John’s Journey with MDS:
John (Johnny G) was diagnosed with MDS at the end of August 2020 after becoming gravely ill and hospitalized. Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a rare group of blood cancers that causes the abnormal development of blood cells in the bone marrow. Based on the several factors such as the type of MDS, age and health of the patient there are different paths of treatment.
An older patient is usually put on a maintenance program which doesn’t cure MDS but helps maintain the side effects of the syndrome.
A younger individual could be a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, which John based on his age could qualify. John however still needed to recover from the original hospital stay that left him with a hard journey of PT and OT to recover from the lost of many functions before they would proceed. The complications of the cancer forced John to take an early retirement from a job he was so passionate about, which was the the Town of Lisbon Park Director. John with all the huge support he was receiving by his wife, family, friends and healthcare providers, recovered and was approved for the bone marrow transplant. Next to find a donor. They first look to family members to see if there is a successful candidate to donate bone marrow, but with none available they then go to a bone marrow donor bank (Be The Match). Eventually a donor was found, a young 21 year old international male willing to help John on his journey. John with his known continuous positive attitude and huge support fought forward. In February of 2021 John underwent the bone marrow transplant which appeared to have been a smooth and successful procedure. John was even released earlier than expected. Soon after his release, it appeared that John’s blood wasn’t recovering at the expected rate. Over time there were 2 more bone marrow boost from the same donor that were done to try an get the cells to start producing as needed. John was starting to spend more time in the hospital than at home due to complication of not having the blood cells and platelets he needed. John continued to have his positive attitude and continue the fight. One of the main complication with MDS is with low white blood counts, infections are very common and difficult to treat. John ended up developing an infection that quickly led to sepsis. The sepsis was too much for his body, now too weaken to fight. John unfortunately lost his battle to MDS on October 10, 2021 but he left as a winner with having so many people there to love and support him through his battle and leaving such a legacy.