Amanda was seven weeks pregnant with her third child when her doctor noticed something unusual. After additional testing, Amanda was stunned to learn that she had Leukemia and needed to start treatment right away. Determined to keep her baby, Amanda opted for a conservative course of treatment. Her pregnancy progressed without complications and she gave birth to a healthy, beautiful boy.
Just four weeks after childbirth, Amanda’s leukemia worsened. She was in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant. When Amanda got the news that there was not match in her family, she was devastated. “I wanted to see my babies grow up,” she said. “I wanted to be with my husband and grow old together. It was hard to hear that my hopes and dreams might be taken away.”
Amanda’s family held registration drives in their hometown Chicago area, but it was a DKMS drive in Texas that registered the young man who would become her lifesaver. “I was one of the lucky ones,” she said. “I only had to wait two months.” Amanda got her transplant in October 2009 and by Christmas, her donor’s cells had engrafted. Amanda’s hopes and dreams were renewed.
In the years since her transplant, Amanda has remained healthy, raising her three children and participating in blood cancer awareness events. When her youngest son was nearly five, Amanda checked to see if DKMS was hiring – and found a job opportunity that was a perfect fit! Amanda joined our team as a donor recruitment coordinator in 2014.
“My journey has come full circle,” explained Amanda. “I want to help patients and their families by recruiting more potential donors. I want to let them know there is hope. I was lucky to have a match. I want that for everyone.”