A serious health condition may make you feel like you’re all alone. But you’re not. Over the years, many of our patients have shared their stories with us at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance so that we may share them with you.
Even though Sean Cryan was born with a blood disorder called thrombocytopathia-A, he never imagined that his 12-year-old daughter, Louisa, would be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and that a few years later he would be diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease that often leads to AML.
Alexes Harris was devastated when she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. She was equally devastated to learn that as a woman of color, she didn’t have a bone marrow donor match.
Alec moved back to Seattle after receiving a second opinion at SCCA for his myelodysplastic syndrome diagnosis. He received a bone marrow transplant with his brother as the bone marrow donor and resided at Pete Gross House during the 100 days post-transplant.
I was diagnosed in 2010 with a myelodysplastic syndrome, also called MDS, which includes a number of diseases associated with the bone marrow. It quickly became evident that a bone marrow transplant would be my best option for survival. In my case, there was an abnormality of chromosome 7 in my stem cells, called monosomy 7. Since the stem cells were responsible for making red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, this abnormality was resulted in my having a low blood cell count.
In 2004 at age 50, Thais Murdoch was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a chronic bone marrow disease that affects blood-forming stem cells and leads to low levels of blood cells in the bloodstream. It started out as a mild disease for Thais, a physical therapist living in Miami, Florida.
When Joe Grojean was 45 years old, his life “couldn’t have been more perfect,” he said. He had a wonderful wife and happy marriage, terrific kids, and a job he loved. He worked as a health-and-safety specialist—an early responder to industrial accidents—for a company that was contracted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “I was part of a team I believed in. I’ve worked in the environmental, safety, and health industry for nearly 20 years,” he said.