Please join me in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by making a donation to my fundraising campaign. Every dollar I raise counts as one vote, and the candidate with the most votes becomes the Man or Woman of the Year. (I'm running for Man of the Year, just in case you were wondering!) More importantly, every dollar raised supports research, services and advocacy for patients with hematologic cancers.
My relationship with blood cancer began when I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as a 19-year-old college student in 1998. When my cancer didn't respond to standard chemotherapy, I was told I needed a bone marrow transplant to have any chance of being cured. I received my transplant at the University of Michigan in May of 1998 and told my doctors that, if I survived, I would come back to work alongside them to help make our cancer treatments better and safer. I returned to U of M 10 years later and have been taking care of children with cancer and performing research ever since. I wouldn't be alive without leukemia research, and now I'm asking for your help to pay this gift of life forward to the next generation of cancer patients in need of better cures.
In the hospital post-BMT
Now I’m a children’s bone marrow transplant specialist and researcher at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. In addition to caring for patients, I also perform research. Right now, I’m working to develop clinical tests that predict which patients will develop the most common life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and additional tests to help predict which patients won’t respond to our standard GVHD treatments. We hope these tests will allow us to prevent and more effectively treat GVHD, making bone marrow transplantation safer and more effective for patients that need this therapy in order to be cured of their cancer.
I was asked to participate in this year’s fundraising campaign by the family of Kyle Peterson, our Michigan chapter Boy of the Year and one of my former leukemia patients. Kyle completed therapy over three years ago and is back to living a life full of sports, school, and friends. Your donation will help researchers and clinicians like me make every man, woman and child diagnosed with a blood cancer into a success story like Kyle.
Goofing off with patients--Kyle's on the right
As a leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor, as a children’s cancer doctor and research scientist, and on behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, I thank you for considering a donation to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Researchers cannot do this alone; we require the compassionate generosity of people like you and philanthropic organizations such as the LLS to help improve our cancer treatments. Together we can develop the next generation of CURES for blood cancers! For more information about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please visit their webpage at LLS.org.
My family today. With your donation, we can help make this kind of happy ending possible for more cancer patients.