way we felt!  It was quite a tough procedure for both the donor and the recipient but nothing would have stopped my husband in order to save our boy’s life!

During the couple of days where Donovan was at the University of WA, we wanted to do something special for him to boost his morale so we asked if we could bring his dog Wyatt for a quick visit.  The only condition would be for the dog to stay in the car and no kisses!  So Wyatt rode 4 hours to come visit his best friend Don!  It was precious!

After the transplant, Don was very tired, he lost his hair, his appetite, started to get some GI track infection and an infection in his colon as well.  All is expected and is called GVHD Graft Versus Host Disease. He is going to have to watch his body for the rest of his life as it can declare itself anytime and anywhere in his body.  It is all being monitored with blood draws and medication but each day his body does something different…just never know what today will be like.

We had to drive to the SCCA each day for 4 hours of fluids. He also has labs a couple of times a week, visits with a nutritionist, clinics with his transplant team.  There is never a min to sit and breathe…, there is sanitizing all day long, preparing meals, making sure he takes his meds on time, making sure we refill his prescriptions, make it on time to his appointments and also work as much as I can remotely to keep my job. Getting up every couple of hours to check on him during the night and make sure he has no temp, give him his meds.  There is also piles and piles of bills to go through and making sure the insurance pays what they are supposed to, then there is the back and forth to Hood River and take care of our house and pets and be with our younger daughter.    There is so much, I can’t even put it into words but there is NOTHING we wouldn’t do for our son so it really doesn’t matter we don’t sleep much or we have to drive 2x to Hood River this week or we have tons of papers to look at and fill out…Keith and I were able to help take over for each other so we could keep home and here in Seattle “rolling” if I might say.  We are a good team and thus sometimes it was challenging, we have managed!  Keith recovered well from the procedure but it took about 6 weeks to regain his strength.  He is still unemployed and lost his unemployment benefits 3 weeks ago so we are now down to my partial income only and this is a new crisis we have to face.  We do not know how we will be able to keep our home in HR and keep on paying all of our bills.  Keith has applied everywhere for work, even in other States….It was a blessing that he was not working as he had a bigger job to do with being the donor for our son but now it is time to find a job so Donovan has a home to come back to at the end of his care in Seattle.

A lot has happened in June, there was Julie’s graduation from High school and her wish was to have her brother there to see her graduate.  So Don made it a secret mission to work with his Docs and work hard on his weight etc.… in order to get a pass for a few days to go home and surprise his sister.  Well, the Docs were not pleased about letting Don go so far away but with his latest improvements, they agreed!  So we learned how to do his IVs ourselves, we got all the supplies and the IV pump and of to Hood River we went!  Don’s sisters flew in from Montana and Las Vegas and joined us, it was a wonderful couple of days!  Julie was so thrilled, she had tears of joy!

Brother & Sister
Brother and Sister
All but one son
Don & his four sisters (Brother absent)

During the 4 months in Seattle, when Don was feeling good enough, he was busy on the computer researching a way to go back to school.  He so was thrilled when he found out he had been accepted at Eastern Oregon University where his girlfriend goes.  He can’t wait to move to La Grande and continue his education!  He is not sure at this point if he wants to go into Law Enforcement or become an EMT or even a park ranger…very hard for him to decide at this point.  Whatever he starts, I am confident that he will succeed and that he will make a difference in someone’s life!  We are looking at scholarships right now so that he doesn’t have to start a life with student loans over his head on top of medical bills.

Another exciting event happened on Father’s day weekend as Kevin Costner and his wife Christine flew us 1st class on American Airlines to Dubuque Iowa to be part of the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams in Dyersville.  Father and son catching a ball on the Field of Dreams on Father’s day, what is better than that considering the special bond the 2 share!  Such a precious moment!  We are very grateful to the Costner’s for their incredible gift and for allowing us to make some new and wonderful memories together!  A professional photographer took a pic of Don and Julie with Kevin and it is coming in the mail.

Well, today is Tues June 24th, 2014 and we have been in Seattle for 4 months but today what is important is that it is day +97, the day that Donovan is having the Hickman removed!!!  One less device in his chest!  He is super excited that he will be able to take a “normal” shower tomorrow. The most important and incredible news we received last week is that the cheek swab, the scan, the bone marrow biopsy and the skin biopsy all came back NEGATIVE!!! Don is also 100% donor!  He is doing great and the docs are very pleased.  He is getting discharged on Thu and we’ll be able to go home!  Thus he will have a lot of follow up appointments and tests, he is excited to pick up his life and live to the fullest with great humility and gratitude for all the love, care and support he has received from all the past 3 years of his life.  His church, the ongoing prayers, the love of his family and friends and girlfriend, is what has allowed him to keep his faith grow stronger than ever!

Thank you God and thank you all for loving our son!  Thank you all at the Pig Bowl for all that you have done for us, we wouldn’t have been able to do this without your great effort to raise the funds for us!  We are forever grateful and we count on helping you this year and help you raise funds for another family in need!


The following letter was received from Keith Doroski – Donovan’s Dad in September 2023

Sadly, after an 11-year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with family and the Love of his Life Hannah by his side, Donovan passed away 10 months ago, November 20, 2022.

Donovan faced those 11 years with a level of maturity and grace that should serve as the example of how to handle adversity.

Thanks to the Pig Bowl and donations from our wonderful community we were able to focus on Donovan, and his care. Being recipients of the Pig Bowl gave us peace of mind when we faced uncertainty. We cannot overstate how much that means to us.

Donovan lived a good life, loved to travel and was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting Machu Picchu, Peru. Skiing, kayaking, motorcycling and camping were just a few of the activities that he enjoyed. Throughout all of this he never lost his special ability with people and animals. No matter their shyness, children never feared him. No matter their fierceness, animals never challenged him.

We thank all of you. From the volunteers at the front gate to the announcer’s booth to the chain gang to the cheerleaders, the fans, the players, the printers, the servers and every single donor. You gave us hope, comfort and your support when we needed it most. Our family will never forget what you have done for us, and we will proudly continue our support of the Pig Bowl.

Thank you,

            The Doroski Family