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2014 Matthew Debono Scholarship Winner Thomas Howlett

Person's Name: 
Thomas Howlett

Thomas is thankful he has a future. He wasn’t so sure when in March 2011 he was told as a high school freshman that “he wouldn’t be playing paintball for a while.” Thomas was diagnosed with MDS that quickly progressed into

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2014 Matthew Debono Scholarship Winner Annette Lysan

Person's Name: 
Annette Lysan

In March, Annette had the honor of singing a solo for her high school senior show. She chose to sing “I Was Here”, a song recorded by the group Lady Antebellum and others. The lyrics for the chorus start with “I wanna do something that matters – say something different – something that sets the whole world on its ear – I wanna do something better with the time I’ve been given.” She considers it her personal anthem. Nineteen-year-old Annette has overcome several obstacles since she was diagnosed as a toddler with MDS and had a

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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.

Bone Marrow Disease(s): 
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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.

Bone Marrow Disease(s): 
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Annie Tighe – A Second Transplant Saves Annie

Person's Name: 
Annie Tighe

This is the story of my beautiful granddaughter Annie, who celebrated her 13th birthday this April 2014.  It’s also the story of Annie’s big sister Katherine, as well as of her mother Melissa, and her father, Tom (my son). 

When my husband and I picked Annie up from pre-school in December of 2005, we noticed bruises on her arms and legs. Melissa looked over her body closely that evening and counted 14 bruises! She immediately took Annie to her pediatrician, who took one look at her and said, “Take her to The City of Hope.”

Bone Marrow Disease(s): 
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