A Patients Story: Linda

Sep 1 8:00am | Stacie Hammer | @shammer26

When Linda Lucas of Bridgeview, Illinois, discovered a lump on her neck, a biopsy revealed she had stage 4 B-cell lymphoma. Linda initially went through the RICE chemo treatment in Elmhurst, Illinois, which was successful. Her daughter and “chemo buddy,” Sarah, remained by her side. Sarah did not let herself or her mother lose hope.

“I did everything I could think of to keep a smile on her face,” Sarah recalls. “I wanted to help give Mom a ‘good day’ every day.” Linda chimes in: “She kept telling me, ‘One day at a time, Mom — never give up!’”

Linda was then referred to David Inwards, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic. In September 2019, she underwent an autologous stem cell transplant, which involved six days of a high-dose chemotherapy called BEAM. That was followed by infusion of stem cells previously harvested from her bloodstream to allow for recovery of her bone marrow.

Donated blood platelets also were critical to Linda’s survival. To “repay” all those platelets her mother used, Sarah donated her own platelets every eight days. “I wanted to replenish the stock for others, since Mom received platelets often during her treatments, which is common,” says Sarah. “I say, while us caregivers are on campus, why not give back? It’s a gift that saves lives.”

Linda now celebrates her ‘anniversary birthday’ over September 18-19, when she received her transplant.

 

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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