Zachariah "Zach" Lee Deem of Fargo, ND was a typical 14-year-old just getting his summer started when out of nowhere, he felt like he had come down with the flu. After the next few days of high fevers and not keeping any food down, Zach visited the ER. It wasn't long and he was transported by ambulance to the Pediatric ICU at Sanford in Fargo.
On June 29th, 2016, Zach was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Like so many others, the three and a half years of treatment took a toll on Zach. Because of the one and a half years of high dose steroids, Zach developed AVN, Avascular Necrosis, in his knees. Zach has already had an Osteochondral Allograft Transplant in his right knee, with the same procedure due shortly on his left knee. Doctors have let Zach know he will likely deal with osteoarthritis later in life, as well as likely endure knee replacements in both knees. Genetic testing during treatment revealed some gene mutations, one of which makes Zach a high risk for blood clots. There are certain precautions Zach has in place to help reduce this risk. Zach took his last IV Chemo on October 2nd, 2019, with his last oral chemo received on October 10, 2019.
Zach has always kept a positive frame of mind throughout his journey. In his free time, he loves to draw. For the future, he may seek a career as a mechanic. There's no doubt that whatever future goals Zach sets, he has proven that he can overcome obstacles to achieve whatever he desires.