Posts Tagged ‘transplant’

By Susan Grant.

In May, 1998, I was diagnosed with Leukemia. At that time, the only treatment was a bone marrow transplant.

After a long search a donor, Peter Andrews, was found in England. Peter was deemed healthy enough to qualify as my donor and he readily agreed to the bone marrow transplant. In mid November 1998 in London, Peter’s bone marrow was harvested, flown across the Atlantic Ocean, and it arrived at MCV in time for me to get the transplant the day before Thanksgiving.

I entered the hospital on a Sunday afternoon, November 15th. That evening, the youth of our church stood outside my window with candles in their hands. From my 10th floor window, my daughter Stephanie and my son Wingate and I watched as the youth raised and lowered the candles while they were praying for us. It was a sight I will never forget.

Before the transplant, I worked as a realtor, marketing residential properties. I loved my job with a passion. But after the transplant I made the decision not to return to real estate. Nevertheless I had to work – but doing what? A friend approached me about four years after the transplant and suggested I consider nursing. My immediate response was, “Oh yeah, I’m 53 years old. Not exactly the right time in life to start a new career.” I told her I’d pray about it. She wasn’t a Christian, so I’m sure she didn’t understand why I’d consider even asking the Lord for guidance, but I did.

Peter Andrews and his family. Peter was the bone marrow donor for Susan Grant.

I didn’t get a yes or no from God, but I did pursue the possibility. When I contacted John Tyler School of Nursing, I told them just to tell me I was too old. I said, “I won’t be offended, I just don’t want to waste your time, so just tell me and I’ll be gone.” The head of the nursing program told me on the contrary I wasn’t too old. Their oldest graduate had been 62 years old. So I applied.

I went through the nursing program in six semesters. It was tough. At times I didn’t think I would make it. But I graduated in December 2005, at the age of 56. Seven years after my bone marrow transplant.

Now at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital I work as an RN in Radiation Oncology and in the outpatient infusion unit.

Susan Grant and her son, Wingate at his college graduation.

God has used me mightily over these years. Occasionally I have shared my cancer experience with patients. I believe it’s given them encouragement to see me looking so healthy, and working at my age in a physically demanding field.

Professionally, I want to give my patients the best of care as a way of paying back for the excellent care I received at MCV. But also I desire to do something for God as a way of saying “thank you” for His intervention to extend my life. So every morning as I drive to work, I ask Him to help me minister to His children in whatever way He desires. I see it as living out my life in thankfulness for what He has done.

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