• Home

8-Year-Old Welcomed Home Like The Superhero He Is

Posted: Updated:
Maine, N.Y. -

A disco ball, superhero decorations, and strobe lights. That's the kind of bedroom makeover that would have any 8-year-old dancing for joy. Tiernan Kriner is no different. The room was a gift to the Kriner brothers, Tiernan and Brennan, from the non-profit group A Room To Heal. Watching Tiernan dance around his new room, you would have no idea what he's been through the past four months. 

"He had four different days of chemo with three different meds," says mom Libby Kriner. 

That was after a bone marrow transplant. His donor is his big brother Brennan, who is only 10 years old. Their parents say these two boys are the real-life counterparts of the superheroes that decorate their bedroom. 

"We couldn't be more proud," says Libby. Her husband Chad chimes in, "Words don't express it."

Just ten months ago, the Kriners learned their youngest son, Tiernan, has a rare bone marrow disorder called Fanconi Anemia. Back in August, just two months after that diagnosis, Libby told Fox 40, "I did not look it up at all. We waited two weeks to find out and I was just afraid to know what it was."

Since then, the Kriners have had to do a lot of research, finding out everything they can about the condition.

"I feel like in the hospital I was to the point where I could really advocate for him," says Libby.

Teirnan and his mom Libby in the hospital after his transplant. 

The Kriners spent 4 weeks in a hospital room at Sloan Kettering in New York City, in complete isolation. Libby says those were the hardest weeks, because Tiernan had a reaction to the chemo. 

"There were days when I thought to myself if I was feeling the way he is feeling right now, I would not be functioning," says Libby, as Brennan hands over the tissue box. 

Tiernan handled it like a champ. It was a rough road, and there are still plenty of doctor appointments ahead. 

"That symptom is getting fixed, but he has so many other things he has to face in his life," says Libby. 

Kids with Fanconi Anemia are 700 times more likely to develop certain types of cancer, so Tiernan will be getting yearly screenings as well as regular appointments to keep an eye on his cell counts. 

Right now, Tiernan is feeling good and that smile is as big as ever.