Success Stories: Jessica Hahn
At just eight years old, Jessica Hahn was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a dangerous bone cancer. She went through 14 months of chemotherapy, which killed most of the cancer in her body. However, the intensive therapy also killed healthy cells, and Jessica’s body stopped making blood cells. This condition, called myelodysplastic syndrome, resulted in additional cancer medications, causing hair loss and constant nausea. Jessica’s legs also grew at different speeds.
After years of therapy, Jessica’s doctors decided to administer a stem cell transplant. Cells from umbilical cord blood were used in her transplant, since chemotherapy poisoned the existing bone marrow cells in Jessica’s body. After another round of chemo, Jessica was given an injection of cord blood stem cells on February 14th – Valentine’s Day.
While she suffered from multiple side effects, including skin inflammation, Jessica was successfully treated because of her stem cell transplant. After her therapy, her blood type changed from A to O negative, and she no longer has an allergy to penicillin. Although her cellular structure has changed after the transplant, Jessica now lives a healthy life – completely free from cancer.
After college, Jessica wants to go into stem cell research, and currently encourages children going through cell transplants by sharing her experience.