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A Valentine’s Day gift for us: #JennStrong is in remission

Posted on 15 February 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

“I DON’T KNOW IF I’M GOING to make it,” she told me late one night.

It was the week before Christmas. I had been out at various events with our WNST sponsors and listeners for the holidays doing canned food and coat drives. She had been in and out of the hospital for several weeks after the initial 48 days during October and November. When friends and concerned listeners were asking, “How is Jenn doing?” I’m not sure that many really wanted to hear the truth amidst pretty lights, shopping, Santa and family traditions.

Eight weeks later, I can tell you that it wasn’t going well amidst the yuletide cheer and egg nog. From my view, it was awful. I can honestly say that I thought she was going to die. She was getting worse every day, literally disintegrating in front of me. But all I could say to her was: “Don’t talk like that! You’re going to make it. You’re going to get better!”

My wife has now been battling this insidious, rare leukemia through two wretched trips and 23 months.

Seven weeks ago she thought she was going to die. And, somehow, through some kinda miracle and a lot of prednisone and good fortune and amazing doctors and a donor who has saved her life twice, she’s now walking the earth cancer free, healthy and in remission.

We are blessed with good fortune even though this has been the bumpiest of any ride I could’ve possibly imagined two years ago when our lives were normal and joyful.

On December 22, her doctor admitted her back into “The Hotel” at Johns Hopkins after several weeks of agony and awfulness. She hadn’t eaten much of anything since before Thanksgiving. We were led to believe the most common form of graft vs. host disease would come via a skin rash. Instead, hers attacked her liver and caused her the worst malaise I’ve ever seen a person go through.

She was weak, de-energized, uncomfortable and getting worse by the day. On December 23rd she had an uncomfortable second day in the hospital and a terrible evening. And, suddenly, on the morning of December 24th she began to eat. First, it was some oatmeal. Then, she sent me out for a pizza after noon. Then, there was fried chicken and biscuits on Christmas Eve – mainly because that was the only food we could find.

At some point, I’m going to write a massive missive about what a disgrace “hospital food” is because me bitching inside the facility didn’t do much to move the needle.

It wasn’t easy spending Christmas Day together in a hospital room but at least we were together and it was the first day that she really turned the corner on survival. On December 30th she came home – for good, we hope – and has been eating egg sandwiches and walking on the treadmill almost every morning for six weeks.

Twenty three months ago – on March 20, 2014 – a team of doctors walked into her hospital room and told us that she had leukemia. Now in February 2016, she has spent 132 days in the hospital with two very separate and distinct battles with the same gruesome blood cancer.

Our now 22-year old angel donor is out there somewhere near Cologne, Germany. We expect that we’ll be able to find him on or around June 26th, which is the two-year anniversary of the first time he saved her life with a bone marrow transplant. He saved it again with a donor lymphocyte infusion on Nov. 19th.

I could write pages about what I’ve seen and what I believe and I already have if you’ve been reading. Many of you have followed our #JennStrong and #JennStrong2 journey and have inquired recently as you’ve seen her dramatic progress.

Last week, many sports friends in media and the football world all passed by my table by the dozens on Radio Row at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco with the same question:

“How’s Jenn?”

To be honest, I haven’t written an update over the past few weeks because I didn’t want to jinx or misrepresent the incredible progress she’s made since the beginning of the calendar year. What do you write when you witness such a miraculous turnaround from what felt and looked like gloom as recently as Christmas Eve?

Jenn’s blood is as strong as the healthiest among us. As a matter of fact, she has more red blood cells than most of us. Her liver numbers are now in the normal range. Her immune system appears to be functioning very normally. She’s on a handful of drugs but nothing compared to the 30 to 50 pills she was taking in any given day two months ago.

So, where do we go and what’s next?

Because she’s still on some immune-suppressing drugs to continue to manage and combat her GVHD, she’s laying low and staying away from most human contact just because of germs and the flu season. There’s no need to take on extra risk in freezing temperatures but the doctors want her to integrate back into “the new normal.”

She hopes to go back to work slowly sometime in the late spring. Her employer, Verizon, and her insurance company have been incredibly kind, patient and thoughtful during this second journey that took her to the brink.

Her hair is coming back more slowly than she’d like but she’ll be back to the pixie Mia Farrow circa-1968 look in a few weeks. She’s eating, sleeping, walking, talking, cooking, baking and watching a lot of junk food television as she gains strength and weight. More than anything, she missed our cat Kitty so much during her months trapped at the hospital. So, she’s getting reacquainted with our feline as well.

It’s weird. There is no “finish line” with cancer. There’s only daily gratitude and one more day.

Could it come back? Sure…of course it could. The doctors don’t seem to believe this is very likely on a statistical basis.

She is now a two-time cancer survivor and leukemia warrior.

She is the real beast mode.

I suppose my ongoing life lesson in all of this is to live life to its fullest. Why do I go to see Bruce Springsteen so often? Because I saw Glenn Frey die last month and you just never know…

For those of you who want to support us, we’re planning a massive event on Thursday, May 19th to celebrate her recovery and survival and to honor several members of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The event will benefit There Goes My Hero, a local survivor-based group of leukemia heroes who twice have come to my wife’s bedside with aide, support and wisdom to overcome this life-threatening disease.

Hold the date!!!

I’ll have more details later in the week but if you want to spend a wonderful evening with some great friends and get some Super sports inspiration, this will be an amazing way to kick off Preakness weekend.

At that point, you can even hug #JennStrong!

We’re very confident she’s going to be alive and well on May 19th. That’s far more than we believed or could’ve hoped for on December 19th.

As another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, we just want to remind you to appreciate your lives, your love, your time and your place on the planet.

We’ve been to hell – but we’re coming back – and a lot quicker than we could’ve imagined.

Jennifer Ford Aparicio is coming back to life.

We’re very grateful for your support and we hope to say hello to all of you who have cared enough to follow our journey this spring.

Thanks for the support. Keep the faith!

Love from Nes and Jenn at the Inner Harbor

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Join us: WNST offering two ways to travel to New England for Ravens playoff

Posted on 03 January 2015 by WNST Trips

In what has become an almost-annual pilgrimage to visit our dreaded neighbors to the north, WNST once again presents an  opportunity to head to New England to watch the Ravens do playoff battle with the dreaded Patriots for a 4:30 p.m. game this Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

REGRETTABLY, OUR BOSTON OVER NIGHT TRIP IS SOLD OUT!!!!!

Our WNST Jerry’s Collision Center Purple Playoff Roadtrips to Foxborough up-and-back trip directly to the game (no hotel stay) that will depart from White Marsh at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning and leave approximately 90 minutes after the final whistle in New England.

The trip is expected to return to White Marsh at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN “BUS ONLY” TRANSPORTATION OPTION BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE A TICKET TO THE GAME, please see bottom of thread to purchase that option. We’re happy to help all Baltimore Ravens fans get to the big game in Foxborough.

ONE DAY UP-AND-BACK TO FOXBOROUGH TRIP INCLUDES:

Roundtrip Gunther Motorcoach transportation

One upper deck game ticket at Gillette Stadium (all groups will be kept together!)

Snack and sandwiches from Royal Farms for the ride to be washed down with a limited supply of beer, soda and water en route to Foxborough

Plenty of DVDs, purple films and trivia for the ride to and from Foxborough

Free copies of Purple Reign 1 and 2

TRIP COST: $350 per person

Simply click on ADD TO CART below…

Mobile #:

 

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE TICKETS TO THE GAME AND JUST NEED A RIDE:

Simply click on ADD TO CART below…

TRIP COST: $175 per person

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Going to New Orleans already? Hotel/game ticket packages available NOW!

Posted on 21 January 2013 by WNST Trips

Many Baltimore Ravens fans have already figured out their transportation to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast for the big Super Bowl weekend and now need hotels and game tickets. WNST is here to help by offering special “HOTEL/GAME TICKET ONLY” packages NOW for all Ravens fans coming from all parts of the country.

WNST.net presents what you’ve been waiting 12 long years for in the Charm City – a real Festivus trip to New Orleans for a Super celebration and party for all Baltimore Ravens fans.

If you’ve searched for hotels anywhere in or near The Big Easy, you know that rooms are impossible to find and flights are equally non-existent. As always, we’ve got you covered for this once-in-a-generation trip to The Big Game.

Prices will fluctuate due to the volatility of the marketplace for Super Bowl tickets so please act decisively!

PLEASE READ ALL ELEMENTS OF THIS LENGTHY POST BEFORE PURCHASING AT THE BOTTOM OR EMAILING US!!!

If you buy a package from us, your game ticket will be REAL and you will be going to The Big Game in New Orleans. All of our current pricing is for upper deck end zone tickets. We will not be able to provide specific seat locations for your package until Wednesday, Jan. 30th when tickets will be available at our WNST offices in Towson. If you are traveling from out of town, we can Fed Ex you the tickets at that time or you can pick them up at your hotel in the Gulf Coast upon arrival.

Please read all of this carefully and we hope you make the right choice in joining us for every minute of fun, football, family, friends and great memories as we travel south to the Gulf Coast to enjoy the magic of what the Baltimore Ravens mean to our community.

We have secured several hotels near the Gulfport Airport in Mississippi, which is about an hour from The French Quarter. It’s all highway and will make for an easy drive for Baltimore fans in and out of the city.

WNST.net will not guarantee tickets in any groups other than pairs. If you order odd numbers of any kind you are subject to being split up at the game as most of the 90,000 seats in the Superdome are issued in sets of two. If you are adamant about special seating – odd groups, large groups or lower bowl premium seating – please inquire via email: nasty@wnst.net and be specific in your request. Pricing and availability varies literally hour-to-hour but we’ll try to assist you to make your experience as desired.

All of our seats are guaranteed tickets in the upper deck end zone areas.

Our two hotel locations and multiple offerings are close enough to New Orleans to make this trip comfortable. Bay St. Louis is 53 miles from the French Quarter. Our Gulfport airport hotels are 72 miles from the French Quarter. It’s about an hour drive — all highway.

Keep in mind that traffic, parking and getting in and out of New Orleans will be extremely challenging on Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s what’s included in WNST.net Purple Package for HOTEL/GAME TICKET ONLY in New Orleans:

•    One V.I.P. WNST Party admission for our Saturday grand event in downtown New Orleans
•    End zone game tickets (only guaranteed in pairs!)
•    Four nights hotel (checking in on Thursday) of your choice plus all usual included perks these establishments offer – internet, free breakfast, local shuttles, etc. All hotels have a FOUR-NIGHT MINIMUM!

ALL SALES ARE FINAL!!! We cannot offer refunds of any kind for any reason!!! You may resell your game ticket  but we cannot offer hotel name changes after your purchase. Hotels are being very strict about this requirement.

Once you buy a package you have locked your price. Prices are subject to change at any time due to the volatility of the ticket and hotel marketplace.

Due to hotels being overwhelmed, we ask that you request your hotel rooming situation on the checkout form. Given the volume & limited availability for rooms, we cannot guarantee this request at all locations but will do our best along with our hotel partners to honor your needs for your traveling party.

As you can see there are a variety of packages for different budgets and locations. Please choose carefully.

We’d love to have you on this legendary trip to The Big Easy for The Big Game as the purple moves to the New Orleans to win another championship.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR THIS TRIP:

We use PayPal at WNST.net and due to fraud issues and government regulations, we cannot accept payments larger than $10,000 via PayPal with credit cards. So, if you are purchasing triples or quads please purchase individually to equal the total amount so that your payment is received in full in two transactions.

OR, you can bring a check to WNST at 1550 Hart Road, Towson, MD 21286 anytime after 9am on Monday, Jan. 21. We will have full forms at our office to accept check payments. We realize this is a big transaction and we want to make payment easy but with online frauds and huge transactions this isn’t as easy as we had hoped. The earlier your check clears the sooner you are officially on the trip.

But we still have space for you and if you act on Monday morning we can promise that you won’t get locked out of our trip.

If you have any questions, email: nasty@wnst.net. We expect to be slammed with emails so act quickly and avoid SOLD OUT status on these properties and trips…

ALL PRICING IS PER PERSON!!!!!!

 

Hollywood Casino (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)

Rooming (how many in your room?) COST IS PER PERSON
Rooming
Mobile contact
Email address

 

 

Knights Inn (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)

Rooming (how many in your room?) COST IS PER PERSON
Rooming
Mobile contact
Email address

 

 

Clarion Inn (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)

Rooming (how many in your room?) COST IS PER PERSON
Rooming
Mobile contact
Email address

 

 

Best Western (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)

Rooming (how many in your room?) COST IS PER PERSON
Rooming
Mobile contact
Email address

 

America’s Best Value Inn (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)

Rooming (how many in your room?) COST IS PER PERSON
Rooming
Mobile contact
Email address

 

 

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Join us for WNST Orange Roadtrip to Fenway Park & Boston (Sept. 21-23)

Posted on 05 September 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball roadtrip to Boston to see the Birds battle the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sept. 21 & 22.

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff-push September on-the-road-to-the-postseason trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Fenway Park in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall area at 6am on Friday, Sept. 21 and arrive in Boston for a late lunch. We’ll provide transportation to and from Fenway Park for Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game and again on Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. contest.

Our trip will return early Sunday morning and we hope to be back in Baltimore in time for lunch on Sunday afternoon (and of course, the Ravens home game that night with the New England Patriots).

WNST Fenway Roadtrip includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to two (2) Baltimore at Boston baseball games (Friday & Saturday)

Two (2) nights hotel accommodations at Holiday Inn Express-Waltham

Food, beer, light snacks for ride to Boston on Friday morning

PRICING:

SINGLE ($475)

DOUBLE ($350) two people in each room

TRIPLE ($325) three people in each room

QUAD ($300) four people in each room

How many in your room?

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