Hurricane Katrina swept across the gulf region with no hesitation or regard for personal circumstance. For the Bergeron family of Luling, the storm could not have come at a worse time. Locked down at Children's Hospital in New Orleans as the storm's wind and rain engulfed the building, Kyle Bergeron was receiving the gift of life that only his identical twin brother could provide.
In March of 2005, Kyle was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. The only chance he had for a recovery was to receive a bone marrow transplant. Doctors quickly began searching for a suitable donor and soon uncovered a pleasant surprise. Kyle and his brother Logan originally thought they were fraternal twins. But a DNA test determined that they were in fact identical twins. This proved to be extremely beneficial to KyleÖLogan was a perfect match.
"I was very glad that I could help my brother. I knew it would be uncomfortable but if my brother could withstand so much pain and I couldn't take it for a couple of days, I am a wimp," said Logan. He went on to say, "I immediately started being more cautious. For example, my friends wanted to go swim in the river and I said no. I realized that if I put myself in danger I was also putting my brother in danger. I was his only hope." "If anyone could help me it would be my brother. He has always been there for me whenever I needed something," said Kyle. With a bond that only brothers share, the two embarked on a journey together that would be interrupted by a killer storm named Katrina.
Kyle began the transplant process at Children's Hospital in New Orleans. Kyle and his mother rode out the storm together in the hospital. "It was scary for us. The hospital windows seemed to breathe with the wind," said Mrs. Bergeron. The storm left the hospital without electricity and soon there was no water.
In the days following, they were forced to seek a safe haven for Kyle, making a move to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. It was then that they received another gift. St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee opened their doors to Kyle and his family. "They sent a plane for me," said Kyle. The Bergerons packed up and flew to Memphis to complete the transplant.
"When you receive a bone marrow transplant it is like being reborn. Your body has no immune system to fight off disease or infections. I had to start all over," said Kyle. The courageous young man sat in isolation for weeks and had to wear a mask over his face for protection. The transplant was successful. Kyle has since developed an immune system that can fight off diseases and he no longer has to be isolated.
"Our story has been featured in Reader's Digest and USA Today. They all failed to recognize the gift that Logan gave his brother. Their stories were all about Katrina. The boys weren't afraid of the storm, they were afraid of the cancer," said Mrs. Bergeron. Logan didnít hesitate to save his brotherís life. It was his obligation. Through love and courage the twin brothers stand united against the enemy that is cancer and together they will overcome.
|Photo by Susanne Hinkle|
|Kyle (L) and Logan (R) Bergeron of Luling. Kyle has a rare form of leukemia and reveived a bone marrow transplant from his twin brother, Logan.|