In the August issue of Frisco STYLE Magazine, we shared information about blood, stem cell and bone marrow donations. Be sure you check it out! In the article, Frisco resident and cancer survivor Gary Carley shared his story.
Mr. Carley was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August 2017. “Ultimately, the decision was made to do a bone marrow transplant. My brother was a ‘perfect’ donor match and my transplant was done December 19, 2017,” he shares. “I was cancer-free 30 days later. The bone marrow transplant process is such an integral step in the journey to cure leukemia for a number of patients. When I was on the transplant floor, I met so many patients who were back for another transplant try. With more registered donors, the probability of a better donor match increases,” he says.
Today, since Mr. Carley has his brother’s bone marrow, “it means the blood being produced in me is his too,” he shares. “If I leave blood anywhere, and it is checked, the DNA comes back as my brother’s, who lives in Honolulu. I ceased to exist in the blood and DNA world. I also have his hair. After I lost mine, when it grew back, it was his color, which was considerably darker than mine.”
Mr. Carley was cancer-free for one year when he was told he had leukemia again. This time, it was a different type. As medicine had progressed since his initial diagnosis, Mr. Carley started taking a new cancer medicine January 2019 that was not available in 2017, which eradicated the cancer cells in his blood system and bone marrow in two months. “I have been cancer-free for a second time since March 2019 and I am currently doing fine and feel great,” he shares.
Mr. Carley has been fortunate to be able to continue working and currently serves on the boards for the Economic Development Corporation, Frisco Family Services, the Frisco Education Foundation and Medical City Hospital Plano/Frisco.