Trial…

I have recently been in touch with a boy I went to high school with. He’s a man now, and I haven’t seen him for 30 years or more. I got a message from his sister that his daughter had a bone marrow transplant as well. I reached out to him. This morning he sent me a message that his daughter had been interviewed and was on television.  She’s a sweetheart, who has been through too much for her young age. She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 8. She fought and won, or so they thought. At 13, she had another bout with the disease, and this time they decided the transplant was her best chance. I don’t know all the details, but I knew her father was the donor. I realized today, that he was not a perfect match. I don’t know if they couldn’t find a perfect match in the bone marrow registry, or if he was still her best option because he was a biological donor.  His daughter became part of a trial. They injected her with t-cells from her father to help her body fight infections while recovering. They had determined her leukemia was caused by a chromosomal abnormality.  So was Jake’s. The capability to determine this is very new. The doctor in the interview stated that they had been working on the right amount of t-cells to give patients; and they were celebrating her success.  It is part of a 7 year trial. Likely it will be longer before they can publish and deem this an ordinary practice. I will tell Jake’s doctor about her. Another girl I went to school with was part of a clinical trial several years ago. She had breast cancer that spread. The mother of 3 young children was doing remarkably well on the trial drug, but her trial ended. She had signed the legal documents and nothing could be done. The drug that gave them hope was taken away from her. She died a few months later. When Brittany Maynard decided to end her life last year because of her terminal brain tumor, I thought, Wait! They are running trials. They are injecting patients with live polio virus, and it is showing promise… we had lost a young mother in our town and a beloved newscaster to this same type of brain tumor.  Maybe someday it will be curable. But not for them. Many of us have no idea  the years and the patients involved to bring a new drug or treatment to us. Yay, Kylie! You are so brave; you are a hero! You are paving the way for future patients. You are back in school, and I’m sure your parents are so proud and thankful…bless you!

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