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Inspirational Stories

Gina

ALL Patient

Perkasie, PA

I was diagnosed with CML on May 25, 2010. Up until December 16, 2013 my disease was managed by oral chemo, then unexpectedly, I went into a blast crisis and progressed to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). I was told that I may not live to the end of the year unless an aggressive regimen of in-patient chemo, administered at the University of Pennsylvania hospital, was able to slow the proliferation of blast cells. Thankfully, the chemo worked and I began the preparation for a stem cell transplant. I had the stem cell transplant on May 1, 2014. My older sister was my donor and she was a 10 out of 10 match for me. I was in the hospital for 39 days during which I experienced much pain and many procedures. However, with steadfast love and support from my husband and countless others, I was able to leave the hospital and begin the long process of recovery. I began physical therapy in August of 2014. At that time, my main goal was to be well enough to attend my daughter's wedding in October of 2014. Once I accomplished that, I began to set other goals that incorporated exercise. I was discharged from formal physical therapy in May of 2015 and I set my next goal to complete a 5K race. The picture on the left is the first time I was able to get out of my hospital room on my own power on May 23, 2014. The picture on the right is me crossing the finish line at the Bringing Hope Home Stomps Cancer 5K in Sea Isle City, NJ on June 27, 2015. What a difference a year makes! I am currently on the LLS Team in Training for the Broad Street Run on May 1, 2016. Completing that run will be my way of celebrating the 2 year anniversary of my stem cell transplant and showing others that Leukemia is not a death sentence. It is the opportunity to live.

gina