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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Patient Stories

Daniela checks in with Caitlin Beaudoin, APN, during a routine check-up.

Two-in-One Stem Cell Transplant

Daniela Lakosilova was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was 12 years old and underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy -- standard frontline treatment for the disease. When the leukemia recurred during her junior year of high school, Daniela came to Comer Children's Hospital, where John Cunningham, MD, performed an innovative stem cell transplant using cells from a half-matched related donor and well-matched, unrelated umbilical cord blood.

After receiving a stem cell transplant, Ali Al-Mammari visits Dr. Cunningham for a check-up.

Stem Cell Transplant Puts Sickle Cell Pain in the Past

When 13-year-old Ali Al-Mammari arrived in Chicago, he could barely walk due to his severe sickle cell anemia. Three months after receiving a bone marrow transplant (also referred to as stem cell transplant) at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Ali returned home to the United Arab Emirates no longer experiencing debilitating pain, but rather was running, riding a bicycle and playing soccer.

Cameron Dykstra with his parents

Innovations in Stem Cell Transplant Allow Parent to Become Donor

Cameron Dykstra was born with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID), a condition commonly known as "bubble boy disease." The stem cells in the infant’s bone marrow did not produce functioning lymphocytes -- cells that play a crucial role in fighting disease. But within a week of coming to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, his father’s donated blood stem cells -- purified using a novel technique -- were transplanted to Cameron where they took over the task of defending the infant’s body against harmful bacteria and viruses.