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MID-MICHIGAN GIRL UNDERGOES RARE BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT

Originally posted July 1, 1997

Ann Arbor, Mich - A seven year old Alma, Mich., girl is recovering after receiving a bone marrow transplant for a form of leukemia that is rarely seen in children.

Danessa Dringenberg was diagnosed earlier this year with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and on Friday, June 27, doctors at the University of Michigan Medical Center infused Danessa with matching bone marrow from an unrelated donor.

After Danessa was diagnosed as having CML in March, the local community turned out in force to raise more than $11,000 to help with the family's expenses. A luncheon and auction in Alma in early May netted more than $5,000 and a subsequent ride-athon and auction at a local riding stable brought in just over $5,000. Finally, Danessa's elementary school classmates launched a "Dollars for Danessa" drive that raised more than $1,100.

CML is a disorder that is distinguished in nearly all cases by a genetic abnormality known as the Philadelphia chromosome where part of one chromosome is attached to another. CML is not curable with conventional chemotherapy, and the only known method of eradicating the disease is a bone marrow transplant while CML is in the "chronic" phase, which was the case in Danessa's treatment. The median age for patients with this disorder is 40-45 years. Fewer than 3 percent of childhood leukemias are CML.

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