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From patient to supporter: Kary Duncan and family make generous gift and match promise to NMDP

Kary and her blood stem cell donor, Emily.

Kary Duncan, MD, her husband David, and their family have been dedicated supporters of NMDPSM for years. Now, they’ve taken that support to a new level to help NMDP save lives through cell therapy. Their connection with NMDP began when Kary was searching for a blood stem cell donor match after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in 2012. She had a successful blood stem cell transplant in June 2016 and was even pronounced cured.

Keep calm and Kary on

However, in 2021 the MDS  came back. At this time, two of the Duncans children, Maeve and Jack, were students at their alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. In support of Kary and her family, the students at Notre Dame  organized the “Keep Calm and Kary On” campaign. The goal was to spread awareness and recruit more potential blood stem cell donors to the NMDP RegistrySM. The campaign was a source of joy for the Duncans as they navigated the transplant journey for a second time; they reveled in seeing young people rally behind a cause. The “Keep Calm and Kary On” campaign has continued at Notre Dame and more than 650 new members  have joined the registry in Kary’s honor.

Later in 2021, Kary received a second transplant facilitated by NMDP. And, just this past year, the Duncans finally had the chance to meet Kary’s selfless donor, Emily, for the first time.

Today, Kary continues to stay connected with NMDP, mentoring and providing insight about her transplant journey to patients through the NMDP Peer Connect program. As a physician, she draws from her own experience and knowledge to help patients in need.

2021 AUG The Duncan Family resized

The Duncan family

The Duncans double the good

As a thank you, the Duncan family made a generous gift of $100,000 to NMDP   to continue advancing registry recruitment. To make their support go even further, Kary and David promised to match any gift up to $100,000. You can show your support and become a part of the movement with a gift—making a cure within reach for patients with blood cancers and disorders.

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