Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. On December 27, 2016, I became one of them.
In December 2013 my father was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. His one chance at a cure was to undergo a life-saving stem cell transplant. In support of him and others battling bone marrow and blood cancers, I proudly registered to become a potential donor with Be The Match, the National Marrow Donor Program. After 2.5 years of blood transfusions, chemotherapies and hospitalizations, my father’s disease progressed and he passed away on May 7, 2016 before receiving a stem cell transplant.
After unsuccessful attempts to donate blood in my father’s memory, my persistently low hemoglobin prompted further work-up. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, a rare and aggressive blood cancer. The only potential cure for this leukemia is a stem cell transplant.
Rather than being listed as a donor for Be The Match, I was on the other side in hope to find a match through the Be The Match registry.
I am not fighting for just my own life. I am fighting for anyone who has journeyed alongside someone with cancer, has lost a loved one to cancer and for the thousands of individuals with bone marrow and blood cancers waiting for a match for a life-saving stem cell transplant.
Lisa had a transplant in June 2017, using her sister stem cells.