OMF - Paul O’Mara, 68, myelofibrosis, Worcester with Dr. Joseph Antin, Chief and Program Director, Stem Cell Transplantation, Dana-Farber 8-22-18

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 22nd
Paul, an avid jogger, began to get shortness of breath while working out. Soon after, he began to experience a full stomach shortly after starting to eat. After visiting his doctor, he was diagnosed with myelofibrosis.

For his treatment, Paul has received a stem cell transplant and is now focusing on being reimmunized. 

He chose Dana-Farber for its world-class reputation for treating cancer.

Paul’s experience at the Institute really took a turn in April 2017. He spent a month in the hospital and was then discharged to go home. He had to spend the next year in isolation, but unfortunately, three weeks later, his wife of 45 years, Norma, passed away suddenly.

Paul was so grateful for his doctor’s and nurses’ support. He will never forget their kindness and love. They encouraged him to push himself and do things that he didn’t think he was capable of.

Paul is now supported by his daughter, Kelley; son-in-law, Tony, and granddaughter, Taylor.

In his free time, he loves to run, play golf, and work.

Dr. Antin is Chief of Stem Cell Transplantation at Dana-Farber.

Dr. Antin received his MD from Cornell University in 1978, and postgraduate training in hematology and medical oncology at DFCI and Brigham and Women's Hospital. He subsequently served as director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Service at BWH from 1987 to 1997.

He is a founding member and past president of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and a past Chairman of the Steering Committee of the BMT Clinical Trial Network.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is a Paul Mara. All as for 68 years of age for a war still Massachusetts. Who sort. And a doctor Joseph Lipton thank you very much doctor for stopping by joining us publish your story because you're ready stem cell. Traits point I was first diagnosed in November of 2016. So my surprise I would say yeah. I had no real symptoms I had some slight symptoms. Mine have been worth it I'm an epic shot and who's getting out of breath very. Know early on something really unusual thing Iran more thank and I guess I may ask and it gets more and better shape right in idea. Exciting getting a full feeling in my stomach so. What did doc. To some light work in. Her eyes nose surprise surprise surprise that very day in my life and honest. Fortunately. I. Went for a second opinion. And the aunt and ain't got hooked up with doctor Newton. One hand and very very. Carefully explained everything you need to be 88. Alt and answer all questions and it was you know it was it was tough you know stuff in here at diagnosis in. You know. Not expecting to have notre took that I had no choice now go to the right place doing the right doctor right at the right to act right treatment. Right donor. You know perfect match. So among all fifteen months now on almost 500 dates and ideas and so transplant and I'm doing great at running. And nonstop now at one point they couldn't walk around reply. So doctor Joseph parent and you're the chief of stem cell transplantation. At the bar correct so. How does it work there are you the first person he meets or is there how do you how you gave his case. Well it if it is somewhat variable so some patience and through my through the system in the Farber. Where. Their initial diagnosis is made it Dana Farber and one of the non transplant physicians want to specialists and other he ecological malignancy we'll see them and then refer them to me for transplantation. In other cases a local team ecologists are colleges will make the diagnosis. And then refer to specifically for transplantation so. And then some people. Weren't ever refer to discomfort for a second opinion on their own volition and just in Washington. Two hear a different perspective on the story and that different take on what the therapies are. So ducking you clear up what we were just discussing the vote Olmedo translate stem cells hold the whole process does work. And a crucial were explaining early in your current not you know I don't know I expect that out most of the first over the mine explanation bush loses. Lane that's what the doctor explained it like it might help. Let's get back MacKey every college out. Fighters we actually showing up whether it's the Tamara fairy doesn't break a particular have to do something about that or so stem cells of the skills that these cells in the moment that are really the the source of the blunt okay so stem cells are primitive cells that resides inside the owner. And they themselves don't do anything that'll carry oxygen you know carry an infant infections that don't clutch your blood. But what they do lose is the the expand inside the boat out and produce healthy Bledsoe. So when somebody has that disease like leukemia or my outlook for disorder progresses. The stem cells that become injured somewhere misbehaving. There's not providing. Normal blood so when Paul couldn't run. It's because you become anemic assist themselves. Were not behave properly and not producing enough red blood cells that carry oxygen. So we have to replace those rights we want what we wanted to do was get rid of the damaged ones. And replace them with healthy ones and so that entails administrations of chemotherapy or chemotherapy radiation. The down. To regret that regulators eliminate. The bad the bad actors of the speaker and the owner and then we have to replace them with somebody else's themselves healthy so that could come from Brothers mr. That could compromise related donor. That could come from parent in some circumstances are offspring child. And can come from an umbilical chord so there are number different sources that we can get these healthy cells from from otherwise healthy people. So we can either extract them directly from the owner which is co owner harvest. Which some people do for for certain diseases. And others we can extract from the peripheral blood so the donor Tony if they Boehner stimulus. Koji cius it releases some of these stem cells into the blood where we collect the machines. And infant in the case of a family member they're here if we just take them to the lead bank ticket. They could process the open and fused into the patience for cord blood there and it. Registry program banks are frozen. And always the to a select them and they may mean the court devil oh so maybe I'll be seeking nose now men there's a registry so if if when he gets pregnant and wants to donate her. Trials and bill awkwardly to the registry she can sign up and then they're collected after the babies born in the placenta. Is trained extra blood and so if he's gone. The niners are technician has the placenta Adrian extra but that's where does that come. I. It actually save our sons. It's going to be right there in them on the counter in a dark in the yard couldn't believe it if you go oh yeah why should stick with the darkness of that amazing. Mean that is yes that is an unrelated donor day they don't the early donors donate -- live and then it's brought here by personal careers or someone carries it in a cooler. And delivers it doesn't leave their site until they get it from where they aren't they come from Australia Europe and Asia. They delivered to us and then we process it and that mr. education. So before we let you go well you feel really good now you're out you're jogging again and it and so what's your follow now where we're where do you go from here. I'm back to work full time great. Which is good work outside of Austin Giles found I am. And look and follow it so run it. Boston Marathon terrific trying to get on it Dana obviously he's plugged in if I get a different. Ideas like and yeah. In again might my treatment. And some unfortunate things happened neat after it was treated in isolation for a year. Reports white passed away. Couple weeks after I came home which really tough. Place in Nevada. Doctor. In his practitioner. Nurses. When I went into the hospital. It's it's it's just. All of its overwhelming. Q and the Chinese Vietnamese people away sent over backwards to visit let's face I was three weeks into my idea. Sense no chance. Of autism he really came again there really. On organized so that you know. Kinda continue along with my life. In life is good yeah that's a big part of the and we support it suits you were curing you know the patients put it will be on that the research. And it's the support that you thanks for sharing your story we appreciate our great seniors and security of Iraq are very much.