In January 2008 William Fuller began to have night sweats. This father of three and small business owner wasn’t overly worried. He just chalked it up to stress and getting older.
|William Fuller was the recipient of our 10,000th bone marrow transplant.|
But then he got worse. William began to feel tired all of the time. And he was steadily losing weight. He eventually lost 50 pounds. He and his family began to fear the worst.
Their fears came true when William was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia and told he had six to nine months to live. Depression was settling on his whole family when the first piece of good news arrived: William was a candidate for a bone marrow transplant at City of Hope.
William is Belizean, Caribbean and Mayan. His ethnicity made finding a marrow donor very difficult. But the Fuller family was on the path to health and they would not let small percentages stop them.
William’s sister organized bone marrow drives in California, Florida and New York. They reached out to people of similar ethnic descent. Remarkably, the family found three possible matches and one of them agreed to donate marrow.
On January 13 of this year, he received the transplant. Shortly after the surgery his nurse wished him “Happy Birthday” — signaling the beginning of his new life. One month later he left the hospital, well on his way to recovery.
“Being able to stand here today is living proof that this system of medicine works,” William said.
And while we are excited to reach the milestone of 10,000 bone marrow transplants, in the end it is more about saving one life at a time than it is about a big number. City of Hope’s Dr. Stephen J. Forman said it best: “Day to day, our work is all about a single life at stake that we are trying to save.”
The U.S. Congress officially recognized City of Hope for the tremendous achievement of 10,000 bone marrow transplants.
Rep. Judy Chu of California’s 32nd District called the achievement “a time to remember the thousands of children and adults who have benefitted from City of Hope.”
We thank you for the part you played in reaching this achievement. Your generous donations have saved the lives of so many people.