I Made The Ultimate Donation . Would You ?

Friday, November 20, 2015

A year ago in August my sister Kelley got the terrible news that she had acute myeloid leukemia. My family was upside down, since she and my sister in law both got terrible diagnoses that weekend. Yes same weekend! Leukemia for one and breast cancer out of remission for the other.

Sis had to start chemotherapy just days after the diagnosis and it was bad , she had the worst form , it was very aggressive quickly taking her numbers down down.Chemo was started along with various other treatments. she was hospitalized for weeks. Shortly after treatment was started and it was determined that a stem cell donation was needed to save her life. All 3 of her siblings( me and our two brothers )  were tested , once the results were in I got the call that I was a perfect match even though they like using the cells of younger sibling. A perfect match lessened the rejection factor. The stem cell transplant was scheduled for Nov. 20th ( one year ago today ) just days before a major surgery I had already been scheduled to undergo.  I  rescheduled my surgery to go thru the process to prepare to be her donor. Nov. 19th I underwent three hours of the donation process in which they gathered 18.9 million stem cells and early in the morning of  Nov. 20, 2014  the transplant was done . Kelley had several more months of treatments as her body got acclimated to the new cells . I am happy to report that today she was told that she is in full remission and doing well.

I learned that being a donor was not painful and all expense related and it was taken care of by the patient's insurance.

How about you would you think twice about being a donor in order to save the life of  a sibling? Think about donating the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They host annual Light the Night Walks as a Fundraiser for funding blood cancer research.


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