Cynthia Reed Shares Her Story to Spread Awareness

Cynthia Reed from Baton Rouge, La. is one of the last people one would expect to hear about getting cancer. As a Naturopathic Doctor, Cynthia’s life has been focused on health and wellbeing.  “If you called me and asked me to go to lunch,” says Cynthia, “I’d say sure and how about a walk afterwards?” Cynthia said she has always tried to stay active; spending time with her son, in church, and doing holy yoga.

Cynthia Reed and her husband Alan.

In December 2012, Cynthia was becoming more and more tired and noticed she was bruising easily. “When I went to the doctor, she knew exactly what it was,” said Cynthia.

Cynthia was diagnosed with four different health concerns: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Philadelphia chromosome, and abnormalities of both chromosome 20 and 22, which is commonly associated with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Cynthia started chemotherapy soon after diagnosis and they were able to get her cancer into remission with the first round.  In addition to the chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions have been a large part of Cynthia’s care. “I’ve had too many transfusions to keep count,” says Cynthia about her blood transfusions, “Gosh, I just have no idea how many.”

During a follow-up appointment in August 2015, Cynthia learned that her cancer had returned. Again, they were able to get her back into remission, but told her that she would need a stem cell transplant to hopefully cure her. Due to a rare protein, finding a match for Cynthia has proven to be a challenge. She has no potential matching donors in the Be The Match Registry®.

When asked, “What would finding a matching donor mean to you?” Cynthia says, “That’s a tough question, I don’t know what I’m going to do right now. I don’t know if I’m going to do a transplant even if we find a match. I’m going to pray about it and do what God tells me to do.” Cynthia’s finds strength from her faith, family, and friends in her battle with cancer.

There are nearly 12,000 patients who need a transplant that are searching for a match donor.  Cynthia is hoping by sharing her story, she can raise awareness and help encourage people to join the registry.