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Mary's Story


Mary was a typical teenager, busy with cheerleading, dance, theater and gymnastics — until she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when she was only 18.

Although she had a successful bone marrow transplant, the early recovery was difficult. While confined to the hospital, she watched sadly as her long hair fell out. Months of isolation left her feeling depressed. It was a hard time.

A need for resources

Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children and teenagers. Survival rates have greatly increased, but there are still few resources to help young survivors like Mary cope with the unexpected hardships associated with life-threatening diseases. With the support of individuals, corporations and other partners, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is working to change that.

NMDP: Supporting patients through treatment

Now 20, Mary is healthy and hopeful about the future. She plans to complete high school and become an actress, a model or a nurse. And she is one of several young people who share their stories in our DVD and magazine entitled Forward: Living life after transplant. The NMDP Office of Patient Advocacy produced Forward specifically for teenagers and young adults who are receiving treatment with a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. Forward helps teens learn from the experiences of others, giving them tools to better cope with their treatment and life afterwards.

With your help, we will continue to provide programs like Forward and many other resources to transplant patients. Your contributions can help patients receive the transpslants they need and help them better cope with their treatment and recovery. 

Make a contribution today.

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Page last updated: July 2007

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