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Sickle cell warrior: Genesis story

Most 20-year-olds are navigating the ups and downs of young adulthood but at that age, Genesis was facing so much more. After battling sickle cell disease and suffering a silent stroke at the age of eight, Genesis began to search for a matching donor on the registry. She spent over 10 years waiting to find an unrelated donor on the Be The Match Registry® with no success. 

As Genesis' pain levels began to rapidly increase, her medical team had to come up with an alternative plan. She never unpacked her hospital bag because she was admitted so frequently. Doctors ultimately determined that the best course of action was to proceed with a haploidentical (half-match) bone marrow transplant. Luckily, Genesis’ mom was able to step in and be her donor. It took about 4 months to go through the entire process of preparing for the transplant.  

She describes her health before transplant as “hell” and even though she grew accustomed to the pain, it was no way to live. Before the transplant, Genesis had to undergo several rounds of chemo and other medical procedures to ensure she was in good shape to proceed. There was finally an answer to her prayers, Genesis was able to get her bone marrow transplant in September 2020. After the transplant, she did have a few complications including post-transplant lymphoma disorder. 

Genesis needed a few more rounds of chemo and she believes that having sickle cell disease gave her the strength to power through her cancer journey. Getting a glimpse of life without pain and then suddenly being diagnosed with cancer took a toll on her mentally. She is thankful for the teams of doctors, supporters and her family for seeing her through this process. She is also grateful that Be The Match® was able to be a support to her and her family during this process. A sickle cell warrior and cancer survivor, Genesis’ greatest hope is that she can continue to be a light for the sickle cell community. 

Watch Genesis’ story