The Courage Of Jack Hennings – Stem Cell Transplant Survival

I want to talk to you about my courageous friend Jack Hennings.  He has a miracle story, which speaks of Living In Courage to me.  In 1993 Jack found out he had Leukemia – Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia throughout his whole body.  At one point his bone marrow was 98% impacted, with only 2% viable and functioning.  Jack also had a 6 lb. mass of lymph nodes in his abdomen.  Emergency chemo helped shrink the mass.  In one more week, his kidneys would have exploded.  He had to sign a waver that the emergency chemo that night could kill him.  This was a significant night in Jack’s life, he did not know if he would live or die.  He lived.

The mass was decreased in size and Jack took chemotherapy on and off for 10 years after that. During that 10 year period there were two other times Jack almost died.  After 10 years he had exhausted all  chemo resources.  Radiation was not an option because the cancer was in his bone marrow and lymph nodes.  A Stem Cell transplant was the only option to save Jack.  The Stem Cell transplant was done in 2003.  Jack’s brother Sam Hennings was a perfect match as a donor.  One in 35 Million!

After the transplant there were complications. The new immune system Jack developed was his brother Sam’s, which was too strong for Jack’s ailing body.  He had to be on immuno suppressants  for about a year to allow his body to develop the strength to handle his brothers immune system.  Jack became stronger and stronger.  The cancer has been gone 6 years.  Jack believes that the Stem Cell transplant was a miracle that saved his life.  Jack’s doctor was Dr. Lenard Sender at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA.

Jack and his beautiful wife Debra are happily living a dream life. Their new website coast2coastinteriors is in development and will be up in July 2009.  Jack has a great vision for his life and will share it soon with the world.  It is a joy to be around Jack because he is joyful gratitude in motion – alive and vital.  Courageous Hero’s come in many forms. Jack is my Hero, as is his brother Sam.

Below is a video of Dr. Lenard Sender who  is a leading advocate for a neglected demographic: young adults with cancer. He joined some of his patients at a recent Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week at UC Irvine.