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On July 6th, John drove himself to the hospital after experiencing persistent and lingering abdominal pain. After many tests and a bone marrow biopsy, he was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and was transferred to The University of Minnesota Medical Center for immediate treatment.
He remained in the hospital under aggressive chemotherapy and was finally able to go home on July 30th to continue outpatient as well as in hospital treatment . This treatment consists of ongoing blood transfusions and chemotherapy, followed by a week long hospital stay every 21 days. Through multiple spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies and blood transfusions, we are grateful that his numbers continue to move in the right direction!
The aggressive chemo regimen that he will be continuing will hopefully move the Leukemia into remission, where he will then undergo a bone marrow transplant. By doing a transplant, John will be given a whole new immune system and the new healthy cells will reject the disease, which will allow the Leukemia to be cured vs. being in remission. The Doctors also think that the bone marrow transplant could cure him of his existing Chronic Thymoma cancer along with his autoimmune disease, Myasthenia Gravis!
The search for a donor has begun, first looking for a viable match within the family. If, for some reason, there is not a match in the family, the doctors have great confidence in the Minnesota bone marrow donor pool.
The bone marrow transplant process will last around 6 months, including multiple hospital stays for weeks at a time. With the transplant, he will be susceptible to infection as he builds his new immune system, so keeping infections at bay will be a main focus. Rejection could also be another risk, but there will be medication in hopes of combating this.
John has a long road ahead, but he is taking it head on! He remains in great spirits and has not lost that sense of humor! Don’t hesitate to reach out - he’d love to hear from you!
We will keep everyone updated here as we have new information.