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Patient & Caregiver Stories

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When Willow, an active, healthy five-year-old began experiencing unusual symptoms like decreased appetite and fatigue, her mother, Valerie, didn’t assume the worst. But after her bloodwork came back abnormal – showing a critically low platelet count – Valerie’s concerns grew. It was around midnight the following day when a medical team from Children’s National Hospital in DC delivered the news that Willow had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

When Steve began experiencing flu-like symptoms, he and his wife Crystal didn't think his condition was serious. His primary care physician and urgent care doctors thought he might have mononucleosis or tonsillitis, but Steve and Crystal knew these theories were unlikely since Steve had his tonsils removed as a child. When he realized antibiotics weren't improving his symptoms, Steve decided to visit the emergency room. Crystal was at an after-school activity when she received a call from Steve to tell her he had leukemia.

When Meaghan was pregnant with her second child, she found herself struggling to get out of bed. Many people assumed she was experiencing depression because she was also coping with the recent death of her brother. What was really going on with her brain wouldn’t be properly diagnosed for another four years.  

When Norman was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), doctors told him the odds were against him. When it came time for a bone marrow transplant, no donors could be found. Then a woman in Germany, who signed up for the registry two days prior, emerged as a match.