Looking to tomorrow thanks to lifesaving stem cell transplant

Looking to tomorrow thanks to lifesaving stem cell transplant

Tim Maloney could usually ride his exercise bike for half an hour at the highest level. Suddenly, he could barely make it through three minutes. Daily physical activities were becoming more difficult for the active 46-year-old. It was during a snowshoeing hike with his wife that they realized something was really not right with Tim.

“That was when the euphoria set in.”

That week, in January 2009, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Doctors had to start treatment immediately. Tim endured chemotherapy, radiation, nausea, and weakness. When he acquired a septic infection, he was put into a medically induced coma. One night, his wife was told he would not survive until morning. But he did. When he woke up from the coma two weeks later, he had lost more than 50 pounds.

Tim went home and worked on regaining strength so he could have a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant. After the transplant, he stayed in isolation at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC) for 35 days. Twenty-three days after the transplant, he learned the transplanted cells had entered his bloodstream to start making new blood cells. The transplant had saved his life.

“That was when the euphoria set in,” Tim says today, seven years later.

After more than one month in hospital, Tim remained in isolation at home for another two months. If anyone visited him, they had to wear a mask and he had to wear one when he went out in crowds. Tim had one more round of chemo and a cocktail of medications. But he knows that what he went through gave him a tomorrow.

“I feel very fortunate to have met the whole team at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. They saved my life,” he says. “Thanks to my stem cell transplant, I feel good about the future. Tomorrow can happen; I can spend more valuable time with my family and focus on my business.”

Stem cell transplant campaign
Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation has launched the Tomorrow Stems From You campaign to enable the expansion of a dedicated and specialized clinical space, and to purchase essential equipment, so that JHCC can provide 50 per cent more patients with potentially life-saving stem cell transplants. Please donate today because everyone deserves a tomorrow. Learn more at hamiltonhealth.ca/stems.