Transplant recipient, teacher and now ambassador advocate

Posted December 10th, 2018 by Be The Match and filed in News
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When Elle Crofton was 25-years-old, she got news that she never expected to hear.

Her doctors diagnosed her with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood cancer that causes bone marrow failure and can progress to acute myeloid leukemia.

For her age and gender, the illness was shocking, and rare.

“I was diagnosed with a blood cancer that is mostly diagnosed in men over the age of 65,” she said. “It’s not something that you think about every day, a 25-year-old female getting a blood cancer, but it happened to me.”

Initially, Elle was able to treat her MDS with medication. When that stopped working, her medical team told her that she would need a bone marrow transplant.

Fortunately, a matching donor was found and on May 14, 2015, Elle had her life-saving bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one week before her 26th birthday.

“When I found out I had a match, I was really excited,” she said. “It was overwhelming because I don’t think you really understand all that happens and goes into it. Realizing that it was going to happen was an amazing feeling.”

Today, over three years post-transplant, Elle is back to her passion – being an elementary school teacher.

“I am back in society, back teaching doing something I love, and to be able to do that for others is what lawmakers should look at,” she said. “To have more lives saved is just so crucial – it’s such an easy thing for people to do, to donate bone marrow that I don’t know why you wouldn’t support it.”

As she continues post-transplant life, Elle said she is eager to give back and help patients-in-need, like she once was.

“Being an advocate for Be The Match means that I’m supporting a program that helped save my life,” she said. “They gave me life and I’m hoping that I can just help others.”

3 Responses to “Transplant recipient, teacher and now ambassador advocate”

  1. Babs says:

    I’m so thrilled for Elle that her bone marrow transplant was successful and that she is now bringing this to the forefront so more people will sign up to be a donor.

    My son was a perfect match for his sister. He had no
    side effects whatsoever from giving stem cells and
    bone marrow to her over a long period of time.

    Everyone who can should sign up for the Be the Match
    program.

  2. Tim says:

    Thank you Elle, for continuing to be an advocate for the Be the Match program. I received my outside donor transplant in October of 2016 at the age of 62 for the treatment of CMML.

    This unselfish gift from an unknown person has given me the opportunity to celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations and the enjoyment of seeing the birth of my last 2 grandsons. With the support of advocates like Elle and Be the Match we can continue to improve the process and chances for those that are facing blood cancers.

    Please everyone do whatever you can do to promote the continued support of the Be the Match program.

    I am here to tell you, IT WORKS!

  3. Brian Crofton says:

    Elie I am honored to be related to you. Hope to see you again
    soon.

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