When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, which is a form of bone marrow failure. Since I was so young when I was diagnosed, I didn’t understand my diagnosis. As I got older, I was able to better understand what was happening and I could more actively be involved in conversations about my disease and help make decisions for my treatment.
When chemotherapy didn’t work for me, I was told I needed a bone marrow transplant (BMT). None of my relatives were a match for me, which meant that we had to look for alternative donors. We were lucky enough to find a match in Germany and that led to me getting my BMT four days after my 11th birthday.
During that time in my family’s life, the Jimmy Fund Clinic became our second home. I am so grateful for my care team at Dana-Farber, who did their best to keep my life on track after cancer turned it upside down.
Everybody at the Jimmy Fund helped to make sure cancer didn’t consume my life. Thanks to them, it was easy to find and focus on all the positives of each day, no matter how small they were, which really helped me to keep a positive perspective. While in treatment, taking time to bond with my loved ones was one of the best aspects of the entire journey.
Even today, we still have strong ties to many of the nurses, doctors, and child life specialists who we met there and took care of us. Not only did the Jimmy Fund treat my illness, but my experiences have inspired me to pursue a career in medicine and hopefully help patients dealing with the same illness I had as a kid.
– Drew D’Auteuil, Dana-Farber patient and cancer survivor
Support patients like Drew by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign at DefyCancer.org.