Chemotherapy Ineffective Against Lymphoma
Kim went through radiation treatments and 3 rounds of chemotherapy. All were ineffective against the lymphoma. Her only hope was adult stem cells from a matching donor.
Lucky to Find Match for Adult Stem Cell Transplant
Kim was very lucky in this regard. She found a matching donor within one week. Normally it takes 6 months to a year to find a donor and many lymphoma patients die waiting for the right match. Kim’s hero was Doug Cokinis a 42 year old male with matching adult stem cells.
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After another chemotherapy session, the stem cell transplant took place in October 2004.
It took about a month before Kim re-gained some strength.
“It was a gradual, slow process,” she said. “I had to walk three or four times around my room without stopping before being allowed to leave the hospital.”
Able to leave the hospital after 52 days, Kim stayed in Seattle to go back in for occasional tests.
“They gave her a list of things she’d have problems with for the rest of her life,” Jay said.
So, the short period of time after that was nothing short of remarkable.
She was able to return home in February 2005, cancer free. She regularly had blood draws to make sure the cancer had not returned.
By June 2005, she was able to stop taking medication for side effects from cancer. She hasn’t taken any medication since then – something unheard of in cancer patients.
How to Become A Stem Cell Transplant Donor
Kim had something to say to everyone about being possible donors at the Red Cross–
“It’s an easy process,” Kim said. “They take blood to test for diseases. Once that’s clear, they put you on a list. Once they find a match, they give you shots to take for the cells to reproduce at a faster rate … most don’t know what to an adult stem cell transplant is, it’s not like a bone marrow transplant.”
Here is another on how you can possibly save a life by giving the greatest gift of all- the gift of life.
For more information about how Adult Stem Cells are changing lives everyday, visit www.repairstemcells.org.