Ines Lukombo received a bone marrow transplant for Sickle Cell Anemia on August 26, 2009 at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC at the age of 17. She was a senior at Crete-Monee high school in Chicago at the time of the transplant and was homeschooled during the process. Ines’ eight-year-old sister, Martha was a matched sibling donor who jokingly offered her bone marrow in exchange for onion rings.
The biggest impact that the bone marrow transplant has had on her life is that now she can plan for the future instead of having to plan around her illness. In addition to her Sickle Cell Anemia, the transplant helped rid her of the other Sickle Cell related complications that she sustained for the majority of her life. Complications like multiple Deep Vein Thrombosis, and Chronic Pain Syndrome are no longer a problem for her. Ines is now six years post-transplant and feels invincible.
Ines is now 23 years old and a student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Molecular Biology and English writing. She has since returned to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and worked with the Sickle Cell team as a research assistant. She has dedicated her life to Sickle Cell research and plans to make it part of her career as a Hematologist.
On September 30, in honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Ines attended a legislative briefing with national experts where she offered a patient’s perspective on the treatment of sickle cell disease. Find out how you can get involved in our legislative efforts to support patients like Ines: http://bit.ly/1VHV2Y8