Tarrier Family Endowment: Provides Funding for Acute Leukemia Research

In July 2009, Libby Tarrier was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. “The day I found out, I didn’t even get to go home. I was immediately admitted to the emergency room and then began treatment,” Libby says. She chose to come to The James for treatment because she knew early on that she would need a bone marrow transplant — something that can only be performed at select hospitals, and something The James specializes in.

“The doctors and nurses at The James took great care of me,” Libby says. Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a treatable disease, but Libby recognizes that not everybody is diagnosed with a form of leukemia that has well-known, successful treatment options. “I just want others to have the same quality of care and level of confidence in their treatment that I had,” she says. “By starting this fund, we are providing an opportunity for more research to be done about the type of leukemia I had and the possibility in the future of expanding to other leukemias,” Libby says, “with the goal of one day finding a cure.”

Libby says several miracles took place during her treatment, including one day in particular, when all three of her siblings arrived within 30 minutes of one another, unplanned. This also happened to be the same day Steven Devine, MD began discussing the possibility of a bone marrow transplant. All three siblings immediately volunteered to be tested. “When my sister was leaving the room, she said, ‘I’m going to be her donor,’ and Dr. Devine proceeded to explain that my brothers would be a more likely match,” Libby says. As it turns out, Libby’s sister was a perfect match and a bone marrow transplant was performed in September 2009.

Now that she has been in remission for just over a year, Libby has trained to become a volunteer at The James, offering companionship and hope to those facing situations similar to the one she experienced. “It’s because of the power of prayer and the great care of my doctors that I’m doing so well today, and I have no choice but to share my experience with others.”

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