I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a woman of color, an academic, a professor and someone who has battled cancer.
Advocacy and Empowerment for People and Families Living with Cancer
Raising Awareness of Bone Marrow Registry and Cord Blood Donation
In May 2016, I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare form of blood cancer. I immediately started in-patient intensive chemotherapy in June and received a cord blood stem cell transplant on September 21, 2016 at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Since my diagnosis I have worked with Be the Match (BTM) to help raise awareness of the opportunity for people to sign-up for the marrow registry to be real super heroes and save lives. Through this work, in 2018, the University of Washington became the only institution in the United States to develop a formal partnership with BTM. My aim is for every member of the UW community from staff, student, professor and alumni to know about the life saving process of marrow and cord blood donation.
I continue to talk with audiences about my cancer journey to raise awareness about disparities in health outcomes for people of color, to raise awareness of the marrow registry and cord blood donation programs, and to remind those of us with a cancer diagnosis that cancer is not an immediate death sentence – and that we can and should live our lives to its fullest as long as we can.
In the Fall of 2018 the University of Washington entered into the first of a kind partnership with Be the Match. Our aim is to help our community – students, staff, faculty and alumni -learn about the opportunity to save lives by donating marrow.