Cancer Survivor Met Stem Cell Donor for First Time During Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend


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Just to run a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment. Boyd Dunleavey not only ran in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World last Sunday, he did so after surviving Leukemia twice.

In 2011, Dunleavey was diagnosed with acute myeloid Leukemia (a rare blood cancer), and he was given a 10% chance of surviving more than just a few months without undergoing a stem cell transplant from a donor outside of his family. After a year of treatments and a relapse, doctors identified Nathan Barnes, who was stationed in Japan as a gunners’ mate in the US Navy, as a suitable donor. In May 2012, Boyd Dunleavey had a life-saving stem cell transplant.

Waiting for Dunleavey at the finish line of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon this past Sunday was Nathan Barnes, with Boyd’s medal in-hand.

Said Dunleavey, “When we found out it was a gentleman named Nathan, it was incredible…Our middle son’s name is Nathan, and it means ‘Gift of God…My motto is ‘never lose hope…Life is a special gift. We were told that with the stem cell transplant, my chances of living five years were only 30 percent. This is Year 7! Never lose hope.”

Source: Disney Parks Blog




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