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Patients and Outcomes

+ Utilization & Outcomes
+ Patients' Stories
   - Keone Penn
   - Gayle Serls
   - Katherine Marguerite Sutter
   - Robert Lopez-Lengowski
   - Mitch Santana
   - Stephen R. Sprague
   - Spencer Barsh
   - Jacyln Albanese
   - Anthony Dones
   - Heidi Tweten
   - Erik Haines



Gayle Serls

Gayle Serls was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 1995 and, with no other options, received a cord blood transplant ten months later from an unrelated donor in a procedure performed by Dr. Mary Laughlin at Duke University Medical Center.  Gayle writes:

What I wanted to do was find the picture of me, Matt, and Corbin at the beach on our summer vacation, about two weeks before I was diagnosed. We always went to the same house and we always had a picture of the three of us sitting on the porch from year to year, a chronological depiction of some of our best times together as a family. And I wanted to show the picture of the three of us sitting together after "the ordeal" on my mother's front porch sitting in the swing; Matt all grown up and handsome, and in that picture, about to graduate from college; and Corbin, beautiful and about to enter college, and me in the middle with a hand on each of them, just so aware of how much I would have missed, and how much I love them and still want to protect and guide them.

Who knew that it would take $250,000, ten months of day-to-day treks to the hospital with "extended stay" for weeks at a time, a whole new vocabulary that included words like, cancer, why me?, leukemia, Philadelphia Chromosome, hematology-oncology, bone-marrow transplant, white-cell count, platelets, Hickman catheter, chemotherapy, foreign-sounding names of drugs and medicines, relapse, radiation (as in everyone leaves the room except you and the big Death Ray Machine), and the word DEATH applied to me (At my age? I was just getting started!)

Who knew what it would take to get me from the beach that summer to the porch swing on my mother's front porch five years later? Who knew that in seemingly one second, my life as a person, friend, daughter, sister, and, most importantly as a mother, could have been over with, finished, done for, gone less than a year from diagnosis. Who knew how much it would cost, how many doctors, nurses, technicians, attendants, drugs, lab workers, and researchers it would take to give me a chance to live? Who knew that a cord blood transplant would be my answer to all of those questions? Someone in research knew - more specifically, someone at the NYBC knew that I was going to get a fighting chance.


Gayle Serls with daughter, Corbin, and her son, Matt

Gayle Serls' daughter, Corbin, was a sophomore in high school and her son, Matt, a sophomore in college, when she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. In 1996, she received a cord blood transplant and has since seen both children graduate and celebrated her own 50th birthday.