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Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Update on My Cousin Tami

Just a few months ago my cousin was diagnosed with a blood cancer called Myelodysplasia. If this is the first you've heard about this you can learn more about it on her website at www.HelpingTami.org.

Tami has been transferred to Seattle and has begun her pre-transplant testing! The testing will take approximately 2 weeks. Then the potential donor will go through an extensive health screening to make sure he is healthy enough to be eligible to donate his stem cells. There is a 50% chance that the donor may be deemed ineligible to donate or may change his mind. On the truly incredible and miraculous front... A second 10 out of 10 marker match donor has been located for Tami. Her odds of recovery are getting better and better.

Once a donor has been deemed eligible to donate to her, there are still some tough obstacles Tami will have to overcome. She must endure 8-10 rounds of chemo before being able to receive a transplant. This is of course a debilitating process followed by a long recovery of several months.

If everything goes according to plan this is how things are shaping up in the coming weeks:

1. Tami undergoes her 2 week testing period and passes her health evaluation.

2. The potential donor undergoes and passes his health evaluation.

3. The transplant will be scheduled.

4. Tami will undergo several rounds of chemo to destroy her damaged bone marrow.

5. The donor will begin undergoing the injections that will make his marrow over produced stem cells so that they leave his marrow and enter his blood stream where they can be harvested. The donor will receive back the blood taken minus the extra stem cells.

6. The stem cells are flown to Seattle and Tami receives her transplant.

The entire process will still take several more weeks. The earliest a transplant can take place would be early July. So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and know that there are many other patients out there desperately searching for a match of their own. You can help me spread the word by making sure everyone you know learns about the National Marrow Donor Program and how they can register in person or online.


  1. It's great to hear the update on Tami! We're sending her positive thoughts through her long road to recovery.

  2. My thoughts are with your family, hoping for a positive outcome and strength to get through the coming months. Wonderful to hear things are moving in a successful direction

  3. Keeping good thoughts for Tami and her family! I just received my NMDP donor ID card in the mail!


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