In January 2005, a phone call to Trek Doyle’s house changed his life. His wife, Kristen, had been to the doctor earlier that day with what she thought could be strep throat. They had taken a blood sample and test results were back.
They instructed her to come back to the doctor’s office the next day and asked her to bring “a support person.”
“We were up all night searching the Internet for the possibilities of what it could be,” says Trek Doyle, an associate at Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Austin who practices civil litigation. He was with his wife the next day when the doctor informed her that she had acute leukemia. That was the first day of Kristen’s successful fight to regain her health, and the start of an eye-opening support role for Trek, a role that included running his first—and, he says, his last—marathon, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fund-raiser in San Diego last summer.
“It may have been a midlife-crisis moment,” Doyle says now of the run. He joined a Team in Training program, and the group of about 12 runners traveled together to San Diego.
“I finished alive and without assistance from paramedics,” he jokes.
Kristen, who also is an attorney (and was chosen to be on a past Rising Stars list), took a leave from her job at Lloyd Gosselink. Tests showed that her form of leukemia could not be treated with chemotherapy. Instead, it required a bone marrow transplant, which she underwent in April 2005. Her sister was the donor.
As this publication went to press, the Doyles were preparing to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Kristen’s clean bill of health, an important milestone, Trek says, because the chance of relapse decreases greatly after two years. “They won’t pronounce her ‘cured’ until the five-year mark,” he adds.
“It seemed like forever while everything was going on,” he says, “and now it seems unreal. For Kristen, some of it seems like yesterday.”
For the Doyles and their 7-year-old son Cason, things are looking up, way up. And their appreciation is more than just words. Trek dived into fund-raising activities for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society almost immediately. He speaks to groups on behalf of the international research and education organization and has taken lead roles in fundraising activities such as the annual Light the Night Walk.
Kristen is back at work, but Trek says both of them have a new look on life. “As you go through careers, you get stressed about stuff that just doesn’t bother us anymore.”