Saving Lives Through Stem Cell Donations

Omar on Pier

by Omar Siddiqi, MD

I am not a stranger to illness. During my medical training, I met many patients on the worst day of their lives. Like a maître d’ at some bizarre restaurant, I ushered them to their beds, discussed the menu of meds that I could offer them and held discussions about diagnosis and prognosis. I sat with families during family meetings that were often tearful and always difficult.  Much like a maître d’, I watched patients and their families without ever participating in the actual experience. And then one day all this changed.  The annoying gum bleeding that I had been having for a week was not some pesky virus like I had assumed. It was, instead, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) - Blood cancer.

Suddenly, I became the patient.  April 26, 2013 became the worst day of my life.

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