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1,000th Transplant At Avera

September 19, 2013, 6:15 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

1,000th Transplant At Avera

71-year-old Joyce Meland is very familiar with the doctor's office. The Watertown woman has been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, twice.

"It was scary, and they gave me a lot of literature to read," Meland said.

After her second diagnosis, doctors recommended Meland undergo a stem cell transplant. She did not need a donor for the procedure.

"I was lucky I was able to use my own stem cells," Meland said.

"Before the transplant we gave her what we call growth factors that would stimulate the stem cells to move from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood," Dr. Ahmed Galal said.

During the procedure, doctors collected some of Meland's stem cells and froze them. Then after chemotherapy, they infused her stem cells back into her through a port.

"At her age there were risk factors, and she's done extremely well," Galal said.

One year after her transplant, Meland is cancer-free, feeling well and back to her favorite activities.

"I had my garden, and I mow the lawn. I have the kids over, and we cook, eat and play," Meland said.

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