Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre is just one of three centres providing all forms of stem cell transplants to adult cancer patients in Ontario. A stem cell transplant has the ability to give more tomorrows to patients suffering from blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. It is a complex, but potentially life-saving medical procedure, and patients across Ontario are waiting for their opportunity to receive a transplant.

Stem cell transplants, particularly donor-matched transplants (clinically known as allogeneic) are complex and resource-intensive, requiring very specialized facilities and highly trained clinical teams.

Please support our campaign to enable the expansion of a dedicated and specialized clinical space, and to purchase essential equipment, so that Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre can provide 50 per cent more cancer patients with this potentially life-saving treatment. While it is expected that the expansion will be complete and open for patients in fall 2018, we need your support now.

Donate today because everyone deserves a tomorrow.

I now have a tomorrow

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Cassandra Wadham of Burlington was experiencing weakness and night sweats. When she developed a mouth sore, she went to her local ER. They sent her to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

A bone marrow biopsy showed 37-year-old Cassandra had acute myeloid leukemia.

For seven months, Cassandra underwent chemotherapy and full-body radiation to prepare her system for a stem cell transplant. A matching donor was found and the transplant was successful.

“It took about six weeks for me to recover to the point where I could be discharged,” says Cassandra. “I was in isolation for 100 days at home to minimize the risk of infection, leaving only for medical appointments.”

Cassandra is now thriving and looking forward to Feb. 3, 2017, which will mark five years in remission, at which point she will be considered cured.

“If I didn’t have a stem cell transplant, I probably would have died,” Cassandra says. “I can look forward to tomorrow and the future thanks to my stem cell transplant.”

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On the edge of medical science with a lifesaving cancer clinical trial

When 20-year-old Ramsey Fayed of Oakville started to feel his throat closing up at night, he knew something was wrong.

Tests showed he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. As a result, Ramsey went through five months of chemotherapy and radiation at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

While his cancer went into remission, Ramsey’s oncologist was concerned about a relapse and said he needed to have a stem cell transplant. Without the transplant, Ramsey’s future was uncertain. The challenge was finding a stem cell match. As a result of some ground-breaking research, Ramsey participated in a clinical trial that would allow him to receive his sister’s stem cells, even though she was not a match.

“It was overwhelming when they said I was totally clear of cancer after my transplant,” he says. “I appreciate things more now. I like to get out and experience life and spend time with family and friends. I am excited for the future.”

You can give more tomorrows. Donate today.

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Stem cell transplant stops cancer recurrence in its tracks

Fourteen months after going into remission from acute myeloid leukemia, Linda Millar of St. Catharines learned her cancer was back.

This time, chemotherapy was much harder. “I was weaker. It was difficult to even get up to go to the bathroom,” Linda says.

Her doctor told her she needed a stem cell transplant. “He said that when this kind of cancer comes back, it will continue to come back. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to go through this treatment again.”

After a brief admission for immunosuppression treatment and the transplant, Linda had a follow-up appointment every second day for 100 days to monitor her for complications. She had to avoid crowds and wear a mask when she left home. “I found the most challenging part was the weakness and the need to keep pushing myself to keep going,” she says. Four years later, she is grateful and feeling well.

“I received the very top level of care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. The whole team is incredible,” Linda says. “I pushed myself to keep going so I could have a tomorrow. Mine is a real success story, thanks to my stem cell transplant.”

Looking to tomorrow thanks to lifesaving stem cell transplant

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Twenty-three days after his stem cell transplant in 2009, Tim Maloney learned that the transplanted cells had entered his bloodstream to start making new blood cells.

“That is when the euphoria set in,” says the Burlington resident now.

Just a few months before, Tim had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and endured chemotherapy, radiation, nausea, weakness and infections. One night, his wife was told he would not survive until morning.

After the transplant, Tim stayed at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre for 35 days and remained in isolation at home for two more months. He had one more round of chemo and a cocktail of medications.

But he knows that all he went through gave him his tomorrow.

“Thanks to my stem cell transplant, I feel good about the future,” he says. “Tomorrow can happen; I can spend more valuable time with my family and focus on my business.”

Tomorrow stems from you. Donate today.

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Uncertain future turns into a bright tomorrow

One month shy of her 20th birthday, Maddie was diagnosed with leukemia.  She had been feeling exhausted and her mom had noticed she looked extremely pale.  The diagnosis was a shock.

When chemotherapy was not as effective as her hematologist had hoped, it was recommended that Maddie have a stem cell transplant, which replaces unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy cells.

Maddie, a Burlington resident, was surprised that the procedure was like getting a blood transfusion. In fact, she slept through it. After a difficult month in isolation at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, Maddie went home.

Three years later, Maddie says, “I couldn’t have asked for a better team supporting me through that journey. I am living a normal life and looking forward to tomorrow, which is incredible because I never thought I would be able to do that.”

What is a stem cell transplant?

A stem cell transplant is a method of replacing cells in the bone marrow that cause cancer. New stem cells from a donor are infused into the patient so that they can attack the underlying diseased cells to help fight the cancer.