web exclusive | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation

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Briana Donis Overcomes Aplastic Anemia Through Two Transplants

Person's Name: 
Briana Donis

Homecoming queen and top student Briana Donis always wanted to go to the University of Texas at Austin.

“I was having a pretty awesome year.  I was very well known at school and I had a boyfriend.”  She had just been accepted at the school of her choice when she noticed how really tired she was all the time. And then the bleeding started.

Disease

“When I would cut myself, like it would be just a little paper cut, I would fill up a napkin with blood. I thought it was really weird.”

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Bone Marrow Diseases: 

Mary Swift

Person's Name: 
Mary Swift

At the age of 3, I became ill with a rare blood disorder. I was bruising easily, and my platelet count was dangerously low. I was diagnosed to have ITP, had my spleen removed, and thought I was cured. However, my disease was either dormant or morphing into something else. My symptoms recurred with pregnancy, and after my second child was born, my disease was never dormant again.

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Comedy Became my Drug

Person's Name: 
Colin Powell

It was early April of 2015 when I started getting headaches, weakness and abnormal heart rates simultaneously whenever I exerted myself. Stairs became a nemesis, as I could feel myself about to faint whenever I reached my apartment on the third floor. I thought that now would be a good time to visit the doctor. There I had blood work done and a few hours later they called and told me to go to the ER immediately.  “So…I shouldn’t go hiking right now?” I joked, despite the weakness in my legs.

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Hope for AnnaLeigh

Patient Photo
Person's Name: 
AnnaLeigh

AnnaLeigh is a 5 year old little girl in our family. She has the most warming smile, joyful eyes, and a radiant shade of red hair. She is the typical 5 year old who dreams of princesses, lady bugs, and playing outside.

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Bone Marrow Diseases: 

Peter Sonnentag, 5K Chair

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Person's Name: 
this family member

I met my beautiful wife Claire, Dave’s stepdaughter, after graduating from the UW. In the years since, Claire and I have built a wonderful life and had two amazing children together.  I feel extremely lucky to have had Dave in my children’s lives as well as my own, if only for a few short years.  The impact he’s had on our family has been immeasurable.  I had never known someone so well regarded and loved by an entire community.

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