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When his leukemia returned with a vengeance, Daniel turned to Cincinnati Children's.
Daniel was a normal, healthy 12-year-old boy, when his mother learned he had been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. "The bottom fell out of my life," says Kathy Conway, Daniel's mother.The Conways live near Youngstown, Ohio. Daniel started chemo at the local children's hospital and went into remission. Then, almost a year to the day after being diagnosed with leukemia, he relapsed. "That's when they told me to start thinking about a bone marrow transplant," recalls Kathy. They decided to go to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for Daniel's transplant.
Of course the initial consultation was very, very scary. Daniel and his mom were told that without a transplant Daniel had no chance of living another year. With a transplant he had a 30-40 percent chance. Needless to say, it was a very somber ride home. But both Daniel and Kathy remained positive and saw their trip to Cincinnati Children's as a chance to beat Daniel's cancer.
Daniel's transplant was scheduled for a month later. They had no problem finding a donor match for the stem cells for the transplant, which came from the stem cells of an umbilical cord. But first came weeks of radiation and chemo to kill the cancer cells.
After the transplant, Daniel stayed in the hospital for another month, recovering. He gained 80 pounds as a result of his medications, and was extremely weak and susceptible to disease. He had to stay in his own sterile room, with few visitors – except for his mom and those treating him. It was a very painful time, but Kathy and her son had the support of everyone at Cincinnati Children's.
"The whole cancer team welcomed me. In the morning during rounds, they came in and talked to me," says Kathy. "They were comforting in their knowledge. And they listened to me because I was in the room 24 hours a day."
His mom adds, "I have a lot of love for every single person who was part of that experience. We were where we were supposed to be, with the people we were supposed to be with. When we come to Cincinnati Children's, we feel safe."
We take pride in offering the highest level of care to every child, and every family, who comes in our doors. And with your support, we can continue to do so for even more families like Daniel's.
If you have had an experience with the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, we invite you to share your story.
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