Special birthday present: Stem cell donor returns to Goltry

GOLTRY, Okla. A Goltry-area woman is back on Oklahoma soil after traveling to Milwaukee to give her brother a special birthday present.

Jeni Sumner was the only match among family members tested to donate stem cells to her younger brother, who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia last year.

Ed Dees cancer went into remission last October but returned earlier this year. Sumner said Dees doctors felt a stem cell transplant would be the best treatment.

Sumner spoke by phone about the events of the past week, as she prepared to return to Oklahoma on Thursday morning.

The transplant began at 2:07 p.m. Tuesday Dees birthday and took about an hour, she said.

We had a little birthday party for him and then he got my present, Sumner said.

Prior to the transplant, Dee went through chemotherapy and had a conditioning treatment, which Sumner said entailed the doctors wiping out his immune system and blood levels.

Sumner had to give herself injections over four days to make her bone marrow produce more stem cells and push them into her blood.

Those went really well, she said.

The stem cell retrieval process was on Monday.

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Special birthday present: Stem cell donor returns to Goltry

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