Sutter Cancer Centers
Victor - Marrow Transplant Saves a Life
Less than one year ago Victor Chavez was living a normal, healthy life in Vallejo with his wife of 38 years and four children. But then his health started ailing. Victor was more tired than usual and his appetite waned to the point where he rapidly lost 60 pounds.
After a check up with his physician, Victor was called with an urgent message: he needed to go to the hospital immediately; his condition was dire. Victor was checked into his local hospital and stayed there for a week while he was tested and examined. The tests showed that he had developed chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, a very rare blood cancer. Victor was then transferred to the Sutter Cancer Center at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, which is known for its comprehensive Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Acute Leukemia Programs.
The treatment for chronic myelomonocytic leukemia is chemotherapy and blood and marrow transplantation. The transplantation of healthy cells will help Victor’s immune system fight the cancer. But first, Victor needed to find a donor match.
Sutter Cancer Center’s staff started scouring the national marrow donor registry for a match, but because there are less ethnic minorities in the registry, it was difficult to find a match for a Hispanic patient. To help Victor’s flight, Sutter Cancer Center partnered with BloodSource on a blood and marrow drive to help find a donor for Victor and other patients waiting for a match.
“I think the Latino community would more be open to being a donor if they were better informed about the process,” said Victor. “Transplantation sounds scary, but it is a pretty easy process for the donor and the patient.”
Following the blood and marrow drive, Sutter Cancer Center’s Registry team was able to find a donor match for Victor. He was immediately prepared for the transplant, which was filmed by Univision Channel 19 in Sacramento for a newscast in hopes to educate the Hispanic community about this form of treatment.
At his 60 day post-transplant appointment, Victor was in complete remission and doing great thanks to Michael Carroll, M.D., his oncologist who specialize in BMT, and the BMT Team at Sutter Cancer Center.
Learn more about the Sutter Cancer Center.
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