The Davis family’s world changed in 2018 when Kathleen was diagnosed with an uncommon form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Prior to that Kathleen was healthy, physically active and busy supporting her four teenage and young adult children’s athletic and academic achievements. Diagnosis was especially challenging and took quite some time; with Kathleen being first tested for a host of other diseases all which came back negative. By the time it was determined that Kathleen had reciprocal translocation of chromosomes 11 and 14, a common cause of MCL, her lymph nodes and spleen lit up on a scan. Kathleen and John speak positively about many of the doctors and nurses treating Kathleen, but they also voice the challenges they experienced with the healthcare system. From cancelled surgery, to wait times and issues with transferring patient charts between different healthcare professionals, advocating for his wife became John’s focus in addition to primary caregiver.
Today, Kathleen is 11 months post-stem cell transplant. She is in remission and doing well. Her focus continues to be on gaining strength and spending time with her family. Although the return of the disease weights on the minds of the Davis family, they know that supporting research now could mean an advancement that produces new treatment options for MCL and other blood cancers. They are thankful for all the previously funded research and the advances made in the treatment protocol that Kathleen received, and to Dr. Mona Shafey who provided the Davis family with the most important resource, hope.
The Davis family is happy to be one of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada matching donors this holiday season in support of those affected by blood cancers.