Oakville Man is Patient Spokesperson for Stem Cell Campaign

Ramsey Fayed
Oakville Man is Patient Spokesperson for Stem Cell Campaign

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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When 20-year-old Ramsey Fayed from Oakville started to feel his throat closing up at night, he knew that “something wasn’t right.” But what he didn’t realize was that his life was in danger.

Ramsey was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Immediate treatment was vital, as the cancer can spread quickly throughout the body, infiltrate organs, and result in serious infections and bleeding by compromising the immune system. He was referred to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, where he was admitted for intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

While his cancer went into remission, Ramsey’s oncologist was concerned about a relapse and told him he needed to have a stem cell transplant. Without the transplant, Ramsey’s future was uncertain. The challenge was finding a stem cell match. As a result of ground-breaking research, Ramsey participated in a clinical trial that would allow him to receive his sister’s stem cells, even though she was not a match.

“It was overwhelming when they said I was clear of cancer after my transplant,” says Ramsey. “I am forever grateful to the hospital staff for giving me a tomorrow.”

Thankful for the care he received, Ramsey decided to speak publicly about his experience as a Patient Ambassador for Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation’s Tomorrow Stems From You campaign.

The $3.5-million Tomorrow Stems From You campaign will help enable the expansion of a dedicated and specialized clinical space, as well as the purchase of essential equipment, so that Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre can provide 50 per cent more cancer patients with stem cell transplants. Stem cell transplants are an essential component of treatment for some patients with blood-related cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia, and other hematological (blood) disorders. Stem cell transplants are complex and resource-intensive, requiring very specialized facilities and highly trained clinical teams. Both the treatment and potential complications from a stem cell transplant require a patient to remain in hospital for an extended period of time followed by daily hospital visits, which is one of the factors underlying the importance of this campaign. To date, the Foundation has raised $1.7 million, thanks to community support.

The Tomorrow Stems From You campaign can mean the difference between life and death for patients with blood cancer, and community support is key to providing more opportunities for these patients to have a tomorrow. To learn more about the campaign, to read the inspiring stories of patients who now have a tomorrow thanks to a stem cell transplant, or to make a donation, please visit www.hamiltonhealth.ca/stems.

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