web exclusive | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation

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Battling Aplastic Anemia, Seeking Information

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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Patient, Educator, and Volunteer

Person's Name: 
Stephen King

A PNH survivor for more than 25 years, Stephen King speaks about his life as a patient and an advocate in both formal and informal roles -- and offers advice for newly diagnosed PNH patients.

 “I’m an engineer with a problem-solving orientation,” says the medical software manager from Atlanta, Georgia. “After my diagnosis, I thought, now that you know what it is, let’s fix it. It took a little time to sink in that there was no quick fix, and I had to learn more about it.”

Early Diagnosis, Treatment and Emphasis on Self-Advocacy

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A Rare Case of Aplastic Anemia Later in Life Won't Stop Me

Person's Name: 
Al Meyer

I grew up in Louisiana - born in New Orleans and raised in Lafayette. I joined the Army, and went to Seattle and worked at Madigan General Hospital where I met my wife. I was then sent to Vietnam. After I returned, I worked for a bank in Seattle for 16 years, becoming a vice president and manager. I helped finance an auto auction as part of this job, and as a result, I fell in love with the car businesses.  I was accepted for a Ford training program that lasted for two years at a Seattle Ford dealership.

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