LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – September is the month dedicated to raising awareness about leukemia.
On Thursday, Dean Familton shared his story of the battle he faced when he was diagnosed in February of 2021.
According to UofL Health, leukemia can be an aggressive type of blood cancer and more than 60,000 new cases are projected just this year.
UofL Health’s Dr. Mohamed Hegazi said there is no staging for Leukemia, but finding it early and before it spreads from the blood to other organs is detrimental to life and explains the symptoms.
“Sometimes they develop anemia, sometimes their platelet count is down so they bruise easily,” Dr. Hegazi said. “They feel the symptoms of anemia, being weak, tired and fatigued, pale in color and get easily infected with infections that usually don’t bother others in other people, but are more significant in Leukemia patients.”
Dean Familton was feeling some of those symptoms in 2021. He was unusually out of breath and really tired.
Dean was admitted to UofL Health Hospital in March and Dr. Hegazi and the team immediately began treatment.
In May of 2021, Dean had a stem cell transplant and says he’s feeling better every day.
“We had the chemo right before the stemcell transplant, that one was pretty intense,” Dean said. “It was probably my lowest point the whole time. But got the stem cell transplant in May, went very well, no issues and started the recovery. Dr. Hegazi and team helped me get through that, so it’s been, the last two months, I’ve felt fantastic, virtually as good or better than I did before I got the symptoms so it’s been a good journey.”
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