How did Rockin' For A Match begin?
On October 15th 2010 our beloved Taylor Kanas, at age 26, was given the biggest challenge of her life. She was diagnosed with a very rare form of Lymphoma called ALK Negative Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. ALK Negative Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a very rare, aggressive form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She successfully underwent the standard regime of chemotherapy for T-cell lymphoma. She as usual, proved that if she is going to do anything she will do it in style, donning a bald head and fabulous wigs looking just as, if not more incredible than ever! Unfortunately, it was not clear skies ahead and Taylor was given yet another obstacle to overcome...
On February 15th 2011 Taylor was facing a bone marrow transplant. The procedure would have utilized her own cells that had been harvested the week prior. She noticed some new lumps on her neck, although the doctor seemed relatively unconcerned, he wanted to run a CT scan to be sure. The results of the CT were alarming which triggered an emergency biopsy. Everyone's fears unfortunately were confirmed and the lumps on her neck were in fact a relapse of the disease and not localized inflammation.
Taylor was no longer able to use her own cells and she had to go through some very intense chemo, in hopes to put her back in remission so she could undergo the bone marrow transplant. After the tissue typing that was performed she received news that she had rare bone marrow. There is only one person in the world (on the registry) that matched the preliminary tests. Unfortunately, after further testing, that person was not the match for Taylor. The doctors offered another option that involved using umbilical cord stem cells. This is the riskiest transplant of them all. As Taylor's cancer was sure to progress, this was her only fighting option.
Taylor underwent a double cord stem cell transplant on June 29th 2011. Despite all the trials and tribulations, she is doing very well. Taylor and her team (Maria Wade, Mary Loveless, and all volunteers) are involved in raising awareness and have since created "Rockin' for a Match." Beyond raising awareness, our goal is to help raise funds for people needed on the bone marrow registry. We appreciate all your support in efforts to do so! –Lynsey Ramage