OMF - Linda Khang 21, Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (a rare subtype of ALL – a blood cell cancer), Brockton, with Dr. Andrew Hong, pediatric oncologist, Dana-Farber 8-16-17

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 16th

In December 2011, Linda noticed that she was more tired than usual and had a rash on her leg. She had excessive bruising in places and was exhausted from playing soccer. She then went to the doctors and learned her rash that she had for 2 weeks was known as Petechial rash. She underwent blood work and other tests and it was determined she had Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL, a rare subtype of ALL. In patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL, the bone marrow produces too many white blood cells, which become cancerous. Her treatment has included a stem cell transplant and radiation. In total her treatment lasted about 2 years. Linda says she has a great relationship with Dr. Hong. She feels very comfortable around him and says he is an amazing doctor that cares for his patients’ wellbeing. Linda moved to Wisconsin for a year and saw new doctors and nurses, however it was not the same because she didn't feel comfortable around them – she wanted her doctors that were with her from Day 1: that was and still is Dr. Hong. Linda would like to thank Dr. Hong for being part of the team that saved her life and allowed her to continue living. She says she will forever be grateful and indebted to them no matter what. Linda has 4 siblings, 3 sisters and 1 brother. Her youngest sister Emily, who was only 7 years old at the time, happily donated her stem cells to Linda as she was a match. She enjoys playing volleyball and tennis and hiking in her free time. Linda is currently in college right now attending Massasoit Community College in Brockton studying to become a nurse. She hopes to someday work alongside the team that helped saved her life. She is working as a Clinical Nursing Assistant at Boston Children's Hospital on the HEM/ONC floor.

Dr. Hong did his residency training in pediatrics at Boston Children's back in 2008-2011 and then his fellowship training from 2011-2014. He selected pediatrics because he wants kids to be able to be kids and not have the worries of being ill. Being able to help kids get better was been his inspiration for going into medical school.  And as a pediatric oncologist, his goals now are to be able to watch his patients grow up to pursue their own passions. Linda came to Boston Children's during the holiday season in 2011. She had a specific type of leukemia which was not treatable 2 to 3 decades ago. This leukemia is called Philadelphia chromosone positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Because of hard work of researchers across the world,  including at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, medications have been developed to target this type of cancer to help cause the cancer cells to die in combination with chemotherapy. Since Linda's sister was a perfect match, they were able to give Linda a bone marrow transplant. Dr. Hong says Linda has been a fantastic patient and that “watching her grow up has been very humbling. I’m especially grateful to all the incredible work of the clinicians and researchersbefore me.” He says all their efforts have given her a chance to pursue her passion in becoming a nurse and they have been grateful that she has been performing some of her training at Boston Children's / Dana-Farber.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

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