Experimental Cancer Treatment Saves New Husband

'We were told that it was time to plan our last days together, but Kate point blank refused'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2016 7:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – A British couple have received what may be the best wedding gift imaginable: a cancer-free diagnosis. ABC News reports Mike Brandon was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, only a month after proposing to his wife Kate. A bone marrow transplant sent the leukemia into remission, but it came back last year. Mike's acute lymphoblastic leukemia required experimental CAR T-Cell therapy, according to the Huffington Post. The treatment modifies a person's T-cells to target the cancer cells. The couple raised nearly $600,000 to travel to the US for treatment, which Mike started at the University of Pennsylvania Health System shortly after marrying Kate. “We were told that it was time to plan our last days together, but Kate point blank refused,” Mike says on their fundraising Facebook page.

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The experimental treatment wasn't easy. Mike suffered what ABC calls "severe side effects." He got pneumonia and required 20 bone marrow biopsies and half a dozen infusions of stem cells. But it appears to have been worth it. “Prior to starting the therapy, Mike’s bone marrow was almost completely made up of leukemia cells,” Kate writes on Facebook. “Twenty-eight days later there were none.” Kate calls it a "huge relief" but says she knows "we still have quite some distance to go in our journey." (A family decided to let their toddler die of leukemia; it saved him.)

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