A big day on the road to transplant

Today was a big day on the road to transplant!

Today we met with Brandon’s wonderful transplant team to discuss his upcoming transplant! We discussed general transplant plans and what to expect moving forward.
We were excited to learn that Brandon’s donor has begun the first stages of infectious disease testing in preparation for their donation. Once they are cleared for donation a date will be set and Brandon will proceed towards transplant.

As exciting as this step is, the meeting also brought forward many of the risks regarding transplant. Stem cell/bone marrow transplants are very high-risk procedures. Some of the major risks of transplant include graft rejection, and graft-verses-host-disease (GVHD). GVHD occurs when the donor’s cells attack the recipient’s body. GVHD can occur at anytime, however, the most serious complications usually occur within the first 100 days following transplant. Due to this, Brandon will be followed extremely closely during and after his transplant. We have so much confidence in the amazing transplant team at MD Anderson that preforms over 1,000 transplants per year (more than any other hospital)! We know Brandon is in THE best place for the next step of his treatment!

We also learned that Brandon’s doctor has requested that the donor go through a bone marrow harvest rather than a stem cell harvest. This means the donor will go under general anesthesia to have a portion of their bone marrow removed rather than donating stem cells through aphaeresis (a machine that filters the stem cells from their blood). This method is preferred as the risk for chronic graft-verses-host-disease is lower with bone marrow donation. Regardless of the type of cells that are harvested, the process for Brandon will be the same; the cells will be infused into his blood stream when he receives the transplant.

We are beyond thankful for this wonderful person that has agreed to donate their cells to Brandon. We can’t wait for the day that we can contact him/her and say thank you! We are amazed at their courage to give Brandon a chance for a life without leukemia.

Please continue to keep us, and Brandon’s donor, in your thoughts and prayers as we proceed forward with this scary, but very exciting, step towards a life without leukemia.

Thank you all for your continuous love and support.

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