Transplant voices

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | April 05, 2013

Image with caption: Robert and Shirley Blanchard

Robert and Shirley Blanchard

To mark the 30-year anniversary of the first blood and bone marrow transplant at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center, we talked with doctors, patients and staff about the program.

We asked:

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

Robert Blanchard (transplant recipient) and wife Shirley, Omaha: "Our oncologist, Dr. Peter

picture disc.
Theresa Woodrum
Silberstein at Alegent Creighton University, worked with us in reviewing research on multiple myeloma and recommended a stem cell transplant. He referred us to Dr. Vose. After prayer and careful consideration, we had the procedure in February 2010. The transplant saved my life. We have a quality of life that would not have been realized without the collaboration of the oncologists in providing current treatment based on research about transplantation and maintenance pharmacology. Dr. Vose and staff, may you continue to provide excellent client-centered care using the evidence to support quality of life for all patients living with a diagnosis of cancer."

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

Theresa Woodrum, manager of The Nebraska Medical Center Oncology Hematology Special Care Unit: "I am proud to say I've been here since the first bone marrow transplant. I am thankful to have been a part of a remarkable medical team which has, over the years, provided extraordinary care for the most amazing patients and their families. I will never forget the people who selflessly gave their lives and bodies to help us gain the knowledge to

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R. Gregory Bociek
improve our processes and therapies for the next individual with cancer to receive a transplant or intensive therapy."

"What have you learned from your patients about medicine and the field of transplantation?"

R. Gregory Bociek, M.D., associate professor, internal medicine: "We travel a remarkable road with all of our patients. We often meet them at a time of fear and vulnerability, we get to know who they are and why they chose us. We get to meet their family members and learn about dreams and lives put on hold. We develop a relationship built on trust and security. We take them on a road that literally often puts their lives in our hands... One day we look up in clinic and realize it might be the fifth, 10th or 20th anniversary of their transplant. We see a life lived because of the wonderful combination of science and human compassion."

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