Success Stories: Jaclyn Alabanese

When Jaclyn was fifteen, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She endured chemotherapy over the course of the next six months, which caused constant nausea and total hair loss. However, the chemo didn’t cure her completely. After months of therapy, Jaclyn found red spots all over her body. She had relapsed, and needed additional treatment.

Doctors frantically searched for a matching bone marrow donor for a transplant, but none of them matched the correct stem cells needed for Jaclyn’s transplant. However, two donated cord blood units – using the National Cord Blood Program at New York Blood Center – were close enough to her cells, and Jaclyn decided to go through with a cord blood transplant.

She received additional chemotherapy and radiation therapy before doctors finally administered a stem cell treatment using one of the matching cord blood units. Her successful transplant was completed in 1999, and Jaclyn spent the next several weeks confined to a hospital bed. She was still restricted to a specific diet, but was eventually able to leave the hospital.

While she still suffers from a weaker-than-normal immune system, Jaclyn enjoys a mostly normal life thanks to the cord blood treatments.

Find out more about life-saving treatments using cord blood stem cells.

Sources:
National Cord Blood Program

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