In the fall of 2015, Stephanie Talaia-Murray developed a facial rash and her blood counts kept dropping. Her team at Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, concerned about leukemia, sent her to Wilmot Cancer Institute. Doctors confirmed her diagnosis as acute myeloid leukemia. She needed chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
Stephanie was fortunate to have two perfect matches for the transplant. At first, she was surprised to have only two matches, but then she learned having two perfect matches was more than many people have.
“Before I needed one, I really had no idea about the registry or about what a stem cell transplant is,” she says. “I think a lot of people don’t know that there’s this kind of organ donation you can do where you can be alive and it’s an outpatient procedure.”
She had her transplant in February 2016 and while the side effects were tough, she’s doing well. She is back at Hamilton College, where she's finishing her bachelor's degree in geology sciences.
Stephanie still travels about three hours every week to come to Wilmot, but she’s thankful for the care she’s received here.
“I was just amazed that these people are so competent and they’re so compassionate and I really wouldn’t have gone anywhere else,” she says.