Minggu, 25 Maret 2012

One Option For Treatment of Leukemia is Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

There are few things more terrifying to a parent than being told that your child has Leukemia.

My son was two years old when he began to exhibit troubling symptoms. He was fairly small at birth and he never seemed to gain much weight, always remaining in the bottom percentile for weight in children his age. He began to show signs of constant fatigue and no amount of sleep seemed enough. He became noticeably pale, even in the summer. At first the doctor thought we were dealing with a series of viruses; Jamie was in daycare after all, and those places are a hotbed for colds and the like. After a few months without sign of recovery it seemed obvious to my husband and I that something else was going on. We had him tested for Anemia and sure enough, his red blood cell count was low. The doctor prescribed iron supplements and sent us off.

In the back of my mind something was bothering me about the diagnosis; call it mother’s paranoia. I paid for more comprehensive testing at a private clinic and we received the devastating news: Jamie was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (or JMML). There are different variations of Leukemia and JMML is probably the worst. It typically strikes very young children and without aggressive treatment the survival rate is as low as five percent. We sat down with the team of doctors to discuss treatment options and what was going to happen to Jamie and I was absolutely numb through the entire meeting.

The one thing that suddenly brought hope to us was the fact that we had opted to store some blood from Jamie’s umbilical cord at a banking facility. I don’t even remember why we did it at the time. I guess I’m big on insurance. The doctors were excited when my husband spoke up to inform them of this and it turns out that one of the most effective treatments for JMML is through a stem cell transplant.

Jamie is now six and his prognosis is good, although if we hadn’t made that decision just before he was born, the outcome would likely have been grim.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar