Close to home: Patients have new option for bone marrow transplants

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There was a time in Nancy Guerra’s life when she didn’t plan things too far ahead. Doctors diagnosed her with Multiple myleoma, a cancer of the blood, in 2007. But everything changed when she received a bone marrow transplant.

“(I have) a lot of fatigue still and I’m working on that,” said Guerra, “but I’m able to do the things I like to do, like taking my dogs out for a walk. My energy is getting a lot better.”

Guerra was the first ever patient to get a bone marrow transplant in Austin, at the new blood cancer center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. Before now, anyone needing one would have to travel to San Antonio or Houston.

“It was really a blessing to me to be able to have this extra boost to my remission and have the program right here in town.”

After several weeks of recovery, she is enjoying a new lease on life.

Given Austin’s booming senior population, Dr. Lawrence Tokaz says the need for marrow transplants will only increase.

“The vast population spike which you see this disease in are patients in their 60s and 70s,” Tokaz said. “This is a treatment now that can be delivered to those patients.”

Tokaz says getting treatment close to home can sometimes help patients heal faster.

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