Gary Emel

First post: Jan 12, 2021 Latest post: Jan 17, 2021
Hi Everyone,  this is Betty Jo.  Gary and I decided to set up this page so friends and family could follow along on his journey as he has a stem cell transplant.  Here is what has happened in the past few months....Gary was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid  Leukemia (AML) at the end of September.  He has since spent a total  of 6 weeks at Decatur Memorial Hospital having intense chemotherapy.  He has handled this quite well, but with AML, chemo will only work for so long.  Gary's doctor, Dr. Damarla at the Cancer Center in Decatur told us that he would need to have a stem cell transplant.  After a lot of research, we decided to go to the University of Chicago for the transplant.  His transplant doctor, Dr. Bishop, is well known for his research and success with stem cell transplants.  UC is amazing and we are very happy with the treatment he has received. .  Gary was unbelievably blessed to have 5 perfect stem cell matches - three from the national bethematch.org  database.  Ideally the match would come from a sibling and both sisters wanted to be tested.  Cheryl and Jennie were both perfect matches!   After more testing, the transplant team chose Jennie, with Cheryl as a back up.  Both of Gary's sisters have been wonderful throughout this process.  Jennie will have her stem cells collected on January 13th in Florida.  Gary will be admitted to the University of Chicago on January 14th for six days of intense chemotherapy to kill off his remaining bone marrow and immune system.  Jennie's stem cells will be infused on January 21st to begin to rebuild Gary's immune system.  We anticipate his hospital stay to be three to four weeks.  I (Betty Jo) will be allowed to stay with him the entire time as his caretaker.  For monitoring and safety reasons we will need to stay close to the hospital for a period of time.  This is going to be a long, difficult journey and we would appreciate you prayers, love, and support.  Love you all!


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