Stories of Hope

Beyond the statistics of bone marrow failure diseases are inspirational stories of hope and courage. From patients and families who fight these diseases to the volunteers in communities across the country who help to spread awareness, each of them has a story to tell.  

Meet these extraordinary people and learn more about them and their motivating stories of hope.  They are courageous and optimistic.  We know that you will find support and encouragement.

We welcome your story of hope - in print or on video. It will help many more patients and families.  Please email us at mystory@aamds.org or call Mike Breuer at (301) 279-7202 x111.  Thank you. 

Please visit this page frequently for new stories to read and share with your family and friends.

The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) created and maintains Stories of Hope as a service to those dealing with aplastic anemia, MDS, and PNH. Some of the stories on this site discuss medical treatment options patients have used; however, these stories are not intended as medical advice and should not be construed as such. AA&MDSIF recognizes that each patient, their treatment options, and the circumstances surrounding their bone marrow failure disease, is unique.

Note that inclusion of information in a Story of Hope does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any medical care provider, treatment practice, medication, product, or manufacturer. AA&MDSIF encourages patients to seek medical advice from a qualified hematologist/oncologist and to discuss their individual questions and concerns with their doctor. 
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Chicago area residents Doris Moreland and her husband, Jim, had a strong belief in the expression that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’. More than ten years after Jim’s death from aplastic anemia, Doris has made a special gift to honor him and promote bone marrow...
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“Thank goodness I’m a doctor because I helped to diagnose myself with aplastic anemia and PNH,” says Dr. Heather Vega. A Pittsburgh native, she is a family physician living in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania who received her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic...
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In the summer of 2000, I felt awful and continued to get worse.  I was cold, exhausted to the point of being able to fall asleep at any given moment, and just not right mentally. In addition, I feared I had pneumonia because I couldn’t breathe.  I finally went to my...
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It was important to me to a part of "Tie Dyed for Mr. Dave" because of who Dave was to us. My sons, Kevin and Jimmy were a part of Mr. Dave's after school program from the very beginning. Kevin was in his very first group and Jim was in the first group of kids that he knew from...
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I am involved in Tie Dyed for Mr. Dave: Hope, Steps & A Cure Walk in memory my father - Robert Gust.  In February of 2014 during a routine physical exam, Robert was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).  Our family was completely shocked by this news...
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My husband and I were visiting St. Dennis Catholic School 10 years ago in 2004 looking for a school for our then 4-year-old daughter. Would St. Dennis be a good fit? Would she make friends? Would we feel safe and happy sending our child to St. Dennis? One of the first people we...
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I met “Mr. Dave” prior to our daughters entering St. Dennis School and starting the Extended Care program. Imagine my surprise when the director asked to meet us in our home, so our girls would feel comfortable meeting him on our own turf. We learned quickly this was Dave’s way...
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My name is Nate St. John, and I am Dave's youngest son. My father was the best man I know, and I'm not the only one to describe him in such a light. He set a prime example for how a person should conduct themselves. In fact he built his life around good will and doing right by...
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Aplastic anemia was something that I had never heard of. But when Barb told me that Dave had it, I jumped into research mode. My Mom had passed away in 2005 at age 60 from a rare blood disease called TTP (Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Purpura). The need to help in some way took...
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AnnaLeigh is a 5 year old little girl in our family. She has the most warming smile, joyful eyes, and a radiant shade of red hair. She is the typical 5 year old who dreams of princesses, lady bugs, and playing outside. AnnaLeigh and her parents live two hours from me since I...