Transplant nurse is hoping for a holiday miracle, a bone marrow transplant for her husband

December 01, 2014

Coworkers rally to hold bone marrow drive at the hospital

BACKGROUND:

Laurie Stevens, LVN, has been with the University Transplant Center for four years. She has worked closely with, and stood by her patients as they have gone through the complex process that begins with a life-threatening diagnosis, including waiting for an organ and results in the opportunity for renewed life for those fortunate enough to be transplanted. She has witnessed the wonderful gift of life given to hundreds of patients. Now, she’s hoping her husband receives his gift in time for Christmas and, more importantly, in time to save his life.

Forty-year-old Morris Stevens was recently diagnosed with Mylar Dysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce an adequate amount of blood cells to support body functions. It means he is at high risk of serious disease and infection. He’s been healthy his whole life, but noticed he was feeling tired so he went to the doctor. When the lab results came back, he was sent straight to the hospital. Without a bone marrow transplant, there is no cure. The Stevens have been married for 24 years. They have four sons and two grandchildren.

FACTS:

  • This year, more than 130,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a serious blood disease.
  • Only 30 percent of patients who need a bone marrow transplant have a matching donor in their families.
  • Only 2 percent of the population is on the national registry.
  • At least 1,000 people die each year because they cannot find a matching donor.
  • Donating is safe: More than 35,000 people have donated bone marrow without a single donor death.

WHAT: Laurie’s coworkers have coordinated a donor drive for Morris and others in need of a bone marrow transplant. The process is really easy and takes just a few minutes: You fill out a form and a nurse swabs your cheek with a Q-Tip. The public is invited.

WHO: Morris Stevens, in need of a bone marrow transplant
Laurie Stevens, transplant nurse and wife
University Transplant Team

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14 at 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
INTERVIEW WITH THE STEVENS, 10 a.m.

WHERE: University Hospital
4502 Medical Drive

(Meet at Information Desk, 1st floor, main entrance of hospital)