Sandy’s Story

Site created on February 22, 2020

As many of you know, Sandy was diagnosed with Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) last July after receiving some abnormal blood counts during her regular blood donation.  These abnormal values lead to a bone marrow biopsy that confirmed her diagnosis of CMML.   She began treatment right away in August with a low dose outpatient chemotherapy in hopes to eventually receive an allogeneic stem cell transplant (stem cells from a donor).  She responded remarkably to this treatment, and the workup for the stem cell transplant began.  This entailed testing all her brothers and sisters with hopes of finding a donor match.  Unfortunately no siblings were a match.  This lead to a worldwide database search of donors via 'Be the Match.'  Two matches were found, and the best match was an 18-year-old male from Germany.  She was scheduled to receive the stem cell transplant March 18th; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this was delayed until March 27th.  A pre-procedure bone marrow biopsy showed Sandy was no longer in remission and did not qualify to receive the transplant.  The next step is to undergo inpatient high dose chemotherapy with hopes in regaining control of the disease.  If this step is successful, the plan is to proceed with the stem cell transplant.  Mayo and the Bone Marrow Team (BMT) have been remarkable, and we are so grateful for the excellent care she has received.  Her stem cells are at Mayo and are all ready for her to receive when the time is right.     

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