Our Journey to Transplant

Today my wife Ann will received an infusion of the stem cells that were harvested from her body last month. The journey began last November when we saw Dr Richard Burt (Chief of Immunotherapy at Northwestern University) speak at a conference that was web-streamed by the Guthy Jackson charitable foundation. In the video we saw how a man with NMO had some amazing results after a stem cell transplant. Our hearts were lifted and encouraged by this hour long talk. Yet it was hard to envision something like this happening to us.

From there Ann contacted Northwestern and began the process of being accepted into the transplant program. Over the next months she sent her medical records, exchanged emails and talked on the phone with Dr Burt's staff. In March we traveled to Chicago where Ann was evaluated and interviewed. She was accepted into the program pending review and approval from insurance. It seemed to take forever to get approval. She was approved in late April.

In May we again traveled to Chicago where Ann's body was prepared for a harvest of her stem cells. The process involved chemo and Ann lost her hair. After a month in Chicago we returned home for three weeks. Last week we arrived back in the windy city and Ann has been getting daily chemo treatments that are taking down her immune system getting her body ready for a new one. Today is the culmination of our journey.

We both feel that new hope is born for us when Ann gets a new immune system today. The hope involves having a normal immune system that is not at war with her nervous system. The hope is a recovery of some of her bodily functions. The hope is a return to a somewhat normal existence. Will you hope with us? We would appreciate your prayers for Ann today and in the days ahead. And you can keep up with our journey here.

14 comments:

  1. With you and Ann in spirit, Bob. I am definitely, definitely hoping with you!

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  2. How long is the stay after the transplant?

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  3. @Brian - At least a few more weeks in the hospital then I think we are in Chicago for outpatient treatment for a week or so.

    @jrchaard - The nurses treat it like a birth.

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  4. Bob, I am praying for you both - today and in the days ahead - Hoping for the best possible outcome!

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  5. I join you in hope, in thanksgiving for modern research, in the desire for normal life, because normal is beautiful.

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  6. I am praying and hoping with you both.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your journey, and my prayers are with you both.

    What a wonderful hope you have, I pray that it will be fulfilled and God will be praised through it.

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  8. Oh Bob, we are hoping and praying with you and Ann. This is very exciting news.

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  9. I will hope with you and pray for both of you.

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  10. Hoping with you and Ann, praying for good results.

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  11. hoping and praying for both of you.

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  12. I am definitely hoping but more than that praying for new beginnings for both of you.
    What a miracle has been given you.

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