Ali – Tennessee
At age 5, Ali’s pediatrician diagnosed her with neuroblastoma and referred her immediately to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment. Ali completed more than two years of treatment, including chemotherapy. Doctors declared her cancer-free, and she resumed the normal life of a young child.
At age 12 a persistent pain in Ali’s leg was determined to be a recurrence of the cancer, which dramatically decreased her chance for survival. Most children with a recurrence do not survive.
After the traditional treatment protocols had been exhausted, Ali received a “Haplo” bone marrow transplant, a procedure pioneered by a St. Jude researcher, Rupert Handgretinger, MD, PhD. This new, cutting-edge process allows an unmatched donor, in this case Ali’s mother, to be a patient’s cell donor.