Patient & Donor Meeting

Tana & Graham, Stem Cell Connection

On Feb 24, 2024, in Buckeye, AZ, Tana Velez, a cancer survivor, met Graham Cepica, whose stem cell donation changed their lives forever.

by Maya Ward
Public Relations Manager
Further articles

Tana's battle with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), diagnosed in January 2021, began with symptoms brushed off as mere muscle spasms until they escalated, leading her to seek medical attention. The journey was arduous, with Tana's diagnosis of Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive ALL revealing the necessity of a stem cell transplant for her survival.

Fortuitously, the search for a compatible donor led to Graham, a DKMS registrant since his freshman year of college. His altruistic decision to join the registry proved providential, offering Tana a glimmer of hope in her darkest hour. Graham's journey from registration to donation was marked by a simple yet profound realization of the impact his actions could have on someone else's life.

Tana's gratitude for Graham's donation knows no bounds, as it not only granted her a second chance at life but also bestowed upon her the joy of witnessing the birth of her granddaughter Luna, a testament to the ripple effect of one selfless act. Beyond their shared medical connection, Tana and Graham discovered a deeper bond rooted in mutual interests, including a love for the outdoors, photography, and gardening.

Their heartwarming story underscores the significance of donor registration and the transformative power of human connection. Through their shared journey, Tana and Graham hope to inspire others to join the DKMS registry, knowing that every registration could potentially save a life.

Join the DKMS registry today and offer a lifeline to leukemia patients. Your registration could be their chance for a cure. Take action now!

Register today to give the gift of hope to those battling Leukemia.
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