Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Patient Story
Bone marrow stem cell transplant
Victoria Bacon’s stem-cell transplant gave her more than a second chance at life. It also gave her a second chance at a relationship with her sister.
When Nalini Janakiraman, M.D., director of Bone Marrow Stem–cell Transplant, determined that Victoria’s best chance to fight lymphoma hinged on a transplant, the search began for a compatible stem-cell donor.
Victoria first turned to her youngest sister Renee, with whom she had the closest relationship, but testing revealed she wasn’t a match. Out of desperation, Victoria decided to take a chance and reach out to her middle sister, Shelly, from whom she’d been estranged for almost 20 years. Victoria was surprised when Shelly agreed to be tested. She was even more surprised when the results came back.
“We couldn’t be more different from each other, but our stem–cells are almost like twins,” says Victoria. “I was so grateful when she agreed to be my donor.”
For several days leading up to donation, Shelly was given injections of filgrastim to stimulate the production of stem–cells in her bloodstream. On the day of donation, a needle was inserted into Shelly’s arm, and blood was removed and passed through a machine that filters out the stem–cells before returning the blood to her body. Victoria received her stemcell transplant on March 13, 2012.
Victoria says that the transplant has renewed her relationship with her sister, and they now talk a couple times a week.