Highland Park, IL : Sue Stewart, long-time Highland Park resident, philanthropist, entrepreneur and leukemia survivor reached a 25-year milestone in January. She celebrates 25 years of survivorship after undergoing a bone marrow transplant at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL in 1989. Bone marrow transplantation was in its infancy back then and the lack of patient information about a very involved treatment actually inspired Sue to effect changes.
One year later, Stewart founded BMT InfoNet, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing transplant patients, survivors and their loved ones with emotional support and high quality, easy-to-understand information about bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell and cord blood transplants. Stewart, Executive Director, started the organization by writing a newsletter for patients and their families. Soon following, she wrote two patient books which have won praise from patients and medical professional alike: Autologous Stem Cell Transplants: A handbook for Patients and Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplants: A Guide for Patients. Over 80,000 copies have been distributed worldwide.
“My transplant center gave me Sue Stewart’s Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplants: A Guide for Patients and I considered it my BMT bible. I read it cover to cover and still refer to it to answer questions from other people. It is a fantastic resource for anyone going through a transplant or a family member. " Michelle Worman, BMT Support Online
Over the years, the organization has expanded its offerings to include a Caring Connections patient mentor program, financial help through the Mateo Fund, numerous webcasts of presentations given by medical experts available for viewing on the BMT InfoNet website and YouTube, a cyber gift store, FaceBook page and FaceBook support groups, and the first ever series of National Survivorship Symposiums.
As more and more transplant patients survive long-term, Stewart saw that the needs now go beyond treatment and recovery to maintenance of good long-term health. Maintaining long-term health for transplant survivors requires a diligence different from that of the general population. Physicians and health care professionals address post-transplant specific issues, but they tend to be scattered among many disciplines in numerous transplant centers across the United States. Stewart saw that this information could be helpful to all if it was consolidated and disseminated via a national venue. Stewart’s brainchild, The BMT InfoNet Celebrating a Second Chance at Life
Survivorship Symposium, is the premiere one-stop in-person resource that provides a unique opportunity for survivors and their loved ones to learn how to manage medical, emotional and financial issues that arise after transplant.
“This is the ONLY single-point resource for survivors to get accurate and current information about their long-term side effects. I felt like the heavens opened up when I attended the premiere Survivorship Symposium in Chicago.” Claudia Laupmanis, transplant survivor
On September 13 and 14, at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, over 30 physicians and transplant professionals will speak on pertinent survivorship topics at the Sixth National Survivorship symposium. In the past, sold-out Symposiums have taken place in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Costa Mesa, Cali.
The BMT InfoNet network of medical experts and transplant survivors has helped more than 100,000 transplant patients worldwide cope with the prospect of a transplant. The organization’s goal is to empower people with credible information and emotional support, so that they can take a more active role in decisions affecting their health and treatment options.
Read Stewart’s survivorship letter: http://conta.cc/LHityQ
Visit the BMT InfoNet website at www.bmtinfonet.org. To contact BMT InfoNet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-597-7674. To find out more about how you can support this vital work, go to http://www.bmtinfonet.org/donate.
Visit the BMT InfoNet FaceBook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bmtinfonet
Visit the BMT InfoNet YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/BMTinfonet
BMT InfoNet 2310 Skokie Valley Road, Suite 104, Highland Park, IL 60035
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