“As Dr. Houston compassionately painted the picture of my cancer and proposed treatment I started to cry,” said Larry. “It was overwhelming to learn I had blood cancer.”
Thanks to your ongoing support, doctors at CancerCare Manitoba are engaged in research to develop advancements in care for blood cancers like Larry’s.
Finding a perfect donor for bone marrow transplants is essential to ensuring the best possible patient outcomes. Larry, who had a bone marrow transplant in the spring to help treat his acute myeloid leukemia (AML), knows the importance of increasing opportunities to find the best possible match, after searching in Canada, the UK, and as far away as India.
Last fall, Larry began feeling unwell and continuously tired, so he visited his family doctor who took his vitals and ordered blood tests. “The apprehension began when my doctor called and said I need to see you ASAP.”
After undergoing more tests and providing a sample of his bone marrow, Larry eventually found himself feeling overwhelmed in Dr Houston’s office. She’s one of the CancerCare doctors actively engaged in researching blood disorders, thanks to your past gifts. After several cycles of chemotherapy Larry’s condition improved enough to begin the search for a bone marrow donor. Larry’s two children were both determined to be only 50% matches. Since the strenuous search across the world for a donor with a better match was unsuccessful, Larry’s son began the process of donating his bone marrow to help save his father’s life.
Your generous support has allowed Dr. Houston and other scientists at the CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute to begin establishing a bone marrow registry. A registry that will ultimately lead to better outcomes not just for Manitobans like Larry, but for Canadians from across the country.
“Participation in a national registry allows us to study how people respond to treatment across Canada,” says Dr. Houston. “Over time we can modify and improve treatments in an informed way based on this new evidence.”
In March, Larry received his bone marrow transplant and began his recovery. He credits many people involved in his care with his progress, including his prayer group, doctors, dietician, nurses, pharmacists, and you as donors. “CCMB helped us through some rough patches. I couldn’t ask for a better team. They helped lift my spirit and encouraged me to have a positive mindset which I think helped me recover.”
“As an immigrant myself, I recognize the need for a robust and diversified bank of bone marrow donors. It is important that our registries and tumour banks represent our population to help ensure the best possible outcome for all patients like me.”
Larry is now in remission thanks to your support of local cancer research. His latest report shows that his son’s bone marrow was successful and is helping his body make new blood cells. Larry is feeling stronger and has even been hitting the golf course again. He and his entire family are grateful to you for your dedication to local research and patient care.
Since the publishing of the Impact Report, Larry and his family received the devasting news that his cancer has returned. Your continued support of research at CancerCare Manitoba will help ensure that all Manitobans like Larry have access to the best treatments available.