Time to shine

A Clarenville couple is hoping their ordeal with leukemia is over after receiving a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor from Halifax.

In 2008, Janice Davidson was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and immediately underwent an aggressive series of treatments.

The first time around her cancer was put into remission quite quickly.

She was cancer for free for almost two years when it came back in 2011.

The next step in the treatment process was to do a stem cell transplant using Janice's own stem cells instead of a donor's.

In layman's terms, it is a process in which stem cells are taken out and then put back in the patient after they are put in remission.

Janice's husband, Ian Davidson, says she had a difficult time with the process but came through the ordeal and was cancer free for another year and a half.

Then the cancer came back again.

"This time, our only option was the stem cells of a donor, because her system is clearly broken. Janice didn't have a match in her own family, only 25 per cent of people find matches within their own family so it's not as high as you would think," says Davidson.

It's much more desirable to have a match in the family because there are more genetic markers that are similar and it reduces the risk of a phenomenon called graft-versus-host disease, a complication associated with stem cell or bone marrow transplant. When the body recognizes that it's not its original cells, the body can attack itself. It can be very mild or it can be life threatening.

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Time to shine

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