Transplant voices

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | April 04, 2013

To mark the 30-year anniversary of the first blood and bone marrow transplant at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center, UNMC Today talked with doctors, patients and staff about the program. This is the fourth in a series.

We asked:

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Karli Bruxvoort
"What difference has having a transplant made in your life?"

Karli Bruxvoort, 17, Pella, Iowa, answers:

"For me, the transplant isn't something that stands out in my life. It's a part of my life - something I had to do in order to have life. It wasn't an option. I'm very grateful to be alive. It allows me to look into the future with hope I wouldn't have had without a transplant. To plan for college and a job eventually. To look into the future and know that good things are waiting. After college, I want to major in science and probably go into the medical field - it's been a goal since I was young. My brother was born sick and I wanted to help him but I couldn't. That sticks out to me."

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Lori Maness-Harris, M.D.
"What have you learned from your patients about medicine and the field of transplantation?"

Lori Maness-Harris, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine, answers:

"One important thing I have learned from my patients is that one's definition of 'quality of life' may not be the same as your own. Life inevitably changes after transplant. My patients who seem to live the best lives, regardless of how long, are those that recognize this isn't a static thing and make adjustments. As their physicians, we must make changes along with them if we are to take the best care possible of them. While most of us won't experience a transplant, many other events in life, or simply aging alone, make this an important lesson to live by. If I can be half as graceful as my patients in attempting to make such modifications, I will be satisfied."

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Elaine Ryan

What has it meant to you to be part of the transplant program?

Elaine Ryan, assistant, UNMC division of oncology/hematology, answers:

"What amazes me the most is the growth of the program in the last 30 years and the fact that patients come to Nebraska from all parts of the world because of the reputation of our transplant program. It takes the dedication of many people at the Medical Center. It has been very exciting to be a part of it."

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