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Alert Number 277

A Bold New Journey Starts

Date: February 25, 2008

Some you have asked about “Harvey”, our hypothetical patient.  On behalf of my best friend I thank you for your concern and good wishes. 

Harvey finished several months of therapy in an attempt to get that elusive “CR” prior to going into a double cord blood mini-allo stem cell transplant.  It does not look like he will be in full CR, but he got awfully close to it, and he decided this is as good as it is going to get.  Now it is time to implement his transplant game plan.  Harvey is feeling confident and optimistic.  Serena’s mood swings between unreasonable euphoria and poorly controlled panic, averaging out somewhere close to confident optimism as well.  Me, I am just the story teller - don’t mind me.

After doing careful and detailed evaluation, our hero chose the University of Minnesota as his transplant center.  Other transplant centers (such as the Hutch and M. D. Anderson) have done more adult donor stem cell transplants, but Minnesota has done more cord blood transplants for adult patients than anyone else.  Their double cord protocol has become the standard by which other protocols are judged.  For patients who do not have the good fortune of sibling donors or adult matched unrelated donors, the U of Minnesota Cord Blood Program offers a valuable option. Harvey and Serena will head out to the frozen tundra of Minneapolis in 2 weeks time.

Harvey decided he would like to document his journey by maintaining a detailed on-line journal.  It is going to take some effort to keep this project going, at a time when there will be many demands on his time (and mine).  But if by this process he helps even a few patients who must walk down this same road, he will be happy. 

You can access “Harvey’s Journal” by visiting our home page and clicking on the journal link prominently displayed at the top of the home page.  There will be regular journal entries for those of you wishing to keep up with what is happening to our hypothetical friend.  We will also be trying our best to demystify all the jargon and intimidation that goes with transplants.  The Journal has a feedback feature so that you can leave your comments and read what other people had to say as well.  As always, your thoughtful comments are both welcome and deeply appreciated. 

He and I would not dream of being without our laptops over the four months or so that we will be in Minneapolis, so our members can still contact us via the usual email addresses.

Wish us luck.



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